Heijplaat has its own individual identity linked to but unique from Rotterdam. It was designed in 1913 on the garden village design of Hermann Ambrosius Jan Baanders. It was a serious attempt to provide decent housing and community facilities for dockworkers. It is a desirable and experimental place to live with concept houses, the quarantine buildings with the beach, artist’s house and a sustainable rhetoric.
The village of Heijplaat is resilient. Due to protest of 2032 concerning heritage and identity of Heijplaat, the village turned into a conservation area in 2034 and has not significantly changed since then. It is an example of a sustainability thinking they thought would save the world at that time. It has its place in the history of Dutch architecture and urban design as it transformed into a world heritage site.
The historical dock area around Heijplaat is concerned with storage and distribution of goods to the immediate area of Rotterdam and inland to central Europe. It functions through a combination of distribution techniques, but mostly through drones.
This area has developed significantly and its physical edges have changed significantly too. Many existing industrial buildings that have become disused in 2030 such as dry docks, warehouses, cranes, ships, etc. have been adapted for use, and other large buildings constructed and squatted.
In 2052 Rotterdam hosts Olympics and Cybolymics with most of the water sport events being hosted in Heijplaat, leaving a sport and recreational legacy. Most of the building have since been converted to other uses but the architectural residue of this global event is still visible. This event combined with Holland joining the Central European Democracy in 2049 lead to a huge influx of immigration to Rotterdam.
As the intensive surveillance drone scheme was introduced in 2051 for Olympic security, it forced squatters and migrant Olympic worker out of city centre. This lead to a move of these communities to Heijplaat in an effort to stay and settle in Rotterdam.
As people got increasingly worried about surveillance issues and lack of privacy, it lead to protests and a serious effort by authority to counteract and change public outlook regarding surveillance issues.
There is tension between the village and the port with the poorer surrounding dock area bordering the basins, where students, immigrants, and robot workers live. It was initially a squatting slump but due to pillarization issues, divided communities and high immigration levels it was decriminalised in 2070.
Many of the residents of Heijplaat now work at RDM in research and education. RDM Rotterdam is the hotspot for innovation and is a national centre of excellence for innovation in storage and distribution of good. RDM’s key breakthrough was a development in artificial intelligence that accurately predicts humans needs and has developed algorithms to organise human life.
Another significant turn in the history of Heijplaat is that in 2027 RDM converted nearby warehouse into VR research centre leading to collaboration with a independent company in 2029 to create office for the VR control of wider port area. In 2032 VR office complex was planned to house 3000 workers who remotely operate machinery, containerships.
RDM’s network spread globally and now controls 20% of the movement of the world’s commodities through its swarm-based long distance surveillance, navigation, prediction and control technologies. This is the second largest such company in the world, after Elon Musk III’s South Africa-based PrediCon, with which RDM is in severe competition to control global commodity prediction, production and distribution.
We are at a point in time when it’s ambiguous as to whether the robots are developing a conscience or not, as the algorithms used to predict and fulfil human needs have become so accurate and prescient that they seem to know humans better than the humans themselves. The humans are therefore suspicious of the robots and their artificial intelligence – they have up until now been treated as merely slaves.
Whether or not the robots have developed a type of human consciousness, they certainly have a different form of consciousness and the villagers suspect they have become ‘organised’.
Thereis an ongoing debate in society. A new religion of Post-humanism is emerging. They have therefore displaced immigrants as the ‘other’ to be afraid of and asks us to questions what it really means to be human.