I Love Great Lakes City

Project: I Love GLC (Great Lakes City)
Competition: Life at the Speed of Rail
Competition Organizer/Host: Van Alen Institute
Award: Honorable Mention
Completed: May 2011

The promise of High Speed Rail is the promise of the continuous urban landscape. Hyper-connected. Hyper-compact. Hyper-efficient. What then is the potential of perceptually—if not physically—compressing a vast collection of cities into a single, relentless, uninterrupted conurbation?

The Great Lakes Mega-Region is home to nearly 60 million residents and the most active international trade boundary in the world. The mega-region includes 205,000 square miles of terrestrial territory and 95,000 square miles of fresh water. It is the area of the North American continent best positioned to absorb a significant portion of the projected 110 million new residents of the United States and Canada over the next 40 years.

In such a scenario, this massive influx of population would create what will in effect be a thickened, continuous urban landscape punctuated by a constellation of vibrant, legible, connected city cores. High Speed Rail will be one among many innovations in urban infrastructure necessary to accommodate such a considerable expansion of urbanization both within the Great Lakes and throughout the U.S.

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