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The current basic configuration model for tall buildings was developed

over a century ago. The characteristics of this model were largely de-

termined by the elevator companies who required their product to be

organized in groups such that passengers could congregate in one

place, ready to identify the next available cabin. The need to support

these elevator shafts lead to a central core which could then, in turn,

support floor plates. Outer cladding provided the finish. This vertical

model has either been radically exploited to produce great numbers

of clustered towers or, in the age of the automobile, largely ignored

to produce urban sprawl – in both cases the solution is highly sub-op-

timal. The elevator is now seen as simply another commodity in the

building process and, as such, the companies that make them have no

longer been part of the discussion on how to improve things.

Several years ago Schindler began research focused, not on the eleva-

tor itself, but on its utilization. This lead to the development of the

discipline of Transit Management, which optimizes an individual’s en-

tire journey through a building rather than a single elevator trip. Using

Schindler’s PORT Technology, which has been developed to implement

Transit Management, the requirements that have driven building de-

sign for so long are no longer necessary. We now, therefore have the

opportunity of exploring new alternatives for the urban model. These

alternatives are desperately needed as, in many places, a vast popula-

tion increase has led to a collapse of acceptable living conditions. This

book is designed to set out some of the early research that we have

undertaken. It does not have all the answers but it does attempt to

provoke the debate by providing innovative solutions to the urban di-

lemma. We hope you will find it entertaining and stimulating, but,

above all, we hope that it persuades you to get involved.

Dr. Paul Friedli