Our 13th UP Speaker is…

The UP Experience is pleased to welcome Koen Olthuis, founder of the Dutch architectural firm Waterstudio, NL that specializes in floating structures to counter concerns and impact of floods due to climate change and rising sea levels. During his UP presentation – A Sustainable Future on the Waterfront – Koen will share his vision for literally building entire communities – and cities – that float!

Koen Olthuis studied architecture and industrial design at the Delft University of Technology, and has a patent on the methodology for producing a “floating base.” In 2007, Koen was listed as one of “the most influential people in the world” in a readers’ poll by TIME magazine due to the worldwide interest in water developments. The French magazine Terra Eco chose him as one of the “100 green persons that will change the world” in 2011.

In Koen’s vision, today’s designers are an essential part of the climate change generation and should start to enhance their perspective on urban components to become dynamic instead of static. His solution, called City Apps, is floating urban components that add a certain function to the existing static grid of a city. Using existing urban water as building ground offers space for new density, offering worldwide opportunities for cities to respond flexibly to climate change and urbanization.

The first city in which this vision is being developed is The Westland, near The Hague in Holland. This project incorporates floating social housing, floating islands, and floating apartment buildings.

To learn more about sustainable solutions beyond the waterfront,
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