Human Movement blog


The future is unpredictable. Nobody knows what will happen 5 or 10 years from now. Yet, looking at past and current developments, it is possible to give it a try. It’s interesting to think about our future living conditions. The trend Sustainable Cities is about future of cities and how they will be sustainable and eco-friendly. So, how do we live in 10 years?



Historic developments show that people used eco-friendly materials to build houses, temples, vehicles etc. Of course, it was more out of necessity than a choice. Initially they used branches, wood, reed and straw to construct buildings, but these materials were replaced by stones found in nature and dried and baked clay due to a wet climate which can destroy the wooden rooftops. The soft brick, that was prevalent until the nineteenth century, could only be made with soft and elastic mortar. For waterproof walls, they made use of ‘tras’, a burned volcanic material that could have a brown or dark gray color (Meihuizen, 2011).

To move from one place to another, people used carts pulled by different kind of animals, carriages pulled by horses and boats. Country roads were generally in bad condition. Dirt roads were particularly difficult to ride on in the winter.

There was a first and a second transport revolution. During the first transport revolution George Stephenson built his first steam locomotive in 1814 and in 1816 Carl von Drais showed the very first bike. That was the beginning of a century full of new transport miracles. The second revolution refers to the period after the second world war, approximately between 1950 and 1990, with a huge growth of traffic, transport and mobility (Varenna, 2013).



Nowadays, we use different building materials. 3D-printing has become a big technical development, also in the living-sector.  Mixtures of cement, sand, and plastic-polymers are the building materials. Pioneers of 3D-printed construction see numerous advantages: decreased costs, inventive architectural plans and simpler, sturdier houses will be built more quickly. The price is lower for homebuyers, too. The house Apis Cor built last December cost just over $10,000 (Alter, 2017).

The means of transportation have also developed over the years. Of course, there is the ‘normal’ car and the ‘normal’ train, but those are not eco-friendly. In order to strive for more sustainable transportation, electric transport is developed. On the 30th of April 2017, there were 117.502 electric vehicles on the road in the Netherlands, including 99.030 coach-and-fours (E-REV, PHEV) and 187 busses (Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland, z.j.).

In the Netherlands the number of loading sessions of electric cars in has increased with 45% compared to 2016 (, 2017).

This development has also led to lots of new job opportunities. Since January 2014, 2,669 jobs were created because of the emergence of the electric car, according to the research in the sector of e-mobility. By 2020 there will be 3400 more jobs available, if the amount of electric cars continues to grow (Middelweerd, 2016).

The electric car is a step in the right direction when it comes to sustainable transportation. But to take it a step further, students of the University of Technology in The Netherlands have built a sustainable car, called Lina, made out of flax (a kind of grass). This car can go up to 65 kilometres per hour (Ter Rele, 2017).

Een visualisatie van Lina, de duurzame auto., 2017

An innovation like this can lead to more sustainable and ecological developments, which will be better for our planet’s survival.



So, now that we have learned about past and current developments, what will the future hold?

A Chinese-backed car manufacturer unveiled the NIO EVE. NIO EVE is an electric vehicle with level 4 autonomy that will probably be on the US market by 2020. The vehicle opens through a wide forward-sliding door. Inside, the NIO Eve will have lounge-like seating in the back, a folding table that can be used as a work or play space, a panoramic roof as well as interior glass that can double as smart displays. An artificial intelligence (AI) engine, NOMI, will control the vehicle in autonomous mode and is capable of learning user preferences.

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor nio eve car, z.j.

Connecting and self-driving vehicles will lead to safer and more efficient cities in the future. Numerous studies are already spotlighting the key advantage of self-driving cars: given that 95 percent of all traffic fatalities are the result of human error, taking humans out of the equation will ultimately save lives (Santens, z.j.).

With self-driving electric cars on the horizon, architecture and real estate will also be impacted. Existing structures like gas stations may disappear, or will need to be reimagined. Reduced congestion could give way to green spaces or pedestrian walkways as safety improvements eliminate the need for wide roads. Buildings will have to be designed for the constant flow of drop-offs and pickups (Peterson, 2017).

So, in addition to self-driving cars there will also be a solution for busy intersections. Researchers from MIT and ETHZ have invented smart junctions. Lanes of cars merge harmoniously allowing traffic to flow smoothly across intersections, resulting in fewer delays. Cars will use sensors to keep a safe distance as they navigate an intersection. In future cities, traffic lights will be replaced by these smart intersections (Griffiths, 2016).

At such smart junctions (top image), lanes of cars merge harmoniously allowing traffic to flow smoothly across intersections, resulting in fewer delays (accompanying graph). The bottom image shows a traditional intersection using traffic lights, which results in more delays (bottom graph) MIT Senseable City Lab

Clouds Architecture Office has unveiled plans for a futuristic skyscraper called the Analemma Tower. The building will hover above the ground because it would be attached to an actual asteroid in space. The tower will be suspended via high-strength cabling from an asteroid and placed in eccentric geosynchronous orbit, which means that it would always be moving.

The tower could be made of durable and lightweight materials such as carbon fiber and aluminum.

Power to sustain the tower would come from space based solar panels with a constant exposure to sunlight. Water for the tower will be captured from clouds and rainwater.

Clouds Architecture Office has unveiled plans for a futuristic skyscraper dubbed the "Analemma Tower." The building would hover majestically above the ground because it would be attached -- wait for it -- to an actual asteroid, in space, that is forcibly put into orbit around the earth. The world’s craziest building concepts, 2017

Currently the proposal calls for the tower to be constructed in Dubai which has a long history of building tall and stylish skyscrapers. Over the years buildings have been growing  taller and lighter. Resulting in a future of building breaking free from the surface, releasing from nature disasters (Potter & Willingham, 2017).

Personally, I am looking forward to the future if it’s going to be anything like this. Self-driving cars will be safer and buildings will be all about the experience and being self-sufficient. But, I am wondering if these innovative creations won’t make our lives too easy and perhaps even a bit boring, because a lot of things will be done for us. On the other hand, self-driving cars for instance will enable us to have more time to get some work done while moving from one place to another. What do you think?



Alter, L. (2017, 09 mei). 3D Printed houses are the new shipping container. Geraadpleegd van (2017, 01 mei). Lina is de allereerste auto gemaakt van planten [Foto]. Geraadpleegd van (z.j.). Nio Eve car [Foto]. Geraadpleegd van….0…1.1.64.img..1.11.1112.0..0j0i10k1j0i30k1j0i8i10i30k1j0i5i30k1j0i8i30k1j0i24k1j0i10i24k1.mdQYbPI2vpw

Griffiths, S. (2016, 22 maart). The end of the road for traffic lights? ‘Smart intersections’ could help cars weave around each other to cut queues  Read more: Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook. Geraadpleegd van

Meihuizen, Y. (2011, 29 november). Historie van bouwtechnieken en bouwmaterialen. Geraadpleegd van

Middelweerd, H. (2016, 16 december). ‘Opkomst elektrische auto’s zorgt voor 30.000 extra banen’. Geraadpleegd van

MIT Senseable City Lab. (2016, 22 maart). The end of the road for traffic lights? ‘Smart intersections’ could help cars weave around each other to cut queues  Read more: Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook [Foto]. Geraadpleegd van (2017, 12 mei). Aantal laadsessies elektrische auto’s groeit met 45 procent in 2016. Geraadpleegd van

Peterson, A. (2017, 14 april). How the future of cars will force us to redesign our cities. Geraadpleegd van

Potter, R., & Willingham, A. (2017, 30 maart). This skyscraper is out of this world — literally. Geraadpleegd van

Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland. (z.j.). Cijfers elektrisch vervoer. Geraadpleegd van

Santens, S. (z.j.). Your Most-Pressing Universal Basic Income Questions Answered. Geraadpleegd van

Ter Rele, A. (2017, 01 mei). Lina is de allereerste auto gemaakt van planten. Geraadpleegd van

The world’s craziest building concepts. (2017, 30 maart). This skyscraper is out of this world — literally [Foto]. Geraadpleegd van

Varenna, V. (2013, 19 augustus). De transportrevolutie in Europa (1790-1920). Geraadpleegd van



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