TEAM: Mini Chu, Dave Dixon, Eric Douglas, Matt Goldsberry, Deane Madsen
ADVISORS: Dana Cuff, Tim Higgins, Roger Sherman
BRIEF: Invent the cities "off the rails," those areas where new infrastructure High Speed Rail leaves its tracks
We propose that High Speed Rail (HSR) look at cities like Sylmar as opportunities, not obstacles. Given that so many resources have already been devoted to development around major city centers, our team chose instead to focus on the impact of HSR on suburban areas. While HSR's visualizations of what will happen in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Anaheim show dramatic changes, little study has been done to determine what effects the advent of HSR will bring to supporting, along-the-way types of communities. Rail lines in Europe have transformed sleepy towns into thriving metropolises, and we see Sylmar as perhaps the poster child for the possible benefits HSR can have in unexpected places between termini.
Sylmar can become a 'satellite city' – a place with enough remove from the hubbub of downtown to have its own identity, yet close enough that a 14-minute train ride allows for easy reach. Sylmar's new identity, then, can be found in its history of producing solar panels. We propose that Sylmar embrace Green Technology, becoming a hub for likeminded technology companies worldwide, who would have their headquarters in the city center, and their production facilities on the outskirts, where similar production facilities already exist.
With this goal of producing a satellite city in mind, we show Sylmar as it is now, and how it might appear in ten years, and in forty years, showing how we would achieve a new Green Tech hub by 2050. In this way, HSR would become a catalyst for creating a network of clean technology urban nodes, as well as a way of connecting them.