BEYOND FACILITATING AN ADVANTAGEOUS COMMERCIAL ENVIRONMENT for tenants, the sprawling, unbounded organization of Central Station allows it to fully exploit the high-desert climate, which is defined by hot days, cold nights, and plentiful sunlight. Because of the station's pancake shape, every interior space will have access to sophisticated skylights; almost any imaginable lighting scenario can be accomplished via filtering, shading, and refracting sunlight. Climate control will be more efficient, thanks to the employment of thermal mass, night purging, natural ventilation, evaporative cooling, and passive solar heat, all of which work better in a single-story building and in a desert environment.

Building a high-speed rail network and eco-friendly mega-station in the desert Southwest may at first seem audacious, even fanciful. But having reviewed our plan, we hope you'll agree that the VPL Authority's vision is only as bold as those of its forerunners in the region and perhaps more practical. We find ourselves at a cultural and political moment in America where such forward-thinking, environmentally responsible, economically viable blueprints for the infrastructure of the twenty-first century are gaining traction. Momentum is building in Washington, and we have reason to believe that the Obama administration considers the eight billion dollars in stimulus money dedicated to high-speed rail as a down payment on a much larger amount to be delivered in the 2010 transportation bill.

What sets the VPL Authority's project apart from so many wish-list ideas of the past decade is its pragmatic approach to changing the face of American infrastructure, its appeal to big business and the grassroots alike. It is a plan with a potential constituency as broad as the Mojave Desert.

While we have received preliminary funding from the White House, it will take popular support and private investment to make this happen. We've only just broken ground on the preliminary phases of the rail network, so there's still plenty of time to make your voice heard before construction begins in the spring. Please send your comments to us at info@VPLauthority.com, and write your local congressional representatives to voice your support. Tell them you're ready for smart-sprawl.