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Smart Pavement

Modular factory-built pavement with embedded utilities that are rapidly installed and moved as transportation needs change.

Photo of Perry MacNeille
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Michigan Central Station

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When cities like Detroit, Chicago, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, etc were built 10,000 year old forests cut down to build them. Business conditions have changed in the last 50 years, people have migrated and the structures are now being demolished. The environmental expense is enormous. 

To prevent this occurrence in the future, modular cities should be built such that it is practical to move the city (structures, factories, roads, etc) a module at a time to new locations without demolishing the old and constructing new. 

Further, as a city evolves it may outgrow the existing infrastructure.  With modular construction it is possible to, for example, add surface rails to a road to increase capacity without demolishing the existing roadbed.  Modular construction allows the city plan to change without huge expenditures and environmental damage. 

Modular homes are in use in Japan, where homes older than three decades are rare. Homes built from shipping containers are also examples of modular homes that can be transported through conventional logistics systems. There are several proof of concept tests for modular roadways in which interlocking sections of roadway containing utility connections for water, sewage, electric power, natural gas, internet, etc are built in factories and installed in location to form roads, rail tracks, sideways, bicycle lanes, etc. 

I think city of the future plans should consider modular construction technologies. 


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Photo of Elizabeth Durden

I like your idea! So you're saying, I could have a smart mobile home (that I can transport anywhere) on a smart street too? Really! WOW!!!Thank you for your idea.

Photo of Perry MacNeille

Smart (modular) everything... A city like Washington, DC has rails that run from the city center to the ring road surrounding the city. Where the ring road intersects the rail lines there are parking structures. If the city expands the rails are extended, but the parking structures and ring roads that are not modular must be demolished and re-constructed at the new ends of the rail lines. With modular construction it is not necessary to demolish the parking and road structures, they can be moved one piece at a time.

Smart roads, homes, parking structures are built in the factory with power, water, heat, internet, sewage, IoT devices, etc. assembled into the modules at the factory. They snap together providing structural integrity and necessary services as a structure is assembled.

Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute: https://www.pci.org/PCI/Projects/Transportation_System/Pavements/PCI/Project_Resources/Transportation_Systems/Pavements.aspx?hkey=c7ebdd84-e258-40de-9fd0-558d47a75fdd

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