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Inspired to take a long summer adventure in a sweet tiny camper? Well, French start-up Carapate has unveiled a 10.5-foot-long, boat-like travel trailer for adventurous souls to travel in style and comfort. Although compact, the interior space of the Carapate Travel Trailer is incredibly flexible with a modular bed/sofa combo, a sliding galley kitchen and an extra-wide swing door to take in panoramic views.

According to the company, the design for the trailer was inspired by the beloved teardrop campers. Using the classic teardrop design as a starting point, the designers gave the camper a rounded trapezoid shape to create a bit more square footage. With traditional shipbuilding techniques, the team constructed the trailer to be incredibly lightweight. Coming in at approximately 990 pounds, the tiny trailer is easily towed by most vehicles and is extremely road-friendly. The nautical inspiration can also been seen in the camper’s exterior cladding, which includes wood, white and navy detailing. This sleek, yet classic feel continues throughout the interior.

The entrance is through an oversized door that swings open and upward. This extra large doorway provides plenty of natural light to the interior as well as wide, unobstructed views of whatever incredible scenery may be surrounding the vehicle.

Inside, white walls and wood detailing pay homage to boat interiors, as does the savvy storage solutions found throughout. The tiny camper comes equipped with a number of flexible furnishings that are meant to make the most out of minimal space.

A modular bed layout includes three single mattresses that can be folded up into a sofa or fit together on the floor to create a sleeping area for two. The galley kitchen is also a smart, space-saving design. The concealed countertop slides out to reveal the basic amenities, including a single-burner stove, sink and a pull-out cutting board.

The basic Carapate trailer package, which unfortunately is only available in Europe at the moment, starts at just under $16,000. However, the campers can also be customized with extra features including LED lighting, solar panels, an electric/gas fridge box and more.

Nigel Young
Foster + Partners has completed stations in Saudi Arabian cities Mecca, Medina, Jeddah and King Abdullah Economic City, connected by the 280-mile Haramain high-speed rail line.

The stations, "conceived as gateways to each city", are designed to offer a unified appearance to between 60 million and 135 million passengers anticipated to use the high-speed line each year.

"We have designed all four stations, resulting in a consistent approach and intuitive wayfinding strategy throughout the network," said Angus Campbell, senior partner at Foster + Partners.

All four of the stations, which can handle up to 20,000 passengers an hour, have been built using the same modular system.

They are all covered by flexible vaulted roofs supported by grids of steel columns – described by the practice as structural trees.

The modular system meant that each station could be designed to fit its site, and that in the future the grid can be extended to increase capacity.

"The stations are based on a common 27-metre-square module containing the roof, concourse and platform, which is flexible enough to be reconfigured for both through and terminus stations, while also making it possible to extend the stations in response to changing passenger requirements," continued Campbell.

The buildings are designed to be shaded areas that can provide a respite from the country's heat. Small openings within the building's roof and its walls allow controlled amounts of light into the stations.

All of the stations have been designed so that they maintain low ambient temperatures without the need for using mechanical cooling. Large fans and misting devices have also been installed on the platforms to keep this area cool.

Between the station's vaults, which are a different colour in each of the cities, large circular chandeliers provide light and are intended to "accentuate the rhythm of the structure".

"The designs of the new stations focus on passenger comfort, while building on the sense of excitement and wonder that is inextricably linked to the idea of travel," added Luke Fox, head of studio at Foster + Partners.
Related Santa Clara, one of the largest projects in the Bay Area, plans to create over 9 million square feet of offices, housing, hotels and retail on 240 acres next to Levi’s Stadium, home of the San Francisco 49ers.

Developer Related Cos. intends to start construction next year on the $8 billion project, previously known as CityPlace Santa Clara, which survived dueling lawsuits between Santa Clara and its neighbor, San Jose. The first phase is set to open in 2023.

In a battle over Silicon Valley’s future growth, San Jose sued Santa Clara in 2016 and alleged that the project, which includes 5.4 million square feet of office space and 1,680 housing units, would lead to more housing demand and additional traffic in San Jose.

In response to San Jose’s lawsuit, Santa Clara sued to block Santana Row, a large office project planned in San Jose. The two cities settled both lawsuits last year, allowing both Related Santa Clara and Santana Row to be built in exchange for payments to both cities to fund transit improvements.

The clash underscored Silicon Valley’s growing pains amid the red-hot economy, powered by big tech companies like Google, which plans to build a giant campus in San Jose, and Apple, which leased space in Santa Clara last year. Job growth has far outpaced new housing, with the Bay Area adding 14,900 new homes in 2017 compared to 52,700 jobs, according to government data.

The amount of housing was limited at Related Santa Clara because the site was previously used as landfill and required additional environmental approvals, according to Santa Clara Mayor Lisa Gillmor. She said other parts of the city will add more housing, such as the adjacent Tasman East area, where 4,500 units are planned.

The project will replace an underused golf course at 5155 Stars and Stripes Drive, she said. Legal challenges aren’t fully resolved: David’s Restaurant, a tenant on the site, is fighting a city eviction and use of eminent domain.


Did you know you can access The Chronicle’s photo archives?

Crowds arrive early on opening day of the Golden Gate International Exposition. Feb. 18, 1939.
Stephen Eimer, a Related executive vice president, said the developer was attracted to the site because of its proximity to transit from the Santa Clara Valley Transit Authority and Amtrak and Altamont Corridor Express trains. VTA light rail trains will connect to Caltrain stations in Mountain View and San Jose and a soon-to-open BART station in Milpitas. (The project website confusingly notes that BART is coming to the city of Santa Clara in 2025. While technically true, that station is 6 miles from the stadium area and will not offer convenient transit connections.)

The project will generate $17 million in annual taxes and fees and create 25,000 jobs. It includes 170 affordable housing units. An additional 700 hotel rooms are planned.
OMA and Laboratorio Permanente
OMA and Milan-based Laboratorio Permanente have won a competition to transform two abandoned railway yards in Milan into eco parks that will act as “ecological filters” for the car-centric city. Titled Agenti Climatici (Climatic Agents), the master plan would use the natural, air-purifying power of plants and the filtering capabilities of water to clean and cool the environment while adding new recreational spaces for the public. The project is part of a larger effort to redevelop disused post-industrial areas around the periphery of the city.

The Agenti Climatici master plan addresses two railway yards: the 468,301-square-meter Scalo Farini on the north side of Milan and the 140,199-square-meter Scalo San Cristoforo on the south side of the city. The designers have designated Scalo Farini as the “green zone” that will consist of a large park capable of cooling the hot winds from the southwest and reducing air pollution. Scalo San Cristoforo has been dubbed the “blue zone” after the designers’ plan to turn the railway yard into a linear waterway that will naturally purify runoff and create cooling microclimates.

“In a moment of dramatic environmental transformation and permanent economic uncertainty, our priorities have changed,” said OMA partner Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli. “The most valuable currency is no longer ‘brick’ — the built — but rather the climatic conditions that cities will be able to provide and ensure for their citizens. The city of the 20th century, with its high energy consumption, must be overcome by reconsidering the principles that have marked urban development since the classical era.”

For adaptability, only the public elements of the Farini park will be fixed — including the waterways, greenery and bridges — while the location of the buildings and their programming will be contingent on the city’s future economic development. The master plan also calls for Milan’s longest expressway bicycle lane alongside a new tram line and metro stations.

In-app ticketing aims to make Uber a better last-mile solution

With options to rent scooters and electric bikes via its Jump subsidiary, a ride with Uber no longer means getting into a car. Now, thanks to a new feature launching in Denver, it could also mean jumping on a train or bus.

Starting today, Uber’s Transit feature will allow Denver users to plan their trips with public transportation in mind, including paying for rides on buses and trains in-app. Tickets will cost the same via Uber as they would using other payment methods.

“For the first time ever, taking an Uber trip can mean taking public transit,” said David Reich, Uber’s head of transit, in a statement. “With this step, we are moving closer to making Uber’s platform a one-stop shop for transportation access, from shared rides to buses and bikes.”

Uber users in Denver will be able to select “Transit” as an available transportation option, and then be able to plan their trip utilizing bus or light rail. The new feature will include real-time transit information for the Denver Regional Transportation District (RTD), as well as step-by-step directions. Developed with technology from Masabi, a mobile ticketing service that began working with the ride-hailing giant last year, this new service will allow users to purchase and validate fare passes using a QR code from within the Uber app.

Uber and RTD are banking on the fact that this collaboration both allows more users to utilize Uber as a last-mile solution, and gets more passengers on transit.

“This exciting next phase of RTD’s collaboration with Uber is yet another way our transit agency is leading the dialogue about mobility strategy, not just for the Denver metro region but for cities across the globe,” said RTD CEO and general manager Dave Genova in a statement. “This project broadens our reach and stays at pace with the public’s needs, allowing people to plan and pay for trips from start to finish.”

This launch highlights both the push by transit companies to create all-in-one mobility solutions—what Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has called the “Amazon of transit”—and the increased competition between Uber and Lyft to broaden their offerings and incorporate more multimodal options they go public, as Lyft did in March.

Uber, which is planning an IPO, has already made partnering with transit agencies worldwide a part of its growth strategy, according to a story in the Wall Street Journal, collaborating with cities such as New Delhi, Cairo, and Sydney in a bid to increase ridership.
Xinhua News Agency/Newscom
Chinese leader promises more transparency and funding opportunity in $900-billion program

Chinese President Xi Jinping surprised an audience of world leaders as he outlined China's decision to modify the Belt and Road Initiative in crucial areas including: project selection, environmental risk assessment and financing. He was speaking at the second Belt and Road Forum, which convened April 26 in Beijing.

China's BRI features ambitious plans to build modern-day Silk Road connectivity projects, such as seaports, airports, railways and roads across 60 countries covering all continents at a colossal cost of $900 billion. Developing countries have offered some support, but the scheme has been widely criticized on a number of counts in developed countries.

The U.S., Germany, France, Australia and Japan have been especially critical, pointing to a lack of transparency and a refusal to share business opportunities with non-Chinese companies.

At the Forum's open session, Xi signaled a course correction. “Everything should be done in a transparent way, and we should have a zero tolerance for corruption,” he said.

The Chinese President tried to counter criticism that nearly 90% of the businesses emerging out of the Belt and Road program went to Chinese companies and there was little for foreign firms to share. "The Belt and Road is not an exclusive club," Xi said at the gathering.

Signs of China’s readiness to modify the infrastructure development program began to emerge in recent months after it allowed close ally, Pakistan, to shelve an electricity project, and accepted a 30% cost reduction in a high-speed rail project in Malaysia. In effect, Malaysia had closed down the project for several months and eventually forced China to renegotiate the terms.

“Xi Jinping is trying to deliver a readjusted BRI, providing more opportunities for non-Chinese companies to participate, delivering greener and better quality projects, being more attentive to their local economies in humane impact as well as to the recipient country’s debt sustainability,” said Jean-Pierre Cabestan, Professor at the Dept. of Government and International Studies of Hong Kong Baptist University.

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde backed efforts by China to improve and refine the program but asked for more changes particularly where it comes to rules for procurement of construction equipment from across the world.

She said the BRI could “benefit from increased transparency, open procurement with competitive bidding and better risk assessment in project selection.”

Financing challenges

Xi invited foreign and private-sector partners to help fund China-backed infrastructure projects. Earlier offers restricted project financing only to Chinese banks and agencies. In the past, non-Chinese banks and lending agencies have been closed out.

Critics have also slammed BRI for opacity and for saddling recipient countries with costly loans that they cannot repay. For example, Sri Lanka recently was forced to sign away commercial control of its Hambantota port for 99 years because it could not reply Chinese loans.

The Chinese president said "We also need to ensure the commercial and fiscal sustainability of all projects so that they will achieve the intended goals as planned.” He went on to say that his government will now offer a “debt-sustainability framework” to encourage compliance with international standards in infrastructure contracting.
City of Ottawa
Sinkholes, winter-weary trains, and political upheaval have held the Confederation Line light-rail transit back from a seriously overdue opening.

Get ready for rail.”

At first the slogan for Ottawa’s new transit project felt like a command. Then it was a question mark, and now it’s a desperate plea—as if the city could will into existence a light-rail plan that has been talked about for the better part of 20 years.

Ground broke in 2013 on Ottawa’s extension of its O-Train system—then, a five-station, diesel-powered light-rail line. The mission was to electrify the network and extend it to central, eastern, and southern parts of the city with two new add-ons, the brand-new Confederation Line and the Trillium Line addition.

But it hasn’t gone so smoothly. After years of planning and waiting, some in Ottawa might feel like their rapid transit dreams are simply cursed. In 2014, two years after the CDN$2.1-billion project was officially approved by council, a sinkhole measuring 26 feet wide by 39 feet deep opened up near a tunneling site. Two years later on one of the city’s busiest streets, a second LRT tunnel-related sinkhole—this one 92 by 131 feet in area and 16 feet deep—swallowed a van.

And that’s just the sinkholes. The 7.7-mile Stage 1, known as the Confederation Line, has been consistently bedeviled by problems. Originally due in May 2018, It’s still not open yet. Instead, empty trains glide up and down the route for testing, taunting Ottawans who are most definitely #Ready4Rail. The new delivery date is “sometime before Canada Day,” on July 1.

The consortium tasked with building and delivering the LRT, the Rideau Transit Group (RTG), needs 12 consecutive days of near-flawless testing on all 34 of its Alstom Citadis Spirit train cars before it can release them into the wild. Just one issue with a car, though, and the 12 days restart. RTG has been testing the trains for months.

This past winter, after a train got stuck in the snow during a trial run, CBC reporter Joanne Chianello obtained internal reports that said the trains may not be able to withstand Ottawa’s cold, snowy winters. “Vehicles are currently unreliable to the point that it has not been demonstrated that operations can be sustained during a winter weather event,” one report read.

But that’s next winter’s problem. The day after Chianello’s CBC story, the city’s transportation general manager John Manconi told city councilors at a public meeting that RTG was looking forward to the end of winter to finish testing: “Better weather will certainly help.”

And then there’s Stage 2, a CDN$4.7-billion project and the city’s biggest procurement ever. A $1.6-billion slice of that project was awarded to SNC-Lavalin, an engineering and construction management firm currently facing charges of corruption and fraud. SNC-Lavalin is also a key member of the RTG consortium building the thrice-delayed Stage 1.

So, what the hell is happening with the LRT? “[Constituents] are exactly right to ask that question, because we don’t know the answer,” says Ottawa city councilor Rick Chiarelli.

Contracts, bids kept secret

Chiarelli, who has been an Ottawa city councilor since 1988, says the people tasked with running the city have been largely kept in the dark on the LRT project. In March, he voted against approving the $4.7-billion budget on Stage 2, saying that proper oversight had not been done on the project.
According to a new environmental review document, Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is poised for a large expansion that could add up to two new terminals and nearly two dozen new gates to help handle the influx of travelers headed to the city for the 2028 Olympic Games.

Urbanize.LA reported that the plans call for attaching the new Concourse 0 terminal and its 11 passenger gates to the east of the existing Terminal 1 structure along the northern end of the LAX complex. A second new terminal, Terminal 9, will bring 12 new gates to the southern end of the airport, where it will be met by an extended run of a forthcoming automated people mover (APM) that is currently under construction.

The Los Angeles Times reported that the expansion plans include reconfiguring existing airplane runways, including on the northern end of the airport, where earlier plans to retool runway facilities produced outcry from neighboring communities concerned about noise, pollution, and other negative impacts. The proposed runway changes involve reconfiguring the airport’s road network while maintaining the current distance from those communities.

The plans come as Los Angeles World Airports, the entity that runs LAX, works to complete a $14 billion facilities upgrade plan for the airport’s existing roads, terminals, and associated transportation facilities.

That plan includes a $1.6 billion Gensler and Corgan–designed terminal that will bring 12 new gates to a mid-field site capable of handling new “super-jumbo” airplanes for long-haul international flights. The project, known as the Midfield Satellite Concourse (MSC) will connect to the existing and recently-expanded Tom Bradley International Terminal via a pair of underground tunnels that will feature moving sidewalks.
Clark Construction
Clark-Parsons not only demolished and rebuilt the underpass, but handled contentious environmental and community challenges, kept trains running throughout construction and finished ahead of schedule.

When one of the continent’s largest rail providers learned more than a decade ago that it would need to rebuild a century-old tunnel through dense Washington, D.C., to sustain the fluidity of a vital national rail network, it wasn’t sure how it could do it.

Luckily for owner CSX Transportation, a progressive design-build master stepped up to the challenge. And recently, the project came to its conclusion successfully and ahead of milestone target dates.

Headaches on the Virginia Avenue Tunnel project abounded from the start. First, the section in need of replacement was over 120 years old. Eleven city blocks of townhomes, parks, businesses, government offices and community centers ran along the length of the tunnel overhead, and seven cross streets and a massive interstate exchange lay adjacent. Intricate systems of public utility lines hid above and below.

The National Environmental Policy Act review process loomed over the entire project at every step.

And above all, it was crucial that the line stay operational during construction.

No project too big for progressive design-build
CSX had successfully delivered similar projects as part of its $850 million public- and privately-funded National Gateway Initiative, a program involving raising the heights of 61 bridges and tunnels through the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest to clear 21 feet of vertical clearance for taller, double-stack intermodal containers.

But at costs of between $150,000 and $15 million or so, prior projects were piddly in comparison, explained Brandon Knapp, a CSX project manager, at the 2018 Design-Build Conference & Expo in New Orleans last November.

Progressive design-build had seen CSX through those challenges, but could the nascent delivery method handle such a large, sensitive job like the Virginia Avenue Tunnel replacement?

This project, which Knapp called the cornerstone of the initiative, was in the $250 million to $300 million range. The tunnel didn't just need to be cleared from vertical obstruction. The single-track, often bottleneck-inducing passage needed to be widened to accommodate two trains as well.

“We had to have a construction method that allowed us to continue to run trains but also to complete this project in a timely fashion,” Knapp explained. “We knew it was going to be a contentious NEPA process and that we had to be able to construct within the limits of work that were assigned to the project. It required constructability from the beginning.”

The tunnel was originally built in the 1870s and only upgraded in the 1930s, he reminded attendees, showing black-and-white photos of a small underpass with dirt floors and wooden frames. “We also needed a team that had experience working with materials of the age and condition used in the existing tunnel.”
California High-Speed Rail Authority
Despite the dramatic shift in direction, Newsom’s announcement does not eliminate the future of high-speed rail in California. "Abandoning high-speed rail entirely,” he said, "means we will have wasted billions of dollars with nothing but broken promises and lawsuits to show for it.”

Newsom also made reference in his speech to the $3.5 billion that the federal government has already given the project, an amount that would have to be paid back if the Central Valley Line isn’t complete by 2022. That information came out as part of a state audit that determined that bad, risky decisions on the part of the authority contributed to the project’s schedule delays and cost overruns. The authority, for instance, started construction before it had actually acquired the necessary land. The auditor went so far as to say that the authority “cannot demonstrate that the large amounts it has spent on its contracts have been necessary or appropriate.”

In order to meet the federal deadline, the auditor said the authority will have to double the pace of construction.

Newsom’s decision will likely add fuel to the arguments against another high-speed project, the bullet train Texas Central Partners is planning between Dallas and Houston. However, a Leon County, Texas, court dealt what could be a significant blow to the project this month when it ruled that Texas Central is not a railroad, reported Houston Public Media. This could keep the company from using eminent domain to acquire property if necessary, but Texas Central said it will appeal the ruling.
Tom Ichniowski
Proposal lacks details on funding, revenue-raisers

A group of congressional Democrats have issued an outline for an ambitious “Green New Deal,” a plan that aims to slow or reverse climate change by a variety of steps, including revamping energy generation, fortifying infrastructure against storms and renovating energy-inefficient buildings.

Odds that the Green New Deal proposal will become law appear long. But, depending on how much support it eventually generates, the plan may help shape the contours of any major infrastructure legislation this year and also push climate change up the list of priority issues for the 2020 elections.

The blueprint, set down in a proposed resolution introduced in the House and Senate on Feb. 7, has the tenor of a call to political arms. And by design, its authors say, doesn’t specify how much funding it would require—though the price tag would undoubtedly be immense—or identify revenue-raisers to pay for that spending. It does set a timetable, saying that the program should be carried out through "a 10-year national mobilization."

Its prime mover in the House, high-profile, first-year Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), said at a Feb. 7 press conference outside the U.S. Capitol that the resolution is an initial action. “Our first step,” she said,” is to define the problem and define the scope of the solution.”

The House version has more than 60 initial co-sponsors with additional backers ready to sign on, Ocasio-Cortez said. That’s far short of a majority but it is still early in the process.

The Senate version, introduced by Ed Markey (D-Mass.), has 11 co-sponsors as of Day One. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) isn’t among them.

But the list does include all of the senators who, to date, have declared themselves as presidential candidates for 2020. That would support Markey’s comment at the press conference that dealing with climate change is “a voting issue” in the U.S. and will be a prime topic in the 2020 election cycle.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told reporters at a briefing earlier in the day that she welcomed the proposal, though she hadn’t yet read the resolution. Pelosi also said that as Congress pursues infrastructure legislation, one of her stated goals, “we want to do so in a green, informed way.”

But it was a less-than-wholehearted endorsement. She called the Green New Deal “enthusiastic,” adding that “we welcome all the enthusiasm
Joe Fletcher
California firm Edmonds + Lee Architects has converted a 1960s travel trailer into an office and crash pad for an on-the-go tech entrepreneur who enjoys spending time in nature.

Named after the German word for bullet ship, the Kugelschiff trailer was designed for a Silicon Valley tech entrepreneur who desired a highly flexible work setup. The client, Jeff Kleck, was urged by his daughter Alaina – an industrial designer passionate about sustainability – to create a mobile office.

"From that came this dream of the Airstream – a fully connective but simultaneously disconnective mobile office that could allow Jeff to focus intensely on his work in the midst of inspiration wherever he might find it," said San Francisco-based Edmonds + Lee Architects in a project description.

The client and his daughter spent a year searching for the ideal caravan. They ultimately selected an Airstream Bambi II – a rare model that was briefly produced in the 1960s. They found one in Hamburg, Germany, and had it shipped over to the US.

The client turned to Edmonds + Lee and Washington-based Silver Bullet Trailer to outfit the vehicle, with help from the client's daughter. The project offered Edmonds + Lee – a firm known for creating high-end modern homes – the opportunity to create an "ultra-condensed" environment with a heightened level of precision.

"Seamlessly integrated, multi-functional programmatic elements are something we've explored in every project, because they're an honest response to how people live their lives," said firm partner Robert Edmonds. "But in the constraints of this space, we needed to expand on that greatly, making the space not only highly functional within the spatial constraints, but also truly fluid in how it is lived."