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Thought For Food

Posted by farkandfunk on March 7, 2008

I’ll try to make this a regular weekly/fortnightly column, a slightly serious one. Every now and then , all of us have this moment of inspiration, this idea that comes out of nowhere. We have this sudden social responsibility, the need to feel like the hero from Shankar movies. This could happen at any moment – a walk in the park, a ride in the auto, sitting on the pot etc.

Well , I heard once that behind a bunch of very screwed up ideas lies the beginning of the great one (now don’t go extrapolating it to men-women you twisted folks). So let it begin. I’m going to share a few thoughts and keep it open ended. I’d love to hear your comments, modifications , improvements on them. Do spread the kind word and lets try to get as many new perspectives as we can! Of course they might sound insanely crazy , but what the heck! In future we might see variations on the same, and if that’s the case, I’d like to be the first to trademark it right here. Y’all are the proof. Just don’t shoot me if this has already been done.

This edition deals with the the basic needs of mobility and transportation in an increasingly crowded and chaotic place.

1. Buildings as part of road networks.

This one’s a wild one. Imagine if we were to design this big satellite town. What if all the major buildings, malls, apartments etc effectively start from 2-3 floors up , with a huge gap that is the ground floor? The ground floor are part of our road network all over the place. Vehicles can take turns THROUGH buildings!!!! Friggin weird isn’t it?? The 3rd floor of the buildings onwards – there are multi level car parks, generator area, air conditioning area, and what not- what we typically have on the basement level now. Thus, the ground level of the building would have nothing but support structures, and an area for ramps, lifts for pedestrians etc, the rest of the base would just have the continuation of the roads. This would help network our roads better, free turns , free flowing traffic. From the road, there will be 1 ramp to the 2nd floor of the building for cars that need parking in the building, and cars coming out. Sort of like this (a very very quick paintshop work,so dont blame me :

Future Buildings in my satellite town
2.I was thinking that a BMP or other such municipalities can implement something like this to encourage walk-to-work or use less cars policy.

a. Neighbourhood-Work-Areas

Create small office spaces or areas in collaboration with a slew of companies, and encourage the employees living in that area to use this office space. Networking, access, security will be a challenge but still its a thought. If you notice – there are lots of places where you can go pay your water bills, electricity bills at one point. That is what i had in mind. What if the government actively participates in designing the corporate working environment as part of the whole ecosystem? That’s what I’m driving it.

b. Incentives for good Samaritans :

Create a process to incentivize walk-to-work or public-transport-use for corporate folks. Maybe something like amounting to tax reduction. The checks could be like bus-pass swipe cards on a daily basis , and other such simple documentation

c. Innovate services offered by the public transport.
I’m sure many of you guys know that the Bangalore volvos are actually quite decent, and that you can sms to a number and find out where the position of the next bus is. For all those who don’t know how to use it , click here.

That’s a “pull”based system. How about a “push” based system. Go to the organizations, and the interested employees are automatically registered for an SMS update system which will send you an SMS on the bus that YOU ARE interested in , in your route on a daily basis.

Other options – provide wireless connectivity in their buses! 🙂 And how about some live cricket etc on that beautiful flat screen.

Bring it on.


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