Engineer, author and general designer of a new kind of transport system called Unitsky String Transport, Anatoly Yunitskiy is the founder of SkyWay String technology, which deploys electric vehicles on steel wheels riding on specific string rails.
String transport is a concept of an elevated light rail transportation system which uses pre-stressed rails with pre-stressed cables (strings) and concrete inside them. It is designed for both freight and passenger services and has two main types of track structure and rolling stock — standard and suspended.
SkyWay String transport was widely discussed among transport specialists after the Smart Cities Expo in Delhi recently, where Yunitskiy made a presentation. SkyWay Technology Corporation, based out of Belarus, also signed an agreement with the Himachal Pradesh government for a skyway transport facility at Dharamshala.
The engineer-cum-entrepreneur writes exclusively for Urban Vaastu on ‘Smart Country’ India. Excerpts:
The road network in India covers more than 4.5 million km. Over 200,000 people die on these roads and over a million are injured as a result of traffic accidents. ‘Rolled up’ in asphalt and ‘buried” under railway sleepers is fertile soil, equal in its area to the territories of three countries.
India is already moving in leaps and bounds towards fundamental, profound changes in the social pattern of its citizens. Such large-scale programmes like ‘Smart Cities’ is a measure of foresight on the part of the Indian leadership, and its desire to build a great future for the country.
I would like to briefly outline the concept of future development – From Smart Cities to a Smart State – the basis for which is a network of smart linear cities (SLC) built along transport communications of an elevated type.
SLC is an entirely pedestrian city-cluster, stretching in length for hundreds of kilometers. A cluster about a km in diameter – a residential, industrial, educational, trade, sports or mixed one with up to 6,000 inhabitants – will be built in the logic of accessibility for pedestrians, i.e., within 500m from the centre.
There will be a dominator – a high-rise building with public establishments, through which transport, power supply and information communication lines pass – SkyWay, will be located at a height of 10m and more above the ground surface, i.e. on the “second level”.
Interchange stations to transfer from urban tracks (their speed – up to 150 km/h) to high-speed intercity air tracks (their speed – up to 500 km/h) and, potentially in the future, underground hyperspeed tracks located in fore vacuum tubes (their speed – up to 1,500 km/h) can also be placed.
Every cluster is to be self-contained – with its own energy, water and food. It does not deprive nature of a single square meter of land – soil from under every building is transferred to a flat roof of the building, enriched with fertile humus, with a garden planted on it.
The houses are mostly single-storeyed, comfortable for living and budget-friendly for a family with an average income, or a middle-class family. A garden and a vegetable patch on the house roof will be enough to feed the whole family with healthy, food.
The resource intensity during construction, operation and repairs – metal, concrete, asphalt, earthwork operations and land acquisition – will be ten times less compared to the implementation of any other transport and infrastructure solutions.
Every cluster will be ecologically clean, and will fit harmoniously into the environment in all Indian natural diversity – in the mountains and forests, on fields, islands and sea shelves. A network of smart linear cities covering India including the Himalayas and the shelf of the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, 200,000 km long, will occupy a 16th of the country’s territory, where over a billion people will be able to live and work in comfortable conditions by the middle of the century. The rest of the country’s territory will turn into nature reserves and wildlife sanctuaries, with ancient landscapes restored.
There will be no traffic jams, smog or traffic-related deaths in such a pedestrian linear city. It will become possible for children to run barefoot not on asphalt, but on grass, and parents will not have to worry about their life.
The population will be healthy with plenty of food and will enjoy more time to devote to creative activities and self-development due to a significantly shortened working day.
As is the case with lifts in multi-storeyed buildings that are included in the cost of a sq m of accommodation, horizontal, and not vertical.
SkyWay and lifts will be built in smart linear cities and will be included in the cost of residential and infrastructure buildings and structures.
SkyWay’s Horizontal lifts will be cheaper: 2–3 times compared to highways, 10–15 times compared to any road of an elevated type, motor roads or railways, including high-speed, monorail and maglev. In terms of energy (fuel) efficiency, they have no analogues and are superior to railway transport (including tram and metro) by 2–3 times, superior to automobile transport – by 3–5 times, aviation and maglev – by 5–7 times.
SkyWay tracks of “the second level” are built to last and practically do not require any maintenance. They offer higher resistance to natural phenomena, such as earthquakes, floods, tsunami, torrential rains, hurricane wind, as well as to vandalism and acts of terrorism, than any other conventional or ambitious transport system.
In its essence, the future vision of a Smart State proposed by the SkyWay is not a transport project, but an infrastructure and development one. Therefore, it can be entirely implemented by creating domestic demand in all areas of the
economy – from agriculture and construction to machine building and electronics. This programme can be implemented in stages by the year 2050.
SkyWay plans to start the first stage of Smart State programme this year in India. It will start in Jharkhand, where the construction of a test cluster of a smart linear city and test sections of SkyWay transport systems is planned.
In addition, the company is working on the concept of the transport system for the Smart city in Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh. The concept of the future development is named “From Smart Cities to a Smart State”, the basis for which is a network of smart linear cities built along transport communications of an elevated type.
Currently, SkyWay is working on two transport communications projects in India: in Jharkhand, where a trilateral investment agreement was signed ($922 million creating about 1,000 jobs) and in Dharamsala where a memorandum of understanding was signed.
The delegation from the Dharamsala municipality has already visited the SkyWay test site in Belarus.