Taking Advantage of Rising Sea Levels: Schoonschip, a Circular Smart Community that Floats

Erin Tallman
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The unique floating residential area called Schoonschip Amsterdam by Space&Matter is currently under construction and scheduled to be completed this year. In addition, 3D Digital Twin modeling will enable the open-source Schoonschip concept to be adapted for large-scale use.

The initiators of Schoonschip commissioned Space&Matter to develop a smart urban plan as far back as 2011; Ten years later and we’re soon to see the completion of this sustainable, floating residential project with decentralized and renewable solutions to water, energy and waste systems.

The project consists of 30 water plots in total with boathouses with half of the boats shared by two families. Space&Matter designed two of the floating houses, the last of which will be completed in 2021.

What makes this community unique is that each resident designed their own home alongside an architect of their choice. This creates a diversity of materials, styles and building types in the neighborhood. A team of multi-disciplinary consultants and the inhabitants Space&Matter designed the urban plan, the plot passports and a smart jetty, which connects each house with the neighborhood, and with the necessary technical infrastructures, they need.

Schoonschip includes solar panels connected to a smart grid where residents can trade energy, submersed heat exchangers for heating and cooling, a green roof for vegetation and collecting rainwater, and water treatment technologies used to (re)collect energy and nutrients from wastewater.

Residents have agreed to renounce their personal cars and instead share electric cars together. The ‘smart jetty’ that connects all houses serves as a pavement and meeting place for the neighbors.

Schoonschip is open source. VvE Schoonschip aspires to a role as frontrunner and pioneer: a breeding ground for the latest sustainable techniques and solutions. To achieve this, the association cooperates with innovative companies and shares its experiences.

Cityzenith, for example, is putting together a Digital Twin platform of the Schoonschip concept so that it can be adapted for large-scale use.

The rise in the number of city dwellers over the years has pushed for rapid innovation in urban housing solutions. The Schoonschip concept could be a response for cities, like Jakarta with 10.5 million inhabitants, whose only answer to rising sea levels at the moment is evacuation.

This is why Cityzenith is donating its Digital Twin platform, SmartWorldPro2, to key cities around the world, to help the most polluted urban centers become carbon neutral.

“Climate Change threatens the existence of coastal cities, but Digital Twin software can ensure infrastructure efficiency, minimize emissions, and most importantly, simulate cities on the water to ensure they can survive and thrive in adverse conditions,” stated Cityzenith CEO Michael Jansen in a press release.

Schoonschip Amsterdam.
Schoonschip Amsterdam.

Screenshot of the open source platform.

Associated projects