Tuesday 20 February 2018


Will there be a time in the future when transportation is not subsidized? One might declare that every person has the right to free adequate, safe, comfortable and hygienic travel mobility. This could be achieved dependent on acceptance of a single transportation technological standard that operates from villages, towns, or individual cities, as well as, on a metropolitan, national and international scale for infrastructure development.

Such a transportation goal will cause a global revolution in future urban planning as a viable and sustainable living urban model. Spatial shaping of enclosures for man’s habitation activities will follow in response to such a mobility implementation in many unique ways.

Wealth is still created faster by following a safe and longer-term energy resource development. A design collaboration in all “thinking” disciplines must therefore be forced to create electrical power as a priority to serve and sustain the expected future populations demands. Accepting and sustaining immigration together with normalized internal population growth must follow common sense decision-making. If the story of the times is toward concentrated cities as safe harbors for life, the message for the next generation therefore must aspire to a different urban world.

Tallinn City in Estonia has attempted to allow 430,000 residents to ride transit for a €2 sign up fee while tourists pay a €1.60 fare. Analysis of ridership versus traffic congestion is down 14%. Traffic however has not improved, although ridership in high unemployment neighborhoods was up 10%. Tallinn’s trams and buses are subsidized to the tune of 96%. London’s fares cover 85% of the operational costs. All American transportation is subsidized. This must end if one desires free travel to destinations near and far in the future.

What if a new Starkore HSGTD system offers a choice to own, lease or rent a lightweight electric powered two person vehicle to traverse on streets in normal atmosphere with the capability of accepting a wheel chair? This mixed-use vehicle can then pass into a capsule through an air lock into an air-evacuated tube to be lifted onto a magnetic levitation track. A small amount of energy can then accelerate this lightweight object to the programmed speeds of between 300 – 4,000mph to reach destinations. In addition if one walks to the portals, pedestrian access is given to enter a six seat capsule to efficiently and affordably be swiftly transported intracity and intercity in the networks of tube ways. Goods can likewise be transported in a similar manner. This design is defined as a mixed-use transportation system.

Why would anyone want to be an urban designer? The word architect and it’s meaning has changed since mediaeval times. The public at large thinks an architect is a designer, originator, draftsperson, planner, engineer, builder, building designer, creator and computer system designer. Architects of course are split as to what their roles in society should be. God forbid they should be in any way a kind of activist!

Brillembourg and Klumpner’s of U-TT, Himmelb (l) au, Lebbeus Woods, Peter Eisenman, Bernard Tschumi, John Turner, Charles Jencks, Archigram and the Japanese Metabolists, Alejandro Aravena, Teddy Cruz, Zaha Hadid amongst the “star” architects who all have manifestos of beliefs and opinions, have come under attack by the media and the corporate-politbureau. Try, as they will to demonstrate that the public believes architects have more power than they actually do, and expectations for them to perform a larger social role, has convinced some Architects to act accordingly and some in the majority who will not aspire to be a rebel.  The role of the client is not however under scrutiny, but maybe it should be.

The definition of an urban designer is a role that requires a very specific combination of highly developed technical skills, equally well-developed people skills, indicating that one should see and grasp the big picture all wrapped up in a desire to be an instrument of change. Competences in the constant intellectual challenge of abstract high level, long-term strategic thinking one moment and very operational, concrete and detailed thinking the next, is what makes urban design a challenge. Problem-solving on a large scale, is a struggle to add a line of people and technology to accomplish the mixture of future goals.  The urban designers position is to have a real impact on the quality and usefulness solutions for the business of city design. The urban design team is founded to simultaneously address the multiple concerns of business, the uses, function and form frameworks, the state of technology, and the continuous need for innovation and lower costs, all the while providing more robust and more reliable solutions.

Until the flows of individual and collective mobility freedom for people and goods is designed collaboratively with inventors, engineers and transportation planners, the status quo of cities worldwide will be thwarted not only by subsidies, nonetheless with an inability to serve future settlement citizens adequately. How one advances a city design team journey and where that unpredictable path takes one in satisfying the flows of people and goods, is the business of an urban designer.

Graham Kaye-Eddie

M.U.D.               9/24/14               836 words

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