Hover: The next infrastructure
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The hovering/flying car has been an American fantasy for over 100 years. Built examples such as Glenn Curtiss' 1917 Autoplane date to the turn of the 20th century when both the automobile and the airplane were in their infancy. The airplane has become the accepted method of long-distance and often multiple-passenger travel and has been banished to the outskirts of our city centers; the earth-bound automobile has come to serve as the accepted method of personal transportation over relatively short distances, and has also been given a great deal of agency in shaping our cities and our lives. A hybrid of these two vehicles, though fantasized about for so long and by many prominent people in both the aircraft and automobile industries, has never been successfully mass produced, nor have the consequences of the use of such a vehicle been seriously considered. In this thesis, I propose to begin constructing an image of a future including Hover-space within the city based upon an analysis of the relationship between hover-vehicles and their respective urban spaces, and to use this proposed urban fiction to speculate on the consequences of this new spatial dynamic. The question of the Hover-car is less about the vehicle itself than what the widespread use of such a vehicle might do to our built environment and way of life. Several recent technological developments and industrial experiments suggest that the vehicle we have imagined for over 100 years may finally have a place in our world. The question of what we can make hover, and how soon, continues to haunt us. While the future of this vehicle is still `up in the air' serves as the perfect time to begin asking questions about what it means for the future of how we move and the way we build. We still dream of severing our life-long tether to the Earth. This project attempts to explore the space within the city which hover-cars might begin to occupy given the current trajectory of advancing technologies and evolving transportation systems. By looking at historical developments concerning vehicle technology, prominent future projections from the past, and both film and written science fiction creations, HOVER ultimately aims to detail the many opportunities that arise from these future vehicles being introduced into our cities, and by which our cities may begin to adapt in return. I hope to clarify a likely evolution from the vehicles we use today and the cities in which they might exist.