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Tvm 2035 article

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A VISION FOR TRIVANDRUM 2035 AD
1. INTRODUCTION
Air pollution; Ever increasing traffic and a rising count of road accident...

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An emerging city -Trivandrum is fast emerging as a major hub for IT and
tourism in South India.
A fast growing city - Triv...

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The project is planned for a period of fifty years. The proposed development
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Tvm 2035 article

  1. 1. A VISION FOR TRIVANDRUM 2035 AD 1. INTRODUCTION Air pollution; Ever increasing traffic and a rising count of road accidents; Inadequate road widths; Energy crisis; Water crisis; Mounting wastes of all types – these are some of the persistent problems which plague almost all urban centres in India and perhaps all over the world. Planners the world over are convinced that the so called well planned city of the 20th century is an unsustainable model of development for the 21st century. So the quest for viable alternative development models based on the principles of sustainability, public transport, pedestrianisation and energy efficiency is going on around the globe. It is in this context that the Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia, Barcelona, Spain (www.iaac.net) conducted the 3rd Advanced Architecture Contest (www.advancedarchitecturecontest.org) in 2009. The competition titled “Self Sufficient City – envisioning the habitat of the future” was an international on-line design competition open to architects, planners, designers and artists alike. There were 708 entries from 116 countries, from which 107 projects were shortlisted as finalists. I'm glad to share with you that my entry titled “A vision for Trivandrum 2035 AD” was one among the finalist projects. This project is a futuristic vision for my home town Trivandrum, which seeks to integrate some of the latest emerging technological innovations to produce a sustainable development model for the 21 st century urban habitat. The aim of the competition is to promote on-line discussion and research through which to generate insights and visions, ideas and proposals that help us envisage what the city and the habitat of the 21st century will be like. So my design proposal takes into consideration some emerging technologies and innovative concepts which are capable to make an impact on the future and integrates them into a viable development model. It is a purely technological approach. WHY TRIVANDRUM ? When I had to choose a city for demonstrating this new development model, I didn't think twice – it has to be my beloved home town Thiruvananthapuram. Apart from that personal factor, I also considered the immense potential of Trivandrum to develop into a major city in south India. In fact, the coastal stretch of Kerala, comprising of its major cities and towns – from Trivandrum to kozhikode - is getting rapidly urbanized and developing into a mega urban agglomeration. This irreversible trend may eventually transform Kerala into the largest metropolis of India and perhaps one among the largest in the world. Being the capital, Trivandrum will definitely play a vital role in this emerging metropolis. In this context, I'd like to highlight some points about Trivandrum and its potential, which justifies this futuristic vision.
  2. 2. An emerging city -Trivandrum is fast emerging as a major hub for IT and tourism in South India. A fast growing city - Trivandrum district has a high density of population with an area of 2192 sq.km and a population of 3234356 (2001 census). Trivandrum city has a population of about one million in an area of 296.35 sq.km and it is one of the fastest growing cities in South India. A developing techno polis -Trivandrum is home to the largest IT park in India- Technopark, spread over 240 acres and housing 3.5 million sq,ft of built up space, hosting more that 140 IT and IT enabled service companies including same international companies and employing more than 20000 IT professionals. Technopark is now embarking on an ambitious second phase of expansion. Trivandrum is also home to many research institutions engaged in scientific research. Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is one among them. A major port city in the making - The sea at Vizhinjam is endowed with a depth of 23 to 27 meters within a nautical mile off the coast, making it one among the deepest natural harbours in the world. Its proximity to an international shipping route is another great advantage. The proposal to establish an International Transhipment Terminal for Mother Vessels has been in the pipeline for long and the state is now going ahead with the project. Its proximity to the smaller port of Kollam about 70kms north and another proposed port at Kolachel about 70kms south makes it an ideal choice for transhipment operations. The efforts to twin Trivandrum with Barcelona, which was initiated by the former minister of State for external affairs Dr. Shashi Tharoor is therefore a step in the right direction. TRIVANDRUM -THE PANGS OF DEVELOPMENT Recent unprecedented development in the IT and related fields have led to an unplanned urban sprawl and haphazard ribbon development bringing with it a host of infrastructure bottlenecks and environmental problems, common to most emerging Indian cities. Constraints of road width, a rich heritage to be preserved and the absence of an integrated public transport system have aggravated the traffic conditions and pollution in the city centre. Negative environmental impact of development is evident in the degradation of the inland waterways and the depletion of ground water in many areas. THE DESIGN PROPOSAL is an endeavour to address these issues with a futuristic vision, for an eco friendly and self contained urban habitat. It is also meant to be a model for other emerging Indian cities with a rich historical past and suffering from the pangs of development in the form of infrastructure bottlenecks and environmental degradation.
  3. 3. The project is planned for a period of fifty years. The proposed development showcases the growth and form of the city at the mid span of that period – 2035 AD. FOCUS AREAS Transportation – personal & mass transit as well as goods transport Mixed use planning Preservation of heritage Clean energy, water supply and fuel Eco friendly waste management. 2. TECHNOLOGIES & CONCEPTS INVOLVED A) SKY BUS METRO, INDIA (http://www.konkanrailway.com/website/ehtm/sky_bus.htm) Sky bus is an innovative metro system developed by Mr. Rajaram Bojji, former MD of Konkan Railways. It is basically an inverted form of the conventional railway known as “Sky Wheels”, with the bogies on top of the coaches running in enclosed tracks and with the coaches suspended from them. Technically, it can be classified as a form of suspended light rail transit system. (http://www.atrilab.com/Skybus-story.html) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skybus_Metro) Sky bus is similar to the earlier forms of suspended monorails used in Germany. Wuppertal Schwebebahn (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wuppertal_Schwebebahn) is one of the oldest suspended monorails still used as local transport in the city of Wuppertal. Another existing example, also from Germany is the automated H-Bahn monorail, still in use in the Dortmund University campus and the Duesseldorf International Airport. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H-Bahn) Sky bus Metro is an improvement of this inverted rail concept. These earlier examples are monorails based on rubber tyres running on concrete rails whereas sky bus uses standard gauge bogies with standard train wheels of steel running on conventional steel rails, which imparts it a better load carrying capacity and stability. B) GRAVITY POWERED TRANSPORT, INDIA (http://www.atrilab.com/files/Gravity_Powered_Transport_Systems_09.12.08_impact_ON _WORLD_ENERGY_SCENE.pdf) Gravity power tower is a path breaking invention from Mr. Rajaram, (www.atrilab.com) the inventor of the Sky bus Metro. It is a principle of basic physics made operational with the help of computer controlled mechanisms. The oscillation of a simple pendulum demonstrates that a major part of the energy released as kinetic energy is recovered when the pendulum oscillates back almost very near to the original position from which it was released. If we can intervene in
  4. 4. this oscillation and apply power to bring the pendulum to the exact original position each time, the oscillation will continue with the same momentum. The Gravity Power Tower uses a very similar principle. A vertical cyclic motion of suspended heavy masses is produced in these towers. This is achieved by releasing these masses from a height and completing the cycle each time they come back up the loop by computer controlled electric motors. This vertical cyclic motion is transmitted to a horizontal loop cable system via computer controlled automated gear systems, from which the moving units like train bogies tap the kinetic power by means of electromagnetic coupling mechanisms which can be engaged and released. Though some electric power is required to keep the system running, it is a negligible input when compared to the great mechanical power output obtained, as almost 97% of the initial potential energy is recovered. The electric motor has to put in only the 3% of the mechanical power to complete the cycle each time. C) ANTI – COLLISION DEVICE, INDIA This is yet another invention by Mr. Rajaram, also known as “Rail Raksha Kavach” (http://www.atrilab.com/ACD_technology.html) . This is a GPS enabled protection system which automatically controls the braking systems of trains to prevent collisions in case of a human error. Rajaram had conferred the patents of this technology, along with that of the Sky bus Metro, to the Government of India, through the Konkan Railways. It is indeed unfortunate that train collisions have become a common occurrence in India now, just because the railways have not implemented this system extensively. (https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1yYQcyramb5wecESziWdwWZtxdXkZpUQ8 97COcdE8H1I ) D) SOLAR ROADWAYS, U.S.A (http://www.solarroadways.com/intro.shtml) Solar Roadways concept by Mr.Scott Brusaw, U.S.A is a path breaking invention which proposes to use the massive amount of sunlight falling on roads, by replacing conventional asphalt surfaces with specialised solar panels which can be driven upon. Thus the road becomes a power generator. E) PIEZOELECTRIC ROADS, ISRAEL (http://www.innowattech.co.il/technology.aspx) Piezoelectric materials, discovered by Curie brothers, can produce electricity when they are subject to mechanical pressure or deformation. An Israeli firm Innowattech (www.innowattech.co.il) has developed a unique system for using this phenomenon for producing electricity by the super imposed load of the vehicles on a road. It does not affect the performance of the vehicles, as it utilises parasitic energy or energy otherwise wasted for producing electricity.
  5. 5. F) BIO – BITUMEN, AUSTRALIA (http://www.ecopave.com.au/) Bio bitumen is an eco friendly alternative to the conventional petroleum based asphalt. It is based on natural vegetative binders and recycled organic and other waste materials as aggregates. It is being successfully developed by Ecopave Australia. Some other companies like Colas UK (www.colas.co.uk) is also in the forefront of Bio bitumen research. G) INTELLIGENT GROUPING TRANSPORTATION, U.K (http://www.taxibus.org.uk/) Intelligent Grouping Transportation (IGT) is a new mode of mass public transport that can rapidly solve the problems of traffic congestion and parking congestion in urban centres, with great efficacy. IGT operates using a fleet of minibus vehicles called taxi-buses which travel on the road networks. Typically a taxi-bus will carry around six to eight passengers aboard, with the taxi-bus driver guided by street navigation instructions received from a computer system which automatically controls the routing of each taxi-bus vehicle in the fleet. Prospective passengers request a taxi-bus ride simply by submitting their current location and desired destination addresses to the IGT computer system, typically using an ordinary cellular telephone. Regularly-used addresses would be pre- programmed on the passenger's phone, so this address submission is very straightforward. As soon as a taxi-bus journey is requested in this way, the IGT computer system searches its database for a nearby taxi-bus vehicle whose current itinerary is compatible with the passenger's submitted itinerary. Once a suitable taxi-bus is found, it is immediately diverted to pick up and convey the new passenger. New passengers are collected generally within three minutes of submitting their journey request. Such rapid pick-up is feasible because IGT operates with a large fleet of taxi-bus vehicles spread across the city, continually travelling the road networks, constantly conveying passengers. A new passenger is allocated to a nearby taxi-bus vehicle already on the roads carrying commuters, this vehicle's itinerary being modified on-the-move to incorporate the new passenger. This system which can be termed as a personalized public transportation system, is flexible to suit individual needs while sharing the ride as in any other public transport system. H) PLASMA WASTE RECYCLING, U.S.A (http://www.plasma-wr.com/default.html)
  6. 6. Plasma waste recycling (PWR) is a path breaking solid waste treatment technology which employs high temperature thermal plasma to convert the solid wastes into gas, molten metal and vitreous slag. Bio degradable wastes are easier to handle and can be decomposed into gas and other usable by products like bio manure. But solid wastes are usually a great problem for almost all cities the world over because of their great diversity and non bio-degradable nature. So the major chunk of the world's solid wastes goes into landfills and water bodies, creating ecological hazards. This is a scenario which will be disastrous for a densely populated and ecologically sensitive state like Kerala in its ongoing process of urbanization. This is exactly where this new technology comes in as a promise for the future. PWR can handle almost all types of solid wastes – like newspaper, packing materials, grass clippings, food scraps, appliances, bottles, furniture, clothing, paint, batteries etc and convert them into gas, molten metal and slag. It does not produce any ashes or other byproducts to be land-filled. The gas is used to produce electricity, the molten metal is cast as scrap steel and the slag is cast as building material aggregate or spun into mineral wool. I) CYBERTECTURE EGG, INDIA (http://www.inhabitat.com/2008/05/29/james-law-high-tech-cybertechture-egg-for-mumbai/) “Cybertecture Egg” is an upcoming high tech office building in Mumbai, which is all set to create a new benchmark for intelligent, futuristic architecture in India. This unique, awe-inspiring building designed by James Law Cybertecture International (http://www.jameslawcybertecture.com/) for Wadhwa Developers Mumbai, combines iconic architecture and innovative structural techniques with the latest intelligent building systems and green building technologies. This project can be considered as a vision of the future of 21st century architecture in India. 3. DESIGN ELEMENTS A) SKY TRACK INTEGRATED METRO SYSTEM This is a next generation Metro concept which fuses the concepts of the Sky bus Metro and the Intelligent Grouping Transportation, integrated with pedestrian walkway systems.
  7. 7. The sky track can also cater to goods transport and waste disposal in off peak hours and can carry containers from trucks – roll on and roll off – directly to and from the loading docks at the proposed port at Vizhinjam, eliminating a major portion of truck traffic from the city roads. This concept of sky wheels based port container handling system was proposed by Mr. Rajaram Bojji. It is described in detail as “Skycon Port Container handling system” in his website (www.atrilab.com). Another innovative transit concept based on the Sky Bus, catering specifically to airports is also described in the same website. This system is basically a de- centralised check-in and security concept, with check-in counters of airlines at different convenient locations around the city. All the check-in formalities and security checks are completed at these counters. Boarding passes are also issued and the passengers then board the dedicated, non – stop sky trains provided with a separate baggage boot below the passenger cabin. These sky trains by pass all the city traffic and provide a direct transit to the boarding lounge at the airport. This system drastically reduces the airport bound traffic, parking requirements and the check -in time required. A similar system is now being implemented in Delhi by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation. The Sky train is the main public transport mode of the city, suspended from the sky tracks while top of the sky track is used for operating light SUV sized taxi-buses which are dual mode vehicles capable of running on road as well as rails. These taxi-buses provide for an on-demand, flexible shared transport mode, based on the concept of Intelligent Grouping Transportation (IGT)
  8. 8. Drop off and pick up from sky stations is also an added advantage. This arrangement provides for a point to point transit anywhere in the city limits, without the need for a change in mode. Since the taxi-buses use the top of the sky track, it can bypass the city traffic and provide a faster transit. On other roads, these dual mode vehicles will run on the road like any other car. This system while working as a feeder for the sky train will also encourage a shift from private to public transport. For powering these transport systems-both the sky train and the taxi-buses plying above, natural gravity power is used, using the principle of the Gravity Power Towers B) INTELLIGENT ROADWAYS All the major city roads are intelligent roadways which are power generators and can interact with the smart cars through GPS enabled systems which leads to better driving, intelligent and interactive traffic management and enhanced safety through anti – collision devices like the “Rail Raksha Kavach”. Traffic control systems like signals will be interactive and self adjusting according to the actual, real time vehicle flow and density.
  9. 9. The power generation in the intelligent roadways proposed is inspired by the concept of the Solar Roadways, but varies in the method. Solar Roadways propose to pave the whole road surface with specialized solar panels which can be driven upon and the power is generated only by the daytime solar radiation on the road. Instead of that approach, the proposed technique intends to harness both the radiant solar heat as well as the superimposed load of the traffic. For this a special arrangement of loops of pressurized air and piezoelectric crystals is employed. Specially designed modular bio bitumen panels are used for this purpose. The power thus generated is used primarily used for powering the street lighting and the electronics of the GPS enabled road. Surplus power is fed into the grid. C) SHELL AND CORE SMART CARS The smart cars of the future will be powered by either electric or bio fuel engines. Electric engines are a better alternative than bio fuels like bio diesel as the large scale of such fuels can put pressure on the available agricultural land and can thereby affect the food security of a growing world population.
  10. 10. The viability of the electric engine is well demonstrated by electric trains, but when it comes to cars, the limited capacity and high initial costs of present day battery packs are a major handicap. Many advances have been made in this area recently, which may eventually enable electric motors to replace internal combustion engines in future. Wheel dedicated electric motors can also do away with the transmission and gear systems that weigh down present day cars. These electric engines will also be more compatible with the electronic control systems of future cars. These cars will have a unique shell and core arrangement. The shell is the hardware – the body, the engine and its systems along with the wheels while the core is the software – the seating, the boot and the driver's cockpit. It is a separate entity which can be log out and log in (ejected and inserted). This core can be folded and stacked; its interiors can have different combination of arrangements etc. The car will function only when the core is in the shell. The shell & core car enables large car – free premises without compromising on the convenience of an attached porch. These large car free premises –URBAN MODULES will have covered, gravity powered conveyor belts for people's movement. The smart car while entering an urban module will eject its core on to the conveyor belt which will transport it to the destination. These cores will have special provisions to access elevators and get delivered right at the doorstep. The shell will get stacked up in an automated car park. On exit from the urban module, the core can reclaim its shell and get inserted – all by intelligent automated systems. This arrangement will be a boon for the aged and the handicapped. It will also be convenient when you have a heavy load of provisions to unload. Entering an intelligent road with a smart car will be like logging on to a network with a definite origin, destination and route. There is a constant GPS enabled interaction between the car and the road network which guides the driving, the headway, braking and all other variables. Smart cars will also be equipped with anti collision system as mentioned in the previous section. Even malls and parking lots will be like folders linked to this network which can be browsed from the comfort of the car and the trip can be planned accordingly, when the car is in auto-drive mode. 4. SUSTAINABILITY A) CLEAN POWER - “Water, Water everywhere.....but not even a drop to drink” The immense potential of natural renewable energy sources is not really appreciated. In fact, mankind is like a person who is lost in the middle of an ocean, but cannot drink even a drop of that to quench his thirst. Nature has provided us with abundant reserves of natural energy but we just do not know how to use those forms of energy
  11. 11. The power from the present hydro electric projects is highly inadequate to meet the ever increasing demand, leading to power cuts and rising power costs. Clean affordable power is the need of the hour. Solar power is a great source of free renewable energy. The total solar radiation absorbed by the Earth's atmosphere, oceans and landmasses is approximately 3,850,000 Exajoules (EJ) per year. The total global primary energy use in 2005 was 487 EJ and electricity use was 56.7 EJ. Thus if a total of 543.7 EJ is taken as the approximate global energy requirement per year, it accounts to only 1/7000 of the total solar radiation received. This is the case of solar energy alone. When the other sources like wind and bio mass is also considered, man's power requirement is a minuscule fraction of what nature freely provides. (Source: Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_energy) But our present technologies are highly inefficient in the utilisation of solar power. Conventional solar cells are able to convert only about 12% of the solar radiation falling on them into electricity. Recent R&D has produced solar cells with higher efficiencies and the quest for the perfect solar panel continues. Here's an example (http://www.alternative-energy- news.info/ultimate-solar-cell/). These improvements will eventually qualify solar energy as a primary source of power especially in tropical countries. Building skins of the future will have abundant portions of integrated solar cells. Nanotechnology opens the door to a world of possibilities in harnessing solar energy than the conventional solar panel. The recently invented spray-on solar power cells, sort of plastic spray paint which can convert virtually any surface into a solar power panel is an example for that. (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/01/0114_050114_solarplastic.html) Apart from solar power, power generated from the intelligent roads and the PWR waste recyclers will augment the present hydro electric power grid. Wind power from the highlands of Trivandrum district and the coastal areas can also be considered as additional sources of green power. B) WATER, FUEL AND WASTE MANAGEMENT Rain water harvesting (RWH) will be a major source of water for this city blessed with abundant monsoon rains. RWH can effectively augment the present fresh water sources. All bio-degradable wastes are treated to produce bio gas which is distributed throughout the city via gas pipelines. Solid wastes are treated using the PWR technology as described above and the aggregates produced are used for building products and for producing bio bitumen. C) COASTLINE ENHANCEMENT This is achieved by providing designed mangrove habitats and artificially cultured coral reefs. Culturing of artificial coral reefs is being experimented at The Eilat Bay, Israel. (www.jewishpress.com/pageroute.do/23301).
  12. 12. Apart from protecting and enhancing the coastline, it can also promote beach based eco tourism. The mangrove forests will also enhance the marine eco system and the fish population, which will translate into a better livelihood for fishermen. 5. CITY PLANNING PROPOSALS The major planning proposal is for an inner, intermediate and outer loop roads for the city along with providing and developing some radial roads for better connectivity between these loops. It is similar to the ring road proposal which is being considered by TRIDA, but it is much more extensive than that. These roads are termed as loop roads rather ring roads as they all start at some point in the western coastal stretch- in the NH 47/bypass /airport road and terminate at another point in that stretch itself. The rough routing of these loop roads is outlined below. The outer loop road starts from Kaniyapuram in the NH, proceeds eastward and connects among other places, Nedumangad in the North east and Neyyattinkara in the south east and takes a turn towards west to terminate at Vizhinjam.
  13. 13. The intermediate loop road starts at Aakkulam and connects Sreekariyam, Mannanthala, Peyad, Malayinkeezhu, Ooruttambalam and terminates at the NH bypass road near Kovalam. The inner loop road encircles the major city areas, starting from Chacka and connecting Kannammoola, Sasthamangalam, Thirumala, Pappanamcode and terminates at Thiruvallam in the bypass road. The start and end points of these loop roads are to be directly connected, which will complete the loop system. For better connectivity between these loops, radial roads are to be provided / developed. These loops and radial roads will be provided with the Sky Track integrated Metro System. The planning is done in such a way that the city centre with heritage structures and closely knit traditional neighbourhoods are the least affected. New developments are planned outside the inner loop road and in between the intermediate and outer loop roads, while the city centre benefits from the transportation and other infrastructural utilities. 6. THE NEW URBAN MODULE
  14. 14. Nowadays, we often hear about satellite towns being planned in the outskirts of cities. The new urban modules are like micro satellite towns and are the basic building blocks of the city of the future. These are basically car free premises of about 2 to5 sq.km area, planned in convenient zones between the inner loop road and intermediate loop road and also between the intermediate and outer loop roads. Salient features of these urban modules are as follows: A) PEDESTRIANISATION -The existing roads of these zones converted into pedestrian streets with bicycle tracks, designed for a vibrant social life, with outdoor cafes and other public amenities. Other than bicycles only emergency, cleaning & maintenance and fire & rescue vehicles are permitted within the premises. B) MIXED USE PLANNING -residential and office condominiums intermingled with commercial, recreational, educational, health care and other social utilities, set in a verdant ambience. This verdant ambience is obtained by going in for high rise towers and providing more open spaces. C) CONTEMPORARY 21ST CENTURY ARCHITECTURE The mixed use high rise buildings typically has a base of up to 5 floors height comprising of commercial, social and recreational amenities, with a more horizontal spread than vertical. Sleek residential and office towers rise up above them to a height of about 20 -25 floors. Some of these towers will be grouped together to form mega structures which will be a micro vertical towns. These mega structures will have a sprawling base as described above and the sleek residential towers which rise up above the base will be supporting large span, steel framed and glazed, office floors with beautiful, sculpture like outer forms, built on the lines of the “Cybertecture Egg”. All these skyscrapers will be intelligent buildings with intelligent facades which can automatically its shading to optimise the heat gain and indoor natural lighting and ventilation. Similar computer controlled green building features, demonstrated by the Cybertecture Egg, will become mandatory for high rises by 2035. D) ROOFED, GRAVITY POWERED CONVEYER BELTS are the people transporter in this zone. E) UNDERGROUND AUTOMATED GOODS CHANNELS cater to all the goods transport and waste disposal needs. The sky track carrying containers will slope down to the basement into these goods channels which give access to every building in the zone. F) TERRAFUGIA, USA (www.terrafugia.com) is a recently developed roadable aircraft or flying car. This will be an additional mode of transport as well as a fire
  15. 15. and emergency rescue vehicle. All urban modules will be provided with Terrafugia launch pads which will have rescue zones attached to them. G) BASEMENT UTILITIES Apart from the parking lots and goods channels, the basement will also house the rainwater treatment plant & sump and the Sewage & waste water treatment plants. H) AIR TRAVEL LOUNGES Each urban module will have special air travel lounges which will have check in counter for different airlines, adjacent to or accessible to a sky station and the dedicated airport sky trains as detailed above, will operate from these sky stations.

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