XChange Architects examining the past, present and future of Airport Autonomy at the 2018 Future of Transportation World Conference

XChange’s Derrick Choi is returning to Germany this summer to participate in the 2nd Annual Future of Transportation World Conference in Cologne.  Derrick will be discussing the impact of disruptive urban mobility on airport systems and the cities they serve.  His Day 1 topic – “Terminal Autonomy: Future-Proofing Airports for Turbulent Technological, Regulatory and Market Skies Ahead” – will be presented in the Urban Mobility and Smart Cities conference stream on Tuesday afternoon, 19 June 2018 at the Köln Messe.


Derrick is also reprising his moderator role at the conference’s Urban Mobility and Smart Cities conference stream; leading a round table discussion on Day 1 that revisits some of the livelier debates from last year’s inaugural conference.  The topics include debating the biggest mobility challenges facing cities of the future. The discussions will focus on whether and how can cities effectively collaborate with mobility providers in realizing more seamless, practical and economically-viable transportation systems that yield mutually beneficial outcomes.

URBAN CONSTELLATIONS: re-assessing the Airport and its Metro-Region

CHOI - Aerial Futures NYC

Image copyright XChange Architects

XChange’s Derrick Choi participated as a respondent at the URBAN CONSTELLATIONS Think Tank hosted by Aerial Futures from 05-06 April, 2018 at NewLab in the revitalized Brooklyn Navy Yard.

In response to one of the key discussion questions posed at the conference –  Multiple-airport cities present new challenges for passengers and urban dwellers…The fragmentation of airports in a single city, frequently owned and operated by different governing bodies, can lead to unpredictable and even confusing experiences.  How should we rethink the multiple-airport city more holistically?  –  Derrick shared some of XChange Architects’ ongoing research on the potential of airport systems in congested, large metro-regions to reappropriate extant infrastructure and civic spaces as virtual extensions of the airport network – effectively providing airports a set of operational “tentacles” in city centers to literally connect with passengers miles and hours before they set foot in the terminal building. As many airport functions are increasingly virtual and optimized – resulting in dramatic reductions in conventional space needs – imagine airports processing passenger checked baggage in urban centers and other alternative, off-airport locales, as illustrated in the renderings above that reimagine iconic urban spaces and infrastructure being repurposed as airport check-in facilities.  While this is a commonly accepted global practice, here in the United States, there remains considerable operational, jurisdictional, regulatory and cost-sharing complexities that can render some of the most simple ideas unachievable from the moment that are conceived. Surely, we can do better in our major U.S. urban centers.

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Think Tank proceedings at NewLab.  Image courtesy Aerial Futures

The day-long Think Tank sessions, highlighted by thought-provoking “impulse talks” by Mitchell Joachim of Terraform One and Campbell Hyers of Intersection remind us that the enhancement of the Airport’s relationship to its complex urban ecology can no longer be reliant on the physical solution alone; rather it must recognize that the passenger journey – and by extension, the “airport experience” – has been radically expanded from one’s door way to the jetway. Accordingly, a completely new set of expectations, standards and systems are emerging – leveraging atypical solutions, different perspectives and “out-of-the-industry” thinking to help deliver tomorrow’s airport systems.