Could the Colorado Hyperloop be sustainable? A measure will be whether the C.H. has what is called the Triple Bottom Line. From an online course via FutureLearn on sustainability from The University of Bath.
The backbone of I-25 is broken. Millennials are wanting other methods of transportation, especially along the whole Colorado Front Range. In the future, new generations will want, use and live near diversified transit in cities that connect to other urban areas.
If the Colorado Hyperloop is built, it will be another positive factor to incentivize young people to move to the state. It will guarantee economic development along the WHOLE front range, not just in Denver or Jeffco. It also might help control city sprawl.
A New York Times Op-Ed by Vishaan Chakrabarti highlights planning positively for “urban mass transit” from one urban area to another for youths in the future. Below is his op-ed:
Cities like Colorado Springs and Boulder have had painful fights with suburban sprawl. The Colorado Hyperloop will refocus efforts to control Sprawl and improve economic development by linking urban areas. Just look at this 2000 article from the Colorado Springs Independent below, where we see the cost of suburban sprawl:
Questions of whether we should build a Colorado Hyperloop shouldn’t be a zero sum game.
If you don’t know what zero sum means in game theory, look at this video by President Clinton.
So lets imagine a future different from the past. Cars will forever be around. Rail will always be around. Hyperloop will be new, but it will show our interdependence on the other forms of transportation. A hyperloop will reveal that we are interdependent to each other as well.
Colorado relates to this important higher level of thinking because CDOT will be embarking on some major infrastructure projects that will affect people. The 9News report below shows that interdependence of other transportation links are important, but more so are the people and lives that these projects change.
The reason why we must avoid the racist highways/transit projects that divided our cities for years goes back to what Clinton was saying in the above video. We have to believe in interdependence and we have to believe that we will be better off when we work together. Below is the report related article from the 9News article:
We need a higher level of feeling and thinking. The Colorado Hyperloop would enable people to go along the whole front range, fast, unfettered and at very low cost for the masses. This would relate to another Elon Musk possible project:
@Shmizer1 unfettered certainly and at very low cost
Because its easy to make critiques at every new technological advancement, see the LED debate below, the Colorado Hyperloop would like to congratulate Gary Truesdale’s latest Hyperloop Efficiency Concept. The video below shows how he made a device that could reduce overall energy use of each hyperloop pod and tube sections by forcing air circulation in the Hyperloop system.
Good job Gary, keep up the innovations!
With innovations like the one above, the Colorado Hyperloop will be using the most energy efficient and lowest carbon renewable energy technology currently available. So it was interesting to read this Op-Ed in the New York Times about the recent Nobel Prize for the blue/white LED.
The winners, Shuji Nakamura, an American, and Isamu Akasaki and Hiroshi Amano, both from Japan, justly deserve their Nobel, and should be commended for creating a technology that produces the same amount of light with less energy.
But it would be a mistake to assume that LEDs will significantly reduce overall energy consumption.
The I.E.A. and I.P.C.C. estimate that the rebound could be over 50 percent globally. Recent estimates and case studies have suggested that in many energy-intensive sectors of developing economies, energy-saving technologies may backfire, meaning that increased energy consumption associated with lower energy costs because of higher efficiency may in fact result in higher energy consumption than there would have been withoutthose technologies.
That’s not a bad thing. Most people in the world, still struggling to achieve modern living standards, need to consume more energy, not less. Cheap LED and other more efficient energy technologies will be overwhelmingly positive for people and economies all over the world.
But LED and other ultraefficient lighting technologies are unlikely to reduce global energy consumption or reduce carbon emissions. If we are to make a serious dent in carbon emissions, there is no escaping the need to shift to cleaner sources of energy.
I agree. Determining whether new energy efficient technology increases overall energy demand is a mute point. The more people there are on the planet the more energy will be used. So we must use cleaner energy.
But this is having it both ways. They really need to make it clear that the formula is: efficiency gain vs cost (monetary and environmental).
For example, just as the individual LED is wonderful, more breakthroughs in lighting are just around the corner with OLEDS.
The next big thing in lighting could be glowing sheets that use half as much energy as an equivalent fluorescent fixture and can be laminated to walls or ceilings. The sheets will contain organic LEDs, or OLEDs—the same kind of technology used in some ultrathin TVs and smartphones.
OLEDs could be used in large sheets, because organic light-emitting molecules can be deposited over large surfaces. They also run cooler than LEDs, so they don’t require elaborate heat sinks, making a lighting structure simpler. OLED lighting is 10 to 100 times more expensive than conventional lighting, but as costs come down, it could eventually replace conventional fluorescent fixtures. MIT Technology Review
The LED Op-Ed writers are from The Breakthrough Institute, which produces a journal that focuses on many things but also on Renewables, Innovation Policy and something called EcoModernism. From their website:
Renewable energy technologies – including solar, wind, hydroelectric, and bioenergy – are essential tools in the path towards modern, low-carbon energy systems. But like all energy technologies, they have significant costs and impacts. Understanding their scalability and effects on the landscape will prove essential in crafting renewable energy innovation policy.
Economists have long recognized innovation’s central importance to economic growth, but have still not come to terms with the reality that “general-purpose” technologies like electricity, microchips, and the Internet often emerge from long-term public-private partnerships. And since no two technologies are exactly alike, case studies of successful innovation policy must be carefully analyzed to spur similar successes in the future.
Ecomodernism is a pragmatic philosophy motivated by the belief that we can protect beautiful, wild places at the same time as we ensure that the seven-going-on-ten billion people in the world can lead secure, free, and prosperous lives. Ecomodernists are optimistic about humanity’s ability to shape a better future – a “good Anthropocene.” TheBreakThrough.org
Anyway, they have a lot of smart people in that institute but they have yet to publish any findings on a future Hyperloop. Hopefully, the Colorado Hyperloop will be of interest to them.
Above is a very interesting video by the New York Times on the new 2nd Ave. Subway.
Key points that can be derived for the Colorado Hyperloop include alot of project finance but also good old human to human interaction.
Cities are difficult places when building transit lines
watch out for sewer, water, gas and even electrical lines.
Neighborhoods are impacted due to construction zones and often take a hit economically.
Density of people per square mile + daily ridership public transit = transportation system that makes the city exist.
New transportation will affect current offices, things will change, losses will be had by those who are in the path of the transportation project. The construction firm cannot give money nor cut taxes but must keep building.
Federal government will decide to invest in project.
Private companies and investment firms pool money.
Quick 7 year timeline unveiled.
Make sure neighborhood people have a voice
Actions must be taken to improve quality of life during construction.
Change hours of construction noise.
Encapsulate construction areas that produce dust.
Leave legacy of new Transit, but also legacy of less impact
Hyperloop will give freedom of people to go whenever they want, wherever they want along the front range.
It is apart of a video series called Living Cities. Another interesting video talks about whether New York City should update the bridges that feed the city.
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.
The morning commute to work or school is an experience that most of us would rather not have to do. In a car company sponsored post on the website Good.is, we learn that countries spend money (shock! Perhaps earned from taxes?!) on commuters for the infrastructure that they use!
The infographic that goes along with the article projects an increase in ridership (and walking and bikership) by 2030.
What if commuting on the hyperloop meant that you would get paid for your ride? If congestion gets so bad on roads and highways as well as above ground trains, the hyperloop would harness its energy efficient, fast and safe transportation to undercut the expensive, dirty and unsafe other transportation. Just check out the latest advertisement from the Colorado Hyperloop.
Just yesterday Mohamed El-Erian, on NPR On Point, talked about On Our Uncertain Economic Future. Some economic arguments for investing in infrastructure are at 13min.
Mainly he says there are lots of common agreement areas amongst citizens but the politicians in DC are too divided. This seems to be common theme.
I will be posting more on in the coming week on a course I took (but did not get a grade) on Financing and Investing in Infrastructure by Stefano Gatti. The focus of these posts will be what I learned on the course and how they can be applied on a hypothetical Colorado Hyperloop. Below is a video by Stefano Gatti that gives lots of info on what happens in infrastructure projects.