Page 10 - The future of the metro booklet
P. 10

Utopia                                                                                                               Utopia

       An itinerary under                                                                                                              energy released by the braking mechanism of the   mic windows regulate the sun’s heat. Less en-
                                                                                                                                                                                   ergy-consuming than air conditioning, forced
                                                                                                                                       trains and supply the whole neighbourhood with
                                                                                                                                                                                   mechanical ventilation has become the norm.
                                                                                                                                       electricity. Apparently when a metro arrives into a
                                                                                                                                                                                   It offers optimal temperatures when inside.
                                                                                                                                       station, you can retrieve the energy produced (a
       the open sky                                                                                                                   - Well done! It gives it a magical touch.”    Thanks to a more frugal design, the weight of
                                                                                                                                       free energy!) to fuel a ton of exterior equipment
                                                                                                                                                                                   the  trains  has  been  reduced  and  they  now
                                                                                                                                       like electric heating, lighting, ventilation systems
                                                                                                                                                                                   consume less energy and emit less heat. They
                                                                                                                                       in public places and nearby housing.
                                                                                                                                                                                   use  new-generation  high-albedo  materials

                                                                                                                                                                                   summer, when the metro became a heavenly
                                                                                                                                      Further  along,  the  teenagers  are  taking  selfies   that are more insulating. Billie remembers last
                                                                                                                                      with  their  costumes  on. They  are  going  to  the   icebox during the heat wave. Today, most sta-
       TEXT                      2035 – the metro of the future has not set off any revolutions. It                                   Poplars’ Station, which everyone calls UbiDream,   tions are designed as climatic oases. In many
       David Attié               continues to deliver discreet innovations, fine-tuning                                               after the famous video game company. It’s one   cases,  they  can  rely  on  bio-based  materials
                                 its functioning and putting together its resilience.                                                 of the few stations in the system that has been   such as clay and wood, which improve air qua-
       ILLUSTRATION                                                                                                                   co-financed by a property developer, who ap-  lity and reduce stress.
       Nelson Goncalves                                                                                                               plied a porous approach to the tunnel and sur-  Just before the train heads back underground,
                                                                                                                                      face. Not only was the material excavated for   Billie recognises the poplars and the UbiDream
                           ever  forcing,  Billie    for me? I’ll come back for them this evening.                                    the line used to construct the building, but a   building.  Consistent  with  the  concepts  of
                           speeds  ahead  on         -  Yes, I’ve got oyster mushrooms just picked                                    physical  continuity  was  created  between  the   Transit  Oriented  Development,  the  station
                           her  bike.  A  quick       this morning…”                                                                  two. One of the escalators offers direct access   was built in the middle of a working-class area
                           glance at her phone                                                                                        to the building shared by UbiDream and School   in the heart of the city. A concerted effort by
                           confirms that she is     Suddenly,  for  a  few  seconds,  the  LEDs  in  the                              404, which is specialised in video gaming.   the  community,  residents  and  the  developer
                           ahead  of  schedule.     stand  start  shining  and  flickering  as  if  there                             Set  up  as  an  arcade  open  to  the  public,  the   helped to stem the rise in prices, and made it
                           The  screen  saver       were no tomorrow. Billie squints into the light:                                  ground floor of the building gives visitors the   possible for residents to stay. Thanks to pe-
                           shows  the  time  of     “Whoa, what’s that?”. Abel narrows his eyes mys-                                  chance  to  test  out  different  games,  see  the   destrianisation, shops have moved in and the
                           the next train, down     teriously and looks towards the train that has                                    latest technologies for themselves and attend   neighbourhood has gained a new lease of life.
                           to  the  second  and     just come in. Billie thrusts herself into the train.                              meet-ups. Professionals, students, gamers and   As the teenagers in the back start singing, the
                           the exact number of      A  ray  of  sunlight  hits  an  empty  seat:  it’s  that                          just plain travellers meet there all year round in   grandfather leans over to Billie.
                           spaces  available  in    time of day when the celestial body aligns with                                   a gleeful atmosphere.
                           the  “multi-park”.  It   the station’s slope. She sits down and writes a                                                                                - “ They’re so excited, you know what’s happening
                           is  referring  to  a  ga-  message. “Honestly, did you put up a disco light or                             As the metro momentarily exits the tunnel, the   today?
       rage, bookable on-line and now found at the   what?”  Raising  her  eyes,  she  looks  around.                                 lighting adjusts to the daylight and the ather-  -  It’s the launch of the latest UbiDream game,
       entrance of all stations, with spaces that can   Thanks to the new self-cleaning                                                                                             everyone’s talking about it.
       be adapted to every type of micro-mobility.   surfaces  and  self-contained  mi-                                                                                            -  Are you going too?
       The open-air station appears on the horizon,   ni-sweepers, the train is immacu-                                                                                             You’re not dressed up!
       on  a  small,  lively  square.  Billie  continues  on   late. Roomy and bright, it moves                                                                                    -  Actually, I’m leading a workshop.
       the bike path that slopes down gently to the   without  a  sound  or vibration. A                                                                                            I worked on the game, we developed an audio
       lower  level,  where  shops  and  train  connec-  grandfather  and  his  three                                                                                               technology using super-immersive 3D.”
       tions  can  be  found.  On  the  lawn,  some  are   grandchildren  have  settled  in
       soaking in the sun, but she pays them no at-  next  to  her with  multiple  shop-                                                                                           The  children’s  eyes  bulge  in  amazement  as
       tention. Having hung her bike up between a   ping  bags.  The  youngest  of the                                                                                             they turn to their grandfather, who bursts out
       hoverboard and an electric scooter, she heads   three  is  faced  backward,  spying                                                                                         laughing. He gives his go-ahead, but only on
       away from the multi-park and straight to the   on a group of teenagers in cos-                                                                                              condition that they help him with the groce-
       counter manned by Abel, who greets her with   play  a  few  rows  away.  Billie                                                                                             ries first. In a single second, they all have their
       a  big  smile.  Ever  since  ticketing  became   smiles knowingly. They’re headed                                                                                           arms loaded with groceries.
       paperless, stations have freed up quite a few   for UbiDream Station, no doubt                                                                                              Following  the  smart  guiding  availed  by  their
       square  metres  by  doing  away  with  ticket   about it. Her phone vibrates: it’s                                                                                          Smartphone, the teens decked out in cosplay
       checking lines. Abel has founded an associa-  Abel, answering.                                                                                                              have gathered in front of the door closest to
       tion that sets up organic mini-farms in newly-                                                                                                                              the UbiDream escalator. The few seconds just
       freed technical rooms.                       -  “Ha ha. Get this, yesterday,                                                                                                before they open are spent in feverish silence.
                                                     a technician came to check the                                                                                                Billie winks at them, a magical
       - “Hey, look who’s here! Is today the big day?  electrical system of the stand.                                                                                             beep sounds, and already, the
       -  Yeah, I was just dropping by to say hi, then I’ve got   Apparently, they put in place                                                                                    metro’s doors are opening.
        to run! Could you put some mushrooms aside   a system that can retrieve the


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