Images via Kolelina
How great would it be to live or work in a city where there are zero cars, zero traffic, but the same speed of commute from location to location? And all you have to do is wear a backpack harness that lets you hop on to a zipline-style system to zoom you from here to there. No more migraine-inducing honking cars, jammed up pollution-spewing vehicles, or contention between pedestrians, bikes, and trucks. That's the vision of Bulgarian architect Martin Angelov who dreamed up Kolelinia, a network of cables strung above the city (originally thought up as transportation for cyclists) and battery powered backpacks worn by the travelers. Angelov presented the concept at the TEDx conference in Thessaloniki. He writes on his site: "We drive vehicles that are about 20 times heavier than our bodies and build expensive roads with heavy materials. We are all waiting to run out of petroleum and then to live in a cleaner world, but this won't happen soon! What if we change the streets in the city center with taut wires? What if our vehicles are compact enough to carry them with us as a bag? Kolelinio is a concept for creating a completely new weightless layer for transportation on a higher level."
How exactly it's weightless, I'm not sure, considering people attached to the wires and the wires themselves are not made of air. Also, how might intersections work? We assume there would have to be commuter lanes and areas where people walk, and not these cables running down every single street.
Also, while it sounds so much better than the current clogged and dangerous city streets of today, what would all these cables do to the aesthetic of a city? Just look at what cable car lines do to a city's sky:
Photo by Jaymi Heimbuch
And this isn't even one of the crazier cable car power line tangles in San Francisco.
But here is a short video outlining the concept to show that it might not be all that futuristic, but more practical.
It's certainly a city transit structure to consider - though we can't see it happening anywhere anytime soon.