The Mapimation project was the precursor to Segue City One; Mapimation began as an exploration of global flight paths and then turned into a study of the largest transportation networks covering the globe. The final map overlaps the world’s largest cities, ports, airports, and rail and road networks to find areas of intense overlap of the world’s largest transportation networks. These areas are crucial as distribution hubs in the global economy. However, the cities that act as major players in global trade are often characterized by unsightly ports, noisy airports, and disruptive road and rail networks which lower the living quality of these cities. Segue cities are meant to be new developments at the crossing of major transportation systems. The Segue City acts as a mega hub for all passenger and cargo traffic entering the region it serves. For example, here Segue City One serves most of Western Europe as a gate to the region. In this way, undesirable characteristics of transportation networks are retreated to a single location at the Segue City leaving valuable real estate open on the mainland. A similar study named “What if Denmark was the new Port to Europe” explores the idea of locating the entire Danish shipping industry on a Super Port island in the Baltic Sea. The project discusses the advantages of freeing valuable real estate and how the entire Danish economy could change if all ports were moved to the Super Port. The Segue City will provide similar benefits but on a larger scale. It will address seaports, airports, the rail network and the interstate infrastructure of the region it supports.
Image 1.1 provides a common view of a map of the world from the Mapimation model. The brightest areas on the map, those found along the east Asian coast, the north European coast, the northeast US coast and the west US coast are all areas that could be benefited by a Segue City.
Segue City One is the first city of the Segue City network and the only one described in detail by this project. It is important however, to consider Segue City One as part of a network, not as an individual condition relevant only to its site. Segue City One is located in the North Sea; it serves Northern and most of Western Europe. Image 1.2 provides another view from the Mapimation project describing the site selected and Image 2.0 shows the exact coordinates of the city. This location was selected because it is roughly in the center of all of the seaports the city will serve.
Segue City One is a composition of the cities it serves. The major ports served by Segue City One are the ports in Rotterdam, Antwerp, Hamburg, Copenhagen, and Le Havre; the major international airports served are London Heathrow, Amsterdam International, Frankfurt International, and Charles de Gaul airports. The goal of the city is to ease crowding and assist the economies of all of the major cities in Northern and Western Europe. To do this five main elements create Segue City One, those are: 1) the city itself which offers a place for all those employed at the ports, airports and other transportation networks of the city, 2) the green spaces which buffer living spaces from the major transportation operations, 3) the seaports replacing the need for large onshore port operations, 4) the airports which connect people and goods from North and Western Europe with the rest of the world, and 5) the rail/road circulation network allowing goods to quickly be plugged into European road and rail networks.
The city is a composition constructed of large samples of the largest cities of the region served—London, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, and Frankfurt. These are some of the most influential cities of the region. The sections of the city are oriented in a way that corresponds with the actual cities they have been modeled after. While Segue City One’s purpose is to house rather industrial processes, the city is created in a way that still offers a comfortable living environment. This process of collages does not suggest that parts of London, Paris, or any of the other cities are directly replicated, but that the textures and spatial qualities of these cities are used to create an interesting intersection of urban fabrics. Cities created overnight often lack layers of development which usually results in cold and strictly planed urban spaces. The collage process throughout this project seeks to create a large city quickly without creating an obviously planned, rigorous environment. Image 3.0 is part of the early stages of the experimentation of the collision of urban fabrics. The illustration shows the collision of Paris and London and an attempt to resolve the stitching of two very different textures. Image 4.1 is a figure ground of the entire urban living space in Segue City One. This is a combination of the five cities mentioned earlier, starting at the top right and moving in a clockwise direction, sections of Berlin, Amsterdam, Paris, London and Frankfurt create the city. The city is approximately 8 miles wide and will house between 3 and 4 million citizens.
The next critical element is the green ring. Image 4.2 describes a ring of green grounds foreseen to have a park like atmosphere surrounding the perimeter of the city. All of the industrial operations, the ports and airports are located outside of this “green ring” and are thus screened from the city itself. A bay has been left in the center of the city to give occupants a comfortable waterfront to enjoy. Green parks trough out the city are either green spaces found in the textures of the original cities which inspired Segue City One or they are results of gaps in the collision between different textures.
The five ports branching from the center of the city shown in Image 4.3 (below) beginning from the top right again and moving in a clockwise direction are the ports of Copenhagen, Hamburg, Rotterdam, Amsterdam and Le Havre. Each port reaches in the direction of its original onshore location. The form of each port reaching into the ocean is the inverse of the port as it exists today, this means that what before made up the channels, rivers and canals of the ports has now become the docks. Branches from the central transportation loop (described later) extend along the port docks allowing goods to be moved directly form trains and trucks to ships and vice versa.
Three large airports serve the city. These airports have been directly modeled after London Heathrow, Amsterdam International and Frankfurt International airports. The reason these three airports have been chosen is that their combined current flights per year equals what has been calculated as the number of flights per year needed to support the operations of Segue City One. These three airports will not only support goods and passengers to the city but will act as a hub, as the entrance and exit of most goods and passengers traveling between Europe and the rest of the world. Image 4.4 highlights the locations and orientations of the airports, from the top right moving clockwise, Amsterdam International, London Heathrow and Frankfurt International airports are depicted.
Image 4.5 shows all parts of the Segue City One collage. However, one more critical element of Segue City One is depicted in the video of the FormZ model. This video can be seen below or a clearer QuickTime video can be viewed here. The last major element of Segue City One is the rail/road loop. Below the surface of the city, a large loop connects all of the ports, airports and the urban areas of the city. This loop contains rail lines and roads that extend through arteries onto each port and airport. As described earlier, this allows goods to be quickly exchanged between ships, airplanes and the European rail/road network. A Chunnel system leaves the city on the west and east side leading to the mainland. The video describes how the transportation ring and its arteries operate beneath the city.