Monday, April 05, 2010

Personal Rapid Transit & Urban Planning

Mountain View is considering a Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) system to connect downtown with growing employment areas at the Shoreline/Google and NASA/Moffett complexes. The VTA and the City of San Jose are considering a PRT link from the airport to the light rail system, Caltrain, future BART stations and other locations. An international conference about PRT systems will take place this October in San Jose. You are invited to hear about one of these systems, SkyTran, and participate in a discussion about PRT impact on urban design.

As designers, we are familiar with concepts such as land use planning, transportation planning and Transit Oriented Development. Transit occurs in the public right of way and projects occur on private or publicly owned property next to the right of way. What are the implications for architectural and urban design if this fundamental distinction between transportation right of way and property development are broken down? What could happen to the building and site master plan if the transit system could easily travel to anywhere on the site, including into, and through, buildings? SkyTran asks these questions. Imagine the monorail at Disneyworld delivering you to the lobby of the hotel, without the major constraints of a massive guide way that dominates and fixes the entire complex. Imagine being able to travel to many destinations including a hotel lobby, office complex lobby, convention center lobby or parking structure in a small, personal vehicle. With a PRT, it can be as easy to do as saying your destination or entering it in a touch screen unit as you might now in your car's GPS unit.

A representative from Unimodal, Inc., the developer of the SkyTran system will present this option. What might we, as designers do with such a possibility? For a preview of this forum topic visit or

Regional and Urban Design Forum: Personal Rapid Transit & Urban Planning
Time: Noon - 1:30pm
Location: AIA East Bay Chapter Office, 1405 Clay Street, Oakland.
Contact: 510/464-3600 or Douglas Frazier, AIA
Cost: None; this meeting is open to all. Please RSVP.
1.5 CES LUs

For more information: 510/464-3600

No comments: