The Energy Belt
Airports use some pretty strange methods to get passengers around before their flight. Dallas replaced a complex underground train system around the terminal with a complex elevated train system. Mexico City and Washington DC have Thunderbirds-scale inter-terminal tanks and there's famously a high-speed maglev train from downtown Shanghai to its airport terminals. But these stranger methods of getting around tend to be stronger on the techno-glamour and softer on the ecological. So designer Iosa Ghini has proposed the Italian university town of Bologna link its broad station Centrale to the airport with a self-powering monorail people-mover known as the Energy Belt.
The people-mover is powered by solar panels, which are mounted along the track's southern side to give the panels some extra winter sun. As well as not cluttering the countryside with extraneous power-sources, the proposed monorail blends in with its rural and urban surrounds by cutting a path underneath the track for pedestrians to use. Bologna may be a contemplative haven for academics and students, but if this proposal gets up maybe they can also shuttle back from their international symposia in the lap of solar-powered speed.
By Zacha Rosen