Building the World

July 30, 2015
by buildingtheworld
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Channels of Migration

Photo: Makisig, “Malinta Tunnel, Corrigedor, Philippines,” wikimedia commons.

Eurotunnel estimates that 37,000 people may have attempted migration through the Channel Tunnel. Tragically, fatalities have occurred. People seeking a way out, a way forward, another way, are using the tunnel linking France and England. In a world challenged by climate migration, political migration, and employment migration, what kinds of channels can be safely provided to get from a troubled “here” to a better “there?”

Building the World Blog by Kathleen Lusk Brooke and Zoe G Quinn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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February 19, 2015
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Scale of Success: China

 

Great Wall of China. Image: wikimedia commons.

While Frank P. Davidson is considered by historians to be the founder of the field of macroengineering in 1984, today China is advancing large scale infrastructure. The nation that built the Great Wall must think big, because it is so big; large scale endeavors are now appearing with velocity as well as capacity. For example, the Dalian to Yantai Tunnel spanning the Bohai Strait, twice the length of the Channel Tunnel, planned as a rail link between China’s northern ports, would be the world’s longest underwater tunnel. And, the Grand Canal may soon become even grander: the $80 billion plan to bring water over 1,000 miles from the abundant south to the arid north may reach fruition in 2025, making that waterway, begun in 600 BCE, the longest continuous construction project in history. Should China celebrate this Spring Festival with an announcement of the Center for the Study of Macro?

David Baroza, “In China, Projects to make Great Wall Feel Small,” The New York Times, January 12, 2015.

Minnie Chan, “Plan to build world’s longest undersea tunnel from Dalian to Yantai,” South China Morning Post, July 11, 2013. http://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/1280386/china-plans-worlds-longest-undersea-tunnel

Building the World Blog by Kathleen Lusk Brooke and Zoe G Quinn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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February 10, 2015
by buildingtheworld
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Open Bar(code)

Could transport link to transporting poetry? Image: wikimedia commons.

Take Line 4, when riding the Beijing metro; then, scan a barcode to access Chinese literature and philosophy. China’s National Library, cooperating with Beijing’s municipal government, will change the ten-tome selection monthly. Of course, barcode can transport to music, dance, drama, and other cultural expressions. To celebrate its 20th anniversary, the Channel Tunnel recently added wifi; might there be a special channel within? Shinkansen will soon upgrade to new efficiency; what may Japan create? What opportunities are inherent in public transportation to make readers of riders?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-30830472

Building the World Blog by Kathleen Lusk Brooke and Zoe G Quinn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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May 12, 2014
by buildingtheworld
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All Aboard, Africa

 

Eurostar: image, wikimedia commons.

May is a good month for trains. On May 10, 1869, the Transcontinental Railroad transformed the commercial and social interactions of the United States. The Channel Tunnel opened in May 1994. In May 2014, Africa announced a new railway line to run from Mombasa to Nairobi, eventually extending to Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and South Sudan. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta announced that a subsidiary of China Communications Construction Co will be the main contractor, with China’s Eximbank supporting 90% of the cost of the first phase. Will the world next welcome the “China-Russia-Canada-America” line, now reportedly in discussion in Beijing? What is the future of train transport?

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-27368877

Building the World Blog by Kathleen Lusk Brooke and Zoe G Quinn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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May 7, 2014
by buildingtheworld
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New Channel in the Chunnel

 

Mobile Communications in the Chunnel. Image: wikimedia.

On May 6 (same opening day as the Eiffel Tower), Queen Elizabeth travelled by rail to Calais where a train carrying French President Mitterand awaited; the engines were positioned nose-to-nose in what some quipped was a tech galoche. Heads of State then chunneled to Folkestone for a twin ceremony on the British side. Thus, in 1994, was the Channel Tunnel “born.” On its 20th birthday, in 2014, Eurotunnel announced new kind of channel in the Chunnel: mobile telephone and internet communications.

For more:

http://www.eurotunnelgroup.com/uploadedFiles/assets-uk/Media/Press-Releases/2014-Press-Releases/060514.TelMobileTunnelSud.pdf

http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/may/6/newsid_2511000/2511653.stm

Building the World Blog by Kathleen Lusk Brooke and Zoe G Quinn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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March 11, 2014
by buildingtheworld
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Frank P. Davidson: Facta non Verba

 

Frank P. Davidson

Frank P. Davidson: 1918-2014

After a lifetime of making history, Frank P. Davidson has entered history. Founder of the field of macro engineering, credited with building of the Channel Tunnel, hero celebrated for service in Normandy and featured in the Juno Beach Centre museum, Frank Davidson was awarded the title of Chevalier in the French Legion of Honor. When just 22, Davidson requested a meeting with United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt to propose founding a Civilian Conservation Corps camp devoted to diversity, where students of all backgrounds could work together. Camp William James was named after the author of “The Moral Equivalent of War” with recognition that preserving and honoring the environment might be a path to peace.

Building the World Blog by Kathleen Lusk Brooke and Zoe G Quinn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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September 27, 2013
by buildingtheworld
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2020 Vision: Seikan and Chunnel

Seikan Tunnel, Japan. Courtesy of Wikimedia.

Japan will host the Olympics in 2020. What innovations might appear? Shinkansen, fast-trains developed and inaugurated for the Tokyo 1964 Games, proved to be successful — in safety and profitability — from the first day of operation. Japan’s Seikan Tunnel, completed for rail traffic in 1988, confirms the convenience of rapid rail; when the tunnel opened, it largely replaced ferryboats plying the Tsugaru Strait between Honshu and Hokkaido. Similarly, the Channel Tunnel, with debut of rail service in March 1995, improved travel time from London to Paris to just over two hours. Environmental benefits are among those recognized and valued. What will Japan offer in 2020? Japanese animation may introduce spokesperson Sakura Heiwa (http://tokyomewmewfanon.wikia.com/wiki/Sakura_Heiwa). Might new transport designed for the Olympics welcoming so many nations include representatives, images, art, music, and poetry promoting Peace?

Building the World Blog by Kathleen Lusk Brooke and Zoe G Quinn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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September 9, 2013
by buildingtheworld
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Pipelines: Trans-Alaska and Beyond

 

What do you think of the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline? Image courtesy of senate.gov

When the Trans-Alaska Pipeline opened in 1977, 20,000 people had contributed to the project. Results were mixed: revenue benefit brought $900 million to Alaska’s economy but exploitation of the large petroleum deposits discovered in 1968 at Prudhoe Bay in Alaska’s North Slope were scene to the largest oil spill in United States history at that time: the Exxon Valdez released a flood of pollution with long-lasting effects. But Yoshihiro Kyotani, Japanese engineer and innovator, proposed that pipelines need not be filled with just oil. Why not float transoceanic pipelines as transport tubes for container shipping or vactrains? Along with the Channel Tunnel‘s Frank P. Davidson, Yoshihiro Kyotani designed tubetrains that may be the original version of Elon Musk’s 2013 Hyperloop. For more on Kyotani, please see: http://www.ieeeghn.org/wiki/index.php/Oral-History:Yoshihiro_Kyotani. But today all eyes are on a pipeline in the news: Keystone XL. It’s a complex issue; for more, visit http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2013/09/16/130916fa_fact_lizza?mbid=social_retweet. Then please return to our blog and let your voice be heard regarding pipelines transporting energy, or perhaps floating as a vactrain from Boston to Cadiz.

Building the World Blog by Kathleen Lusk Brooke and Zoe G Quinn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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November 27, 2012
by zoequinn001
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Air Bags for Tunnels

MTA 86th Street platform flooded by Sandy, from ABC News at abc.go.com.

In the wake of Sandy’s devastation to the New York City subway system, the need for protecting transportation tunnels in the event of disaster has been made a very real issue. Flood control may be one area in which there is a feasible solution. Recently after 5 years of work, a test was done at West Virginia University of an inflatable plug for stopping the flow of water in a flood situation. While this was just a test, it is promising for tunnels large and small. In fact, it offers a possibility for places like the Channel Tunnel, where a leak could lead to a major flood.

For more information on the experiment and other flood control options, please see: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/20/science/creating-a-balloonlike-plug-to-hold-back-floodwaters.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20121120&_r=0

 

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Building the World Blog by Kathleen Lusk Brooke and Zoe G Quinn is licensed under aCreative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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