Chicago O’Hare Airport – Vision on Sustainable Airport & City Integration in 2075
According to the United Nations, congestion and pollution are among the most critical issues faced by cities around the world. This vision for Chicago O’Hare International Airport is based on the conviction that sustainability is not only about the direct environmental measures, it is also about how we use our infrastructure. This is achieved by working with a design philosophy based on ‘reducing space by combining functions’.
Architects: Infrastructure Vision
The proposed future O’Hare airport structure entails an airport which will serve as a city bridge (1) in addition to its functions as an airport terminal (2). By redefining the airport role, O’Hare will enable optimal use of scarce space, typical for future cities where airports are circumvented by urbanisation.
With regard to the future mobility features, first of all, the security process will be performed on the subway, simultaneously while commuting towards the airport. Previously, travelling towards the airfield as well as queueing for security were both ‘waste’ and required a considerable number of square meters and time. Now, security offsite means no checkpoints are required at the airport and passengers save time, since both processes are performed simultaneously.
Secondly, processes such as check-in can be completely removed from the itinerary due to automatic check-in by the airline, which for the terminal implies no more check-in area is required.
Moreover, the waiting function of the gates will be shifted towards the panorama roof and retail. In this way, an area previously unused (the terminal roof) can now be used, reducing the building footprint while passengers enjoy stunning airside views.
In addition to the design which reduces environmental impact, more direct sustainability measures are also in place to enhance the concept.
A rotating turntable aircraft parking stand has been devised which rotates the aircraft into the correct position for taxiing after the turnaround has been completed, no longer requiring a pushback procedure, reducing pollution and airside congestions.
Finally, terminal wise, the upper part of the bridge pillars also serve as ‘solar towers’, generating electricity. Given the future horizon (2075), this could also be used to charge the electric aircraft during the turnaround process. This again has been based on the vision of combining functions for infrastructure.