Interactive High Speed Rail Planning by James Rojas

I am very excited to participate in the high speed rail project. What intrigues me the most about high speed rail is not the actual project but its opportunity for Angelenos to imagine new forms of transportation. My interactive models and workshops will be a great method to engage the public.

Interactive planning is an innovative method that uses hands-on creative thinking to brainstorm quickly to solve urban planning issues. Participants build their solutions with the help of materials. The visual language is easy to translate and breaks down planning concepts into simple elements. It’s serves as a valuable tool to inform and educate constituents about the value of design and planning through two methods.

One: On-site interactive map/models are miniature simulations of communities that generate people interest because this is the first time many have seen their community this way. The vivid use of colors, textures and details visually attract people. Participants are allowed to manipulate the model as they please. This brings the urban planning experience to the public in an unconventional way by enacting public spaces like, parks, sidewalks, streets, art galleries, and train stations. These spaces become impromptu public urban forums where everyone including children and non-native English speakers can participate by reacting to and adding to the models.

Two: One hour community workshops which are designed for people who have little time to participate in the planning process and want to bring their children. These workshops increase the public’s design fluency by allowing them to use their hands and minds to create 3-d solutions from materials in 20 minutes. The creation of small models helps participants of any age or linguistic background to articulate their desires publicly. Since there are no-right or wrong answers, all social barriers are broken down, thereby creating a friendly exchange of ideas. Participants leave the exercises feeling a sense of accomplishment and better understanding of the planning process.

We can develop many types of interactive programs using my method and high speed rail from school interactive workshops to placing an interactive model a sites through out the city.

Attached are photos, articles, and video clips of this process

You Tube Clips
Imaginary Transportation


Re-imaging Chinatown


Latino Urban Forum


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