Everyone knows the three R’s of Reduce, Re-use and Recycle, but I would like to add one more to that list: Re-imagine. To move forward as a society, we need to constantly improve on the things we already have, and this can be seen in the cars we drive, the lights we use in our homes, and the water systems we have all around us. These things, when improved, help us to lessen our use of resources like fossil fuels and water.
A few weeks ago, I participated in a summer program run by Northeastern University called Imagining the Future of Transportation, or IFTP for short. For two weeks, we explored various areas of Boston to find and develop solutions for potential or already-present issues with the rail lines, walking and biking paths, and road congestion. We built scale models of bridges that were designed to hold certain amounts of weight without being too costly both in a computer program and in physical form, researched ways other cities and countries have dealt with their traffic and pedestrian/bicyclist safety issues, and visited the MBTA command center to learn more about how we could create solutions for the safety and ease of travel for Boston commuters, pedestrians, and cyclists.
As part of our solution-forming, we were split up into teams, each of which created solutions to what they thought were the most pressing issues. My team, called Windows 11 after the wonderful internet browser, used our experiences in the city, as well as computer mapping software and testimonials from daily commuters, to create a focus on public transit, road congestion, and safety of people walking or biking within the city. We created our own Google site to fully organise our ideas.
The projects each of the teams made were presented to several people who work on the infrastructure system in Boston. The program was a closer look into the problems of any city involving transportation of its people, and I enjoyed traveling around Boston to see what I could do to improve the lives and commute of the people in it.