Watch a couple of minutes of this presentation to see how the project has come about:
Modularness is the main point, but the whole project is driven by the developer/maker community.
There are plenty of themes that the Colorado Hyperloop can use for its development. But in reality, in order for the Hyperloop to be built along the front range, it will truly have to be developed in conjunction with community input. The tube and loop system should be as modular and customizable as possible.
The wider community facilities development and that is why the hyperloop should demonstrate different modular designs.
Model both as a toy and as a way of doing things. The high speed rail of China and its universal development in all corners of its country is a model that the Colorado Hyperloop could copy. But before we wholeheartedly take its at face value lets look at some current news on why they build these system:
So it is a tool of energy production and extraction and social hegemony. The United States did the same in its history. But the Colorado Hyperloop might seem to initially be a human transport system only. In reality it will be a human transportation vehicle but also will be a energy (with solar panels along the top of the Hyperloop tubes) and quite possibly a efficient material transportation system similar to the paper delivery tubes at banks.
Another development besides above ground trains from Shanghai to London is the incredible subway of Beijing.
The Denver Business Journal does not normally post things that might touch on Human-Centered Design but today they relayed the findings from a University of Colorado Denver paper that walkable cities make for healthier citizens. The study goes more into how the physical streets (not really sidewalks) have been designed, networked and planned over time and how that determines whether they have “good public health”. From the Denver Business Journal:
Good job CU Denver Department of Civil Engineering!
The news story is similar to the Colorado Hyperloop poston NASA monitoring the air quality above Colorado. But it ties those kind of findings with a Danish way of life. Specifically, how to make healthy cities by Jan Hehl:
Having a hyperloop station in the most densely populated areas with best pedestrian and public transport access would be ideal. Im just not sure how that would work though… but thats why we need to start thinking big.
But lets end on a high note. Read the excellent post on the Gehl Architects blog by Sustainia’s Fabijana Popovic:
Important development with Google wanting to develop and deploy more driverless cars. I dont believe it will negatively effect the use of the hyperloop. It may even bolster it as the hyperloop will be for long distance travel, but the short leg to and from the hyperloop station will be with the battery powered driverless cars. As with the hyperloop, everything about the cars will be automated, as the BBC reports.
The development of other technology will key to the hyperloops eventual adoption. Even if the “other” technology is point to point, rapid, efficient, driverless transit machines (cars, airplanes, boats, helicopters/segways….).
The title of this post is Controlling the Colorado Hyperloop Environment.
Yes, controlling is a strong word. Does it mean physically or politically?
Also, environment means many different things. Is that social, or weather related?For a large transportation project that stretches miles over the horizon, the role of the environment (weather and politically) is critical to system stability.
Lets focus on Mother Nature. The hyperloop will be covered in a weather/waterproof cement like tube. These will be the main controlling factor to the environment inside the tubes. Other innovative systems are also trying to control the environment. Take for example a article on NextCity.org about MIT’s CityFarm.
So a closed environment is good idea especially if you are trying to do certain, specific things.
Now lets talk about the political and city environment. When the hyperloop is built it will lead to a shift in citizens expectations. Controlling such an environment will not be easy, nor should it be controlled. Another NextCity.org article had some good thoughts on how the change in the potical environment of cities due to a Hyperloop:
How to keep the users of the Colorado Hyperloop happy? Fix things that people complain about! The Denver Post article describing how RTD had more complaints this last year than the year before is enlightening.
People mainly complained about the timeliness of the buses and also bus drivers being discourteous.
In order for the Hyperloop to be working efficiently, timeliness has to be fixed. It has to be better than Swiss, Germans or Japanese trains.
Security and personal problems will always arise with a massive transit system. Luckily there will be no drivers of the hyperloop as it be controlled by computers. Hopefully, the Colorado Hyperloop will be a model to other public transportation systems with the lowest number of complaints.
Finally, RTD and the Colorado Hyperloop will need to keep users with disabilities at the forefront of their customer service.
Bruce Abel, RTD assistant general manager, told the board the agency recently reached an out-of-court settlement with the Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition, over access issues on RTD buses. RTD drivers will now be more stringent about not allowing passengers with strollers or carry-on bags into wheelchair access areas in trains and buses, Abel said.