Urban Links Binding Cities into Units

The design of the links between precincts of a city might be expected to fall outside the purview of urban design, and be a regional and city planning or civil engineering endeavour. Much new town design, however, starts out by working out the infrastructure pattern as Le Corbusier did in promulgating his design for the restructuring of Antwerp in the 1930s (see Figure 10.6) and certainly it was the approach applied in Runcorn.

Links can be highways or roads, heavy- or light-rail links, and pedestrian and cycle-ways. Many cities in the world from Johannesburg to Los Angeles to Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) had extensive light-rail (or tram/trolley) systems until the 1940s or even later. Lobbying from motor organizations and motorists had many of them ripped up because they inconvenienced automobile drivers. There are, however, about 350 such systems now operating in the world; approximately 60 have been introduced since 1975. Los Angeles and San Diego initiated their new systems in the 1980s. Strasbourg opened its in 1994. These new networks are restricted in their range but plans for extension are numerous. In addition, many older systems are being rebuilt to operate in a more luxurious and smoother running fashion. Designers today are paying special attention to the landscaping of streets and public squares along the trolley routes to ensure that they are aesthetically acceptable components of the urban scene. Though all these networks may be important, roads and pedestrian paths remain the major structuring elements of urban form.

Three case studies of citywide infrastructures design that have strong urban design overtones have been included here. The selection of Curitiba in Brazil is arbitrary but it is internationally considered to be a good example of master planning and a relatively inexpensive plug-in urban design. It serves well as an example of how the infrastructure and urban design projects can go hand in hand. The other two case studies deal with mass transit heavy-rail systems. The first of these two is one that was largely, but not entirely, considered prior to urban development taking place. The second is a subway system put into place in response to potential demand but also as a catalyst for local urban renewal projects in areas of

Figure 10.6 Le Corbusier's proposal for Antwerp circa 1935. (a) The movement infrastructure system and (b) the proposed image of the city.

Figure 10.6 Le Corbusier's proposal for Antwerp circa 1935. (a) The movement infrastructure system and (b) the proposed image of the city.

a city undergoing rapid transformation. The first of them is the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system of Singapore and the second is the Jubilee Line extension in London. The building of the line is no unique occurrence. Many more extensive systems are being built. Delhi, for instance, opened its Metro Rail in December 2002. It is planned to be a 241-kilometre system with 90 stations by 2021. It is being built to hold together the existing parts of a fragmented and rapidly growing city with car ownership reputedly the equivalent of the rest of India together (to say nothing of the city's 47 other modes of road transportation from buses to elephants to rickshaws to human-drawn carts). Bangkok has an elevated system running at the fifth floor level through the city. It is, however, Curitiba that is the exemplar of planning for a system in an existing, rapidly growing, urban environment.

Homeowners Guide To Landscaping

Homeowners Guide To Landscaping

How would you like to save a ton of money and increase the value of your home by as much as thirty percent! If your homes landscape is designed properly it will be a source of enjoyment for your entire family, it will enhance your community and add to the resale value of your property. Landscape design involves much more than placing trees, shrubs and other plants on the property. It is an art which deals with conscious arrangement or organization of outdoor space for human satisfaction and enjoyment.

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