A hyperloop system has the potential to change the way we live and will have a great impact on the planning and development of cities.
Hyperloop is a new form of transportation that combines the cargo-carrying capacity of shipping with the speed of flight, the energy efficiency of rail and the individual freedom of the private car. With speeds up to 1,200 km/h, city planning post-Hyperloop can occur in greater distances from the city centres and closer to the surrounding landscape qualities.
Author Peter Newman41 uses “Marchetti’s constant” to argue for a limit to sustainable urban planning and transportation, where the average time spent getting to and from work is 60 minutes. The constant has proven to be a reliable way of understanding the growth of cities. Hence, most North American cities, and European cities like London and Paris, have been following this constant closely throughout history.
The Hyperloop greatly expands the potential city-border reach, to a theoretical radius of 500 to 600 km. Neighbouring cities become one, capitals merge into commercial mega hubs reaching across country borders and the continent becomes so small that distance becomes insignificant.
Dubai to Abu Dhabi in 12 minutes, San Francisco to Los Angeles in 32 minutes, Stockholm to Helsinki in 27 minutes. The perception of distances and travel time between cities shrinks and becomes irrelevant, which will greatly affect our choice of work and the place we call home.
With a new means of transportation comes the possibility of shaping and redefining the current travel experience, forcing some important questions.
Can the Hyperloop eliminate waiting time at check-in, before boarding, before departure and at arrival? Can the Hyperloop solve the “last mile problem”42 and bring passengers directly from A to B without changing modes of transportation? And what is the shape, the form and the experience of the Hyperloop system?
“If someone asked you the question, “How do you get from here to there, what do you say?” Which feature do you mention first – packing yourself into a crowded compartment, leaving at their convenience, arriving two hours early to sit and wait, excessive pollution? Like an artist with a blank canvas, we sought to completely redefine transport. We don’t sell cars, boats, trains, or planes. We sell time. We’re creating a seamless experience for a passenger that starts the moment you think about being somewhere – not going somewhere. Door to door faster than ever before. We’re turning hours into minutes and creating a brand new experience that centers around the passenger. The future is freedom, the future is autonomy, the future is time.”
Josh Giegel, Co-Founder and President of Engineering, Hyperloop One, USA
Hyperloop One plans to test a full system in the first quarter of 2017 and the first commercial route is planned to be operational in 2021.
“The Danish word for design is “formgivning” which literally means “to give form”. At its core, that is what design is – to give form to something that has not yet been given it. However, most often all we end up doing is designing a moderately cooler version of something that has been designed a thousand times: A taller skyscraper, a faster car, a comfier chair. With Hyperloop One we have given form to an entire ecosystem of mobility consisting of pods and portals, where the waiting hall has vanished along with waiting itself. Collective commuting with individual freedom at supersonic speed. We are heading for a future where our mental map of the city is completely reconfigured, as our habitual understanding of distance and proximity – time and space – is warped by this virgin form of travel. A future that has now for the first time been given form.”
Bjarke Ingels, Founding Partner and Chairman, BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group), Denmark