Designer Philip Hermes offers his futuristic design for connected city, albeit in a slightly more tangible way. Hermes envisions an underground delivery network that could transport packages as big as a shoe box across a city in as little as ten minutes. Think subway system meets pneumatic tube pipeline.
The conceptual project, named Urban Mole, calls for upgrading the preexisting infrastructure that runs beneath the streets – aka sewer tubes – with electrical rails that could power the Mole’s motors as it moves throughout the pipeline. Local hub stations would be created within a city to serve as pick-up and drop-off points, theoretically freeing roadways from the congestion caused by delivery vehicles.
The Urban Mole concept was recently awarded second place – to a food growing wall – in the VisionWorks logistics competition that tasked participants with developing transportation solutions for 2020. While it may be hard to predict the practicality and feasibility of such a network, this is another thoughtful example of the multipurpose design movement that seeks to build greater functionality into existing structures and structures. An important consideration as we rethink limited space and resources.