Subways and highways are so twentieth century.
is a flyway for the future.
infiniteTransit is a transportation framework operating at a speed of 130 mph (200kh) and maintaining approximately ten miles (16km) between stations. It represents the Level 5 network as described by the Kid Cities mechanism for managing metropolises.
infiniteTransit provides efficient transportation at the level of the twenty-first-century metropolis. Beyond city-scaled subway systems and interstate highway systems, Level 5 transportation connects amenity-saturated urban activity centers within minutes. An infiniteTransit framework avoids dead-end, segregated experiences of traditional subway lines, with intersecting infinite loops that inclusively intertwine people living in a metropolis.
Cities existed for millenniums with only three levels of transit: walking speed, animal-assisted speed, and waterway speeds. In the last 100 years, transportation technologies expanded to include seven levels of transportation with air travel connecting continents. Building places at these seven levels correspond exceedingly well with good governance practices.
In the 1880s street congestion restricted the density of growing industrial cities. Subways increased the capacity of traffic, enabling buildings to expand vertically. Similarly, after steam power, the automobile continued sprawl, adding the Level 4 type transportation. Level 4 cities became Level 5 metropolises with the rapid expansion of Level 7 air travel in the 1960s.
The dense urban core of cities was absorbed by chaotic overlays of transportation networks at Levels 1, 2, 3, 4, and 7. Frequently overlapping municipal jurisdictions added to the difficulties of managing a metropolis. These metropolis-wide networks, dependent upon the automobile at all levels of transit, negatively impacted pedestrian environments and siloed socio-economic groups into stagnant endpoints of urban transit "lines."
Portland, Oregon a fast-growing population under 3 million residents, crystalizes the basic idea: three overlapping figure 8 or infinity symbol (∞) train loops, link three stations at the metropolis core with perimeter cities and airport. Each infinite loop connects four perimeter nodes with the core of the metropolis.
Modern rail systems can be beautifully quiet, with minimal disturbances below them, unlike nineteenth-century cast iron elevated steam train lines.
Unlike subway lines, the infiniteTransit flyway is far above grade, affording views and understanding of the metropolis, in its landscape, for all riders.
The infiniteTransit flyway brings a Level 5 transportation system to the twenty-first-century metropolis. Carefully, it connects pedestrian-friendly, economically sustainable, places for people of all ages across the metropolis.
Financing for infiniteTransit requires a combination of private and public policies and funding. Using an open process which exchanges publicly donated Right-of-Way access, for construction and operation of a the infiniteTransit system, Corporations bid for the rights to build and operate the system for some duration. Municipalities secure citizen approvals before any risk by the corporations. The strategy prevents singular land-owners from obstructing the construction of the collectively-valued, infiniteTransit system.
Chicago, Illinois is economically being strangled by its metropolis-wide congestion. Its historically defined transportation hub, the Loop, generating a recognizable image both symbolically and unintentionally contributed to its success. As 20th-century growth propelled the world onward, unfortunately, Chicago sprawled beyond its old transit technology. Now caught in a cycle of congestion, with old transit systems too slow for 21st-century commerce and lifestyles, reducing economic vitality and the population itself.
Optimism generated by the construction of infiniteTransit in metropolitan Chicago would likely end currently shrinking population and return the area to population growth. A new more complex metropolis-wide infiniteTransit system would invigorate the economy and jump-start
Chicago's innovative product design and development industries.
Increased economic opportunities and long-term tax schemes provide some of the funding for the infiniteTransit flyway. Within 5000-foot radius (1.25km) of new stations Zoning Regulations are repealed and replaced with mechanisms designed to maintain economic vitality. We envision at a minimum of one 40 story building within 1000’ radius of a station. Eliminating building density restrictions along with existing zoning systems in the urban core accommodates more desirable pedestrian amenities near infiniteTransit stations.
Animate completed this analysis of density and transportation levels for intra-city transit systems in Shanghai, Portland and Florence Italy to make this comparison. Of particular note is that to achieve the same density as Shanghai, Florence has no trees, no subway, and is limited to 1 mile, walkable radius. And curiously the expansive Portland metropolitan area, including many farms, is about the same amount of land area as Shanghai.
What's great about new technology is the ability to build beautiful tracks above ground that do not interfere with activities below. The replacement Morandi Bridge at the Polcevera Viaduct "will literally be a shining beacon, as it’s expected to reflect sunlight during the day and use stored solar energy to power its lights at night." And what's more, infiniteTransit rail tracks do not need lighting and are notably narrower than this highway bridge, reducing the impact at night to urban neighborhoods below and around the infiniteTransit loops.
View of the new bridge from below (Courtesy Renzo Piano Building Workshop)
Seattle, Washington is economically thriving in some silos, and stagnant in others, with metropolis-wide congestion preventing cross-fertilization. Its naturally defined port facilities, generating a recognizable image both symbolically and unintentionally contributed to its success. As 20th-century growth propelled the world onward, Seattle sprawled into information technology businesses, less dependant on industrial scaled water access. Now caught in a cycle of congestion and massive growth, Seattle is looking for new ways to accommodate healthy lifestyles.
Construction of the infiniteTransit flyway in Seattle-Tacoma-Everett would promote a more diverse economy and create naturally family-friendly, live-work lifestyles. Reduced travel times make living, working, playing and learning a joy– including stops for other passengers, travel between Tacoma and Everett takes less than 30 minutes.
Seattle's Phase I layout shown below connects essential points that will be extended into three lines in the future.
What about your city?
Animate is looking to work with any metropolis with more than 3 million residents. Houston, Detroit, Boston, New York, Los Angeles, are current possibilities. What we find interesting is that each city has different reasons why infiniteTransit will contribute to sustainable development.