In Europe, Asia and much of the developed world, high speed rail is convenient and accessible. Whether for business or pleasure, travelers are served by an efficient and extensive rail network that connects passengers to the desired destination on time and with relatively little effort. Although these train systems can travel as fast as 350 kilometers per hour, speed is not the only important factor. Rail stations in Europe, for example, are an integral part of the historic urban fabric. These facilities are often perceived as civic destinations that play a fundamental role in the mobility system, providing a wide range of services for the larger collective; shopping, entertainment, commercial and civic uses are often paired with transit services as new stations are built and historic stations are retrofitted.
High Speed Rail: The Latest Architecture and News
The Singapore Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has selected KCAP Architects&Planners as the primary consultant to develop Singapore’s Jurong Lake District, leading a varied design team that includes SAA Architects, Arup, S333, and Lekker.
Submitting a dense, commercial mixed-use concept masterplan centered around a new high-speed rail (HSR) terminal in Singapore, the team’s intention was to facilitate the Jurong Lake District’s progress as a ‘district of the future’, as well as creating the country’s second Central Business District. Waterways and a variety of landscaped green spaces were also key components of the proposal, giving the area a striking identity.
Call for Proposals: High-speed Railway Transportation Hub and CBD in Central Gui’an New District, China
The Gui’an New District, the eighth National New Districts in China, is located between Guiyang City and Anshun City, Guizhou Province with a planned area of 1,795 km2. The District, committed to the goal of “creating a city with pastoral landscapes”, will be built into a new leading area in inland economic development, a pilot area for innovation and development, an agglomeration of high-end service industries, an international area for leisure, vacation and tourism and a leading area for the construction of ecological civilization. The planning of a comprehensive high-speed railway transportation hub and CBD in central Gui’an New District strives to build it into an important transportation hub and central business district. The Management Committee of Guizhou Guian New District and the Planning and Construction Bureau of The Management Committee of Guizhou Guian New District hereby publicly call for the proposals for the planning of such a transportation hub and CBD as required, sincerely inviting the participation of experienced and qualified design agencies worldwide.
Registration deadline for international teams is on July 10th, 2015. More details below:
California has broke ground on America’s first high-speed rail line in Fresno, six years after voters first approved an almost $10 billion bond act to fund the project. However, along with celebrations comes skepticism; according to an NPR report, fears of the project’s failure have risen due to the rail line only having a fifth of its funding and that its nearly three-hour journey will still take longer than a flight connecting Los Angeles to San Francisco. Despite this, supporters are optimistic that the line will be up and running by 2030. The state will be relying on private investment and revenue from the state’s greenhouse-gas fees to secure the remaining $55 billion needed to complete the $68 billion project.
This article originally appeared on Metropolis Magazine's Point of View Blog as "Q&A: Peter Calthorpe."
The titles of Peter Calthorpe’s books trace the recent history of urban design in its most vital and prescient manifestations, starting in 1986 with Sustainable Communities (with Sim Van der Ryn) and followed by The Regional City: Planning for the End of Sprawl (with Bill Fulton), The Next American Metropolis: Ecology, Community and the American Dream, and Urbanism in the Age of Climate Change.
A founding member of the Congress for the New Urbanism and a past winner of the Urban Land Institute’s prestigious J.C. Nichols Prize for Visionaries in Urban Development, the Berkeley-based architect and planner has been at the forefront of urban design for more than three decades. In recent years, in addition to his firm’s continuing work in the United States, Calthorpe Associates has increasingly turned his attention to a country urbanizing at a pace unprecedented in world history: China.
Japan, inventor of the world's first bullet train, recently unveiled plans for an even faster and more radical train model: a floating train, powered by magnets, that will travel 100 mph faster than current bullet trains (about 300 mph). The maglev train, standing for "magnetic levitation," will run between Tokyo and Osaka, an estimated distance of 315 miles, cost $64 billion, and be completed by 2045.
High-speed rail has already revolutionized national and international transportation in many parts of the world - for example, China has a maglev that already goes 270mph - and now high-speed is transitioning into hyper-speed. Last year, we reported that Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and co-founder of both PayPal and Tesla Motors, shared with the public his desire to patent a new mode of transportation - the “Hyperloop” that would get passengers from San Francisco to LA in only 30 minutes.
So what might the future hold for train travel? And, more importantly, how will it affect our cities and the people who live in them?
For more on the maglev train and the future of rail, read on.