The world population is rapidly on the rise, so how does this affect the design of our transit systems? Image Source: The Connectivist

Miles of traffic jams and car horns honking as frustrated drivers slowly creep along the highway to their hurried destination—this is what most city dwellers face on a daily basis.  These daily stresses of city living can actually lead to mental disorders such as depression and anxiety disorders. Studies have shown that city life can actually alter the brain and that urban areas have higher cases of psychotic illnesses such as schizophrenia.

On the flip side, people love city life due to its exciting culture and eclectic energy—despite the traffic. Regardless, the fact is that world population is on the rise, and census studies predict that global population, and urban stress, will peak around the year 2050 with a world population of approximately 9 billion people. The natural side effect of this is that cities will become increasingly crowded and living spaces will become smaller, as we all teeter on top of one another in high rise apartments.

Luckily, we have some very skilled architects who can use their ingenuity to design some amazingly modern transit systems to make our daily commute run smoothly.

Let’s take a look at some very modern transit ideas that could accommodate our high-rise lifestyles:

Some people love the big-city life, but how can architects design functional transit systems around all these people? Image Source: Mobili Martini

Relaxed City Living

Imagine it’s the year 2050 and the world has 9 billion people in it— road rage will peak with all these people trying to get to work on overly crowded highways! So what can be done about this foreboding situation? Well, for one, we can look to those who design our cities and transit systems—Architects. While we may not be able to do much about the increasing world population, we can hire architects who have the skills and in-depth knowledge to design our city centers in a manner that accommodates our growing populous.

Actually, architects have the power to not only accommodate us, they have the power to make city-living more comfortable, too. But first, let’s look at how architects design our big-city interiors to make us feel comfortable rather than crowded, and then we will look at the exterior roadways and city centers next:

  • Big windows allow a lot of natural light into even the smallest apartments, reducing that closed-in feeling.
  • Atrium architecture is a popular design whereby large, open spaces are created to give buildings a feeling of space and light.  This can be done in interior and exterior designs.
  • Minimize the use of walls and internal obstructions
  • High ceilings are incorporated where ever possible
  • Use of shiny textures and textiles that omit a sense of openness and reflect light
  • Natural textures and textiles (such as wood beams and floors) that bring warmth and a sense of nature indoors

Roadways may become busier, but there are many ways we can escape to a calm retreat. Image Source: Incorporate DNY

 Modern and Functional Transit Ways

Now, let’s investigate our exterior roadways. Architects are coming up with some ingenious ideas to make our daily commutes go smoothly. In fact, their ideas may make city living appeal to even those who detest the big-city life. Here are some ways that architects, engineers and designers are modernizing the architecture of transit:

  • Driverless trains: Yes, you read that correctly—driverless trains. Large cities like Copenghagen, Paris, Dubai, Sau Paulo and Signapore are looking into automated railroads that will reduce pollution and be more efficient and reliable forms of transit.  These driverless trains could also be ticketless, allowing passengers to board right away without waiting at gates.
  • Transporting goods underground: The same driverless train study, cited above, mentions the idea that transport of freight only serves to congest our roadways even further; therefore, there is research into underground pods that will transport our goods beneath the city and open up our roadways. Now that would be quite amazing!

Large cities like Copenghagen, Paris, Dubai, Sau Paulo and Signapore are looking into automated railroads that will reduce pollution and be more efficient and reliable forms of transit. Image Source: Noihirek

 Shopping On The Go

While most of you are familiar with Sky Mall (the shopping magazine on airplanes). City planners and architects are looking into ways to take your shopping along in every facet of your life.

Train stations will not only be a stop along your way to work, rather they will be shopping malls where people can browse while waiting for the next train (similar to airports, but with quick and convenient Quick Response codes to scan for purchases).

The same scenario goes for corporate office buildings—why not do some shopping in the main lobby while you’re on lunch break? This would certainly save you time and stop you from clogging up the roadways. Let’s take that even further to the lobby of your apartment complex.  Wouldn’t it be great to simply walk down to your apartments lobby and get your Starbucks, or the bread and eggs that you forgot to bring home?

Architects are looking at many ways to bring our daily lives to us rather than having us run the roads (and clog them) to get to the things we need.

Transit stations will become more than just a place to catch the train; they will be places to shop and ease-up on commutes. Image Source: Wikipedia

 Cities Will Have Everything In One Place

Along the same lines as the above-mentioned topic of shopping on the go, architects and city planners are looking into designing city centers that allow its inhabitants to experience everything in one place—without having to get in their car and drive to and from place to place.

This is commonly referred to as Architecture of Place. Essentially, this modern movement predicts that city life would be more livable, comfortable and less stressful by designing cities that have easy access to everything, including museums, shopping, parks and recreation, cultural activities, leisure activities, libraries, civic buildings etc…

This manner of living seems a viable solution to our bloated roadways, not to mention the fact that pollution could be drastically reduced if we had the ability to walk instead of drive. One could hypothesize that this way of life would also reduce urban stress.

Architecture of place is a way of designing cities whereby everything will be at our fingertips. Wouldn’t that be a less stressful way to live in the big city? Image Source: SPFA

Are you ready to quit your daily commute? Maybe in time we can grow to love, or even look forward to our travels thanks to these amazing designs!  Architects are set to revolutionize transit in a manner that will surely ease up on traffic, commute times and pollution.

What else can you think of that would make your daily commute easier? Besides the modern inventions that we have mentioned here—can you think of something better than a driverless and ticketless train or underground pods that transport our goods?