View Full Version : Transportation
24th-September-2008, 07:22 PM
Cities are becoming so crowded with cars that its ridiculous, some are barely functional because of it. What is the future of the "getting from point A to point B" problem?
Some new kind of vehicle? Public transportation only? Copletely different arquitectonical schemes that make them useless? (Like one-building cities).
Lets make some futurology :D
24th-September-2008, 07:39 PM
We could take a pointer from futurama and get some of those tubes that shoot people around:D
Some nerd actually explained the entire process here (http://www.gotfuturama.com/Information/Encyc-92-Tube_Transport_System/)
In reality, I'm sure that would never work.
24th-September-2008, 07:51 PM
In reality, I'm sure that would never work.
Don't speak too hastily...
24th-September-2008, 08:57 PM
I've always thought cities needed a radical overhaul in terms of how they are planned and laid out. Centalizing in districts functions like Government & Utilities, Entertainment & Recreation (including most but not all restaraunts), Industry (perhaps 2 districts for industry) and Housing (which will probably have to have multiple districts).
Public transportation should be more streamlined to cover certain groups of districts based on geography along with one central line making it so that no more than 2 changes of trains is needed to get from any point A to any point B. It would help to encourage the use of public transportation by restricting personal transportation from most districts except for housing.
Basically my idea would be to have large parking facilities at the access points from housing districts to eliminate congestion in the other districts.
Kind of silly I know as it would require the cooperation of the citizenry which is unrealistic. Too many people have illogical attachments to their cars for one thing. It would also require adjustments to lifestyle that most people would be unwilling to make.
24th-September-2008, 11:15 PM
Centalizing in districts functions like Government & Utilities, Entertainment & Recreation (including most but not all restaraunts), Industry (perhaps 2 districts for industry) and Housing (which will probably have to have multiple districts).
Uhm. That would be such a huge step backwards. You are describing one of the 2 great urban failures of the 20th century: zoning. (The other being low density suburbs).
I don't think any new kind of vehicle will solve our issues. It will definitely be mass transportation, although applied in improved ways than what we have today. (eg, bicing (http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/01/the_th_intervie_28.php), or porticoed sidewalks on places where the sun is harsh, or maglev subways so when above ground they're not noisy and so they don't depress the surrounding areas). Personal vehicles are just too wasteful to produce, maintain, and store (personal vehicles spend the majority of their lifetime stored away in a hideous parking lot, not being used.... so much waste of space and resources!), creating traffic jams everywhere as well...
Of course personal transportation will never go away while there are suburbs; most people that live in denser urban areas are willing to use a good public transportation system, only the suburbanites are stalwart in their attachment to cars. Suburbs need not only to be abolished, but also abandonded.
If it were onto me, I would definitely build extensive subways, bring back trams where subways are too cost-prohibitive, and create exclusive lane for buses, and pedestrianize everything else. Imagine if the streets of New York were all pedestrianized! Life in cities was like that before cars, it can become so once again... it is absurd that people get 5 meters of sidewalk to circulate, while cars get 15 or more...
Of course... we can dream! :o
And in that vein, let's (retro) futurise! Definitely there should be small scale "new cities" built as experimental pilots for distinct future-forward urban ideas. Arcologies (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arcology) seem interesting, but such a structure requires total design (meaning no future flexibility to grow or fix mistakes), and huge up-front construction costs which means they are never going to happen.
The true way for future cities (IMO) is an updated and greened version of what was proposed by Archigram (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archigram) and the Japanese Metabolists (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metabolist_Movement) of the 1960s. A large but modular "Megastructure", serves as the framework onto which capsules can be inserted and removed, combined and connected in any way imaginable, and crisscrossed by trains, escalators and elevators.
This all goes back to Le Corbusier's plan for Algiers, where a Highway becomes somewhat like shelves where the buildings are like books, free to have any design, but always inserted into the larger structure. (http://cu-megablog.blogspot.com/2006/08/le-corbusier-algiers-plans-1931-1942.html) His formulation of architecture as a "machine for living in" was inspired by submarines, transatlantic cruise ships and oil rigs, as well as the visionary drawings of Antonio Sant'Elia (1914) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonio_Sant%27Elia), though precedents for the megastructure can be found in places like Florence's Ponte Vecchio or the London Bridge... indeed many medieval bridges had houses on top of them.
Now there are several "examples" of the proposed megastructures. There were lots of theoretical projects, but few built as intended, and many of the small scale built ones have been destroyed or are in process of being destroyed...
We could talk about Peter Cook's Plug-In City (http://archigram.net/projects_pages/plug_in_city.html), which even though it was always an utopian vision, saw at least a conceptual nod with projects such as Kisho Kurokawa's Nakagin Capsule Tower (http://www.kisho.co.jp/page.php/209) (To be demolished :mad:), or his Sony Tower (http://www.kisho.co.jp/page.php/205) in Osaka (http://www.japan-photo.de/e-mo-j10-03.htm) (demolished), and an outright revival with Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano's Centre Pompidou (http://www.richardrogers.co.uk/work/selected_works/centre_pompidou/conception) (greatest architect website ever!... explains the design process, special considerations and basic concept, and has tons of plans, diagrams, photos.. I love it :D)
Of "bridge" megastructures there are many projects by Kenzo Tange and Arata Isozaki
such as this one (http://www.GreatBuildings.com/buildings/Fuji_Broadcasting_Center.html), or this one (http://cu-megablog.blogspot.com/2006/08/plan-for-tokyo-1960.html), or this one (http://www.japan-photo.de/e-mo-j19-17.htm). (Arrg the Internet is no good for architecture references... there's practically no good photos or info at all.. :()
Unfortunately, most of these visionary projects were not at all liked at their time, and the ugly head of late post-modernism practically gave a death blow to visionary modern architecture, one which we are just starting to recover from... If that was possible in the 70s, then how is it that 40 years later we are not using our superior technologies and knowledge to create amazing cities?
27th-September-2008, 02:17 PM
Answer 1) less journeys.
Entirely possible with technology that makes it easy to work from home, and the cultural shift that means such types of jobs are an increasingly large percentage of the work available.
2) depopulate cities, or rather decentralise them.
More numerous but smaller commercial centres.
3)make centres free of personal vehicles.
Restore the serenity of the foot journey within the central blocks of any town/city. I think it's been tried somewhere - but I can't remember for sure - that the council or some such just provided loads of bicycles. There were bike racks all over the place and the idea was that you could grab one and then leave it at the other end of your journey. Maybe I'm making that up.
Anyways, bicycles, skateboards, blades, rickshaws ;) could all be encouraged. Has anyone perfected the moving pavement yet?
The car has become such a sacred object to many of us, that for an alternative to be acceptable it would have to preserve the things about the car journey that make it so addictive.
What is the car? Personal space. Personal armour. An extension of self. A security blanket. A piece of our personal world. A statement of identity.
Yeah, I think cars are great big security blankets and weaning us off them is going to cause a good deal of screaming and fear. Without that chrome bumper between us and the next guy, we're vulnerable. Heck, without my car I couldn't talk to myself nearly as much as I do in public.
27th-September-2008, 02:29 PM
I think it's been tried somewhere - but I can't remember for sure - that the council or some such just provided loads of bicycles. There were bike racks all over the place and the idea was that you could grab one and then leave it at the other end of your journey. Maybe I'm making that up.
No, you are not. In fact something like that is planned to be implemented here, you pay a small monthy fee and you can use the bicycles freely. Sounds great.
Good point about the cars. Maybe the feeling could be emulated with small "personal" public transport, like up to 4 people individual wagons where you select the destination and it itakes you there automatically. I know some people enjoy driving, but many would apreciate the free time to read the newspaper on their way to work, etc. The advantage is that since they are automatic they can move much more efficiently, safely and closer to one another.
28th-September-2008, 01:57 PM
Puts a whole new spin on the term "village bike" ;).
I'd like to see more special cycle ways - the combination of pedestrians, cars and bicycles can be dangerous. Perhaps elevated cycle paths?
For that matter, why couldn't we have elevated conveyor paths? Could be rather elegant if designed well.
The pod cars in the link Decaf posted would go a fair way to maintaining the psychological benefits of private car travel. I just wonder if we're going to have to adjust to traveling less.
28th-September-2008, 04:05 PM
Quantum Teleportation (http://www.cco.caltech.edu/~qoptics/teleport.html) - the idea of using this to transport people is touched on quite nicely (with references to actual science behind it) in Michael Crichtons "Timeline" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_(novel)) although in the book they find that it could also be used to transport people to other universes by sending the information through "holes" in the quantum foam. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_foam)
In quantum teleportation, an unknown quantum state is faithfully transferred from a sender (Alice) to a receiver (Bob). To perform the teleportation, Alice and Bob must have a classical communication channel and must also share quantum entanglement -- in the protocol we employ*, each possesses one half of a two-particle entangled state. Alice makes an appropriate projective measurement (Bell measurement) of the unknown state together with her component of the shared entangled state. The result of this measurement is a random piece of classical information which Alice sends to Bob over their classical communication channel. Bob uses this information to choose a unitary transformation which he performs on his component of the shared entangled state, thus transforming it into an output state identical to the original (unknown) input. Notice that the input state is destroyed by Alice's projective measurement, so that teleportation does not result in "cloning" of a quantum state.
29th-September-2008, 01:56 PM
As I understood entanglement, it was the sharing of a quantum state between two non-contiguous what-evers ('scuse my stunning grasp of the proper language), such that any change of state wrought on one also occurred perfectly to the other. Like perfect quantum twins, always sharing the same state regardless of where they are in space.
By applying that to teleporting humans are you suggesting that a distant quantity of matter is entangled to any given human, in effect twinning them, then that the created twin in it's distant location is retained while the original is destroyed? That all that actually 'moves' is the record of my quantum state, used to create a new me from different but entangled matter at the target destination?
Sorry if I'm being dense, but I'd like a deeper explanation of the process.
(Only, I always wanted a matter transporter and everyone in that other thread said it wasn't possible :(. )
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