The Intercity Passenger Rail Planning Studio will develop a baseline understanding of opportunities and barriers to building intercity passenger rail and high-speed rail in the United States. In the Fall 2023 semester, we will research international and domestic case studies and build a hypothesis on why the U.S. is behind other developed countries. Each student will present a corridor case study or HSR-related subject deep-dive. The class will work together to create a mid-semester report.
Halfway through the fall semester, we will begin to examine the feasibility of the Houston to Dallas high-speed rail line (formally known as Texas Central) and work with a public client team to consider restarting the project as a publicly owned asset. In the spring semester, the class will present a set of recommendations to the client team and advisors.
Students will use funding and policy research skills to identify major gaps and apply GIS, Excel, and presentation skills to make a case for future investment. We will work with a handful of guest speakers and advisors to help guide the final report recommendations. The course is aimed to help students hone practical, inter-disciplinary collaboration skills and practice applying tenets of urban planning to make the case for key infrastructure investment.
- Enhance learning in a studio environment for plan-making, policy analysis, and problem-solving through both teamwork and independent exercises;
- Apply the theories, methods, and techniques learned from prior CRP and LBJ coursework to analyze practical solutions for infrastructure development;
- Gain practical knowledge from assessing existing case studies, applying lessons learned from best practice cases, projecting HSR market demand (Spring course), framing and evaluating policy and plan alternatives, and delivering products of professional quality on planning for passenger rail success