Urbania

The Concept

The Urbania is a very compact people moving system designed to be ridden solo. A suspended chair protected by a plastic canopy would whisk people away on an electromagnetic track that would ride across major arteries of the world’s largest metropolises.

 

The Context

As a teenager, I used to read lots of comic books, and one of them was a series titled Gaston Lagaffe, whose hero created all sorts of inventions. One of his ideas was a chair that would zip people around the office on a set of suspended rollers. With the advancement of technology, I was wondering if a variation of this idea could be developed as a new means of transportation in a futuristic city?

 

How It Works

The Urbania could be used to travel downtown for short to medium distances. The electromagnetic rails would be designed so they would be integrated into new lamp posts using DEL lights that reduce skylight pollution (Not shown) and which also integrate wi-fi electricity ports for cars and buses.

Chairs could be simply “hailed” by system-recognized registered users with a smartphone app. When a chair arrives, it would lower itself so that users could easily enter and sit in it. Maybe it could detach itself to provide enough time for boarding. Once settled into the chair, the user would simply push a button to start his ride, which would reattach itself to the track. The Urbania would then raise up and head towards its passenger’s destination.

The chair would travel high enough above the sidewalk so that pedestrians would be able to walk under it, and the Urbania transit system would be capable of detecting pedestrians, animals, cars, and other hazards in its path anytime it lowers to pick up or drop off a passenger.

Some versions of the Urbania could be convertible and feature footrests and rail guards in the front and side of the pod to prevent falls. The propulsion system could be a simple electric motor located inside a pneumatic wheel or an advanced maglev system. An emergency brake would be built into the system and each pod would have a hidden step ladder rolled under its frame in case you need to exit fast. The chair could also lean in curves with it’s spherical joint and maybe the user would even be able to pivot it to enjoy the view.

 

Potential Markets

I introduced the Urbania as a new type of people mover to be used in densely populated urban areas. It could be used by people who are unable to walk or those who have problem doing so, but it could certainly be used to visit big cities or take rides in amusement parks or protected areas where human interventions need to be kept to a minimum.

 

The Designer

I would like to thank Adolfo Esquivel, who created the 3D renderings of the Urbania. Adolfo holds a degree in industrial design and currently works as a freelance industrial designer based in Montreal. Adolfo is also the author of the Libelule Sub-Atv and Luminati all seeing all knowing watch.

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