Friday, November 12, 2010

Social Cities

The blog post bellow reminded me of another post I read not too long ago : Archipelago. When describing the maps of social clusters in London, NewYork and Paris developed for URBAGRAM, Anil Bawa-Cavia notes that:

"The modern metropolis can often feel like a social archipelago – fragmented islands of social activity separated by large areas dedicated to commercial workplaces, flows of vehicles, residential sprawl or industrial sites"

These maps show that the pedestrian network and the social hubs are superposed. Therefore walkability plays a focal role in the social space of modern urban areas. In spite of the fact that all the cities above do have a comprehensive public transportation network.

And if you already started to wonder why...Why did this post about urban pedestrian networks got published on a blog advocating public transportation? Well, it is elementary…When transportation is mainly assured by privately own vehicles, the only way to avoid traffic congestion is suburban sprawl. But sprawl areas are less likely to develop pedestrian networks because of distances. On the other side, public transportation can work effectively in concentrated urban areas.

This is why the stories on this blog cannot be limited to stories of using public transportation. We are talking about a multimodal network in which public transportation can provide an effective connection between the urban social hubs that make any city, Pittsburgh included, an event city. A city where social life sprawls.

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