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Old September 23rd, 2011, 04:00 PM   #281
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Originally Posted by -Pino- View Post
The Sopraelevata of Genova may have been much needed in terms of traffic relief, but in urban terms it is indeed horrendous, unless you prefer asphalt and noise over cityscapes. But since you call the former "modernity" and the latter "the old", it seems that you do. And of course nobody can stop you on this point, but at least you should be aware that you are a <1% minority.
The question is that: Genova, as with most Italian cities, had too much old stuff built there. That is because Italy was relatively poor well into 20th Century, so modernization and clean-up that reached German, French or British cities arrived late in Italy.

So it's not like they demolished everything in the city, but that the city had too much old stuff and taking a swath down was feasible. Look how well integrated is the Sopraelevata with the nearby buildings.





How is this any more intrusive than an elevated railway?


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Completely removing pedestrians is even quicker of course, but contrary to Suburbanist's thinking, pedestrians are there and a balance needs to be struck. Suburbanist seems to have lost every sense of balance with wet dreams of towns made up out of cars, in which non-cars are only tolerated if they live by the rules of the cars.
I'm not advocating that at all! I just think certain pedestrian crossings should be a bit more spaced (like over the Damrak) and, in the case of high-flow areas, pedestrian underpasses (instead of level crossings) should be built. Doesn't need to be something that is a wheelchair barrier: you can use ramps, and make a small bike-pedestrian (Separated by fences) tunnel - for instance, on the ways leading out of Centraal Station, between the Museumplein and the Concertgebouw etc.
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Old September 23rd, 2011, 04:06 PM   #282
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Look how well integrated is the Sopraelevata with the nearby buildings.
A freeway as an extended type of balcony is not what I call well integrated. As much as that is a matter of taste, the fact that you are not even finding others with the same taste on an infrastructure forum means that you are sub-1% minority with your taste.

By the way, I don't think that Italy's "late development" has been the key reason why Genova has a route like the Sopraelevata. Despite its late boom, the country was early at developing modern infrastructure like motorways and fast train tracks. And particularly Mussolini never really bothered when it came to demolishing larger residential areas to make way for urban infrastructure. The situation in Genova is more due to the fact that Italian planners never really cared about the place, in combination with the fact that its location between sea and mountain makes it an impossible place to construct fast routes without severely affecting residential areas.
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Old September 23rd, 2011, 07:11 PM   #283
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An elevated freeway can actually be an addition to an otherwise dated place, bringing some touches of modernity to mix with the old. Looks at this example: Genova, Italy. It's an area close to the old port, full of 18th century buildings. In the 1950s, they cleared whole swaths (the city had many, didn't make any loss to tear down two or three hundreds of them) to make way for this wide boulevard + elevated freeway (see it here on Google). The result was awesome, the are is not in decay - on the contrary - and the freeway provide easy access through the area.
That expressway ruined the coastal landscape of the city, they would't build anything similar in those days. I know that is very useful but a new undersea tunnel with 3 or 4 lanes for direction would be more efficient than the present 2+2 freeway. And obviously more eco-friendly. Genova is an historical city, not a modern industrial city like Mestre where the elevated A57 isn't so destructive.
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Old September 23rd, 2011, 07:16 PM   #284
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And particularly Mussolini never really bothered when it came to demolishing larger residential areas to make way for urban infrastructure.
You mean the boulevard "Via della Conciliazione" built in 1936 in Central Rome after demolishing a medieval neighborhood? This project wasn't as bad as the elevated expressways through Rome, Genoa and Neaples and the result is still aestethically pleasant. (don't think I'm apologizing fascism, it was an horrible period for Italy, I'm only speaking about urban planning).
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Old September 23rd, 2011, 07:21 PM   #285
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I share Suburbanist's views over lots of things, but I can't believe he's serious here. This elevated expressay over Genoa is AWFUL, TERRIBLE. Really, what's better for you? Nice or Genoa waterfronts?

OK, you may support the "suburban way of life". I, for one, the first to condemn this hysteria against suburbs and cars. However, advocating the demolition of historical cores of European cities is over the top. You can't be serious.
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Old September 23rd, 2011, 08:48 PM   #286
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Of course a tunnel could be built there, but in the 1960s that would have cost a hell of money, and it still would today! Tunnels are usually better options to open-air structures for noise containment as well.

I'm not saying an elevated expressway in Genova is better than a tunnel, just stating that it is better than no structure at all, and by that I mean that whole area being build-up until the waterfront line, with no traffic artery.

One should also notice the port isn't even the main area of Genova. Its most representative buildings are uphill a bit, and are being properly taken care of. The buildings destroyed to make way for the expressway were mainly from mid-to-late 19th century, after a first wave of demolitions had followed the arrival of the railway. Just a handful of buildings originally built before 1800 were cleared for the Sopraelevata. In other way: considering the huge architecture heritage of Genova, the losses were minimal for the benefit new transportation brought to the city.
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Old September 23rd, 2011, 08:51 PM   #287
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One point to add in respect of overpasses and underpasses for non-motorists, you'd need to look at the Bijlmer area of Amsterdam. It's 1960 urban thinking, in which planners thought that they had created a perfect neighbourhood for both motorists and non-motorists. So they created a neighbourhood in which motorists and non-motorists would never be conflicted, thanks to completely different routes.

But what happened in practice in the area is that everybody feels unsafe. Motorists have the idea that they drive through an urban wasteland in which they, if needs be, can never ask anybody for directions. Non-motorists of course freak out at the overpasses and underpasses, which are tight places that don't permit you to go anywhere if you run across someone after you. But even in other areas, non-motorists feel unsafe, as they are not sharing the road with motorists that would see a robbery that might occur.

That's cities à la Suburbanist ...
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Old September 23rd, 2011, 09:47 PM   #288
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The Bijlmer issues were exacerbated by the fact that these all quickly became housing of the lowest income group, which usually comes with high crime. I wouldn't attribute the Bijlmer problems completely on the fact that some (one actually) main road is grade-separated. Bijlmer would've been a rundown area without the S112 as well.
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Old September 23rd, 2011, 10:28 PM   #289
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Probably. You can even see it in my neighbourhood, which was built around 1992 and therefore a nice place for the City of Amsterdam to relocate some folk that had lost their houses due to the 1992 El Al crash. Let's say that they have not made the area much nicer ...

Anyway, notwithstanding the rundown folk that lives in the Bijlmer, I think that you can take it for a fact that overpasses and underpasses create a sense of insecurity among non-motorists. And the unheimisch feeling that motorists associate with driving through a neighbourhood where you don't see any non-motorist out there sounds very familiar too.
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Old September 23rd, 2011, 10:32 PM   #290
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I am in Toronto now and I think it definately needs some freeways specially some from north to downtown and some parallel to 401. I also think they need to make 407 free or at least cheaper and they should continue the subway line up north to Richmond hill.
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Old September 23rd, 2011, 10:39 PM   #291
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Having expressway in the middle of the city doesn't look that bad:


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Old September 24th, 2011, 12:14 AM   #292
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Quote:
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Having expressway in the middle of the city doesn't look that bad:
The lights look pretty cool, and I like the camera effect with the cars...
But they only look good here as its a pretty photo, not quite the reality of inner city motorways which tend to be big grey, noisy, and very undesirable...
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Old September 24th, 2011, 04:11 AM   #293
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When I was in the city one month ago it wasn't that bad. The city would be dead without them. (Although public transportation is heavily used and people are packed in the busses and metros.) And it doesn't ruin old districts of the city because it is not near the core downtown. The neighborhoods are not devided because of good access to residental areas, lots of pedesterian bridges and good public transportation.
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Old September 24th, 2011, 05:26 AM   #294
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Originally Posted by -Pino- View Post
Probably. You can even see it in my neighbourhood, which was built around 1992 and therefore a nice place for the City of Amsterdam to relocate some folk that had lost their houses due to the 1992 El Al crash. Let's say that they have not made the area much nicer ...

Anyway, notwithstanding the rundown folk that lives in the Bijlmer, I think that you can take it for a fact that overpasses and underpasses create a sense of insecurity among non-motorists. And the unheimisch feeling that motorists associate with driving through a neighbourhood where you don't see any non-motorist out there sounds very familiar too.
I repeat my recommendation to read Jane Jacobs' The Death and Life of Great American Cities. The importance of street life in traditional neighborhoods, and the lack thereof in modern public housing, was one of the things that most sticks with me about that book (which I read a good 20 or 25 years ago). She was ahead of her time in rebelling against postwar urban-planning thinking (she was writing around 1960).
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Old September 24th, 2011, 11:14 AM   #295
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Seems an interesting read. Part of the Bijlmer problem is not only the lack of street life around that type of building, but also that they deliberately tried to move any remaining form of street life away from the streets. As Chris mentions, s112 is the only fully grade-separated road of the area, but the streets that have their at-grade intersections are clearly not intended for non-motorised traffic. There is a lack of a sidewalks and bike paths; non-motorists are supposed to take different routes through the area. And those routes do cross underneath the streets intended for motorised traffic.

So the type of housing combines with streets that exclude any form of street life to create a failed neighbourhood.
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Old September 26th, 2011, 06:34 AM   #296
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2 days and no comments yet!
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Old September 26th, 2011, 06:42 AM   #297
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2 days and no comments yet!
I think everyone came to their own conclusion that urban motorways are unsustainable, undesirable, pollution magnets, traffic jam generators and community dividers...put that in your pipe and smoke it *clicks*
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Old September 26th, 2011, 09:15 AM   #298
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A cancelled expressway is synonymous with an urban motorway to you?

Anyway, there are numerous examples (especially Spain) to prove those arguments wrong.

Last edited by ChrisZwolle; September 26th, 2011 at 09:23 AM.
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Old September 26th, 2011, 10:15 AM   #299
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depending on the setting I think urban motorways are just fine and certainly would solve a lot of the problems in my home city of newcastle

Chicago



Cleveland



It's not so much urban motorways are fundamentally bad... they are not.

However it can be difficult to implement them correctly, especially in historic cities.
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Old September 26th, 2011, 10:37 AM   #300
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A cancelled expressway is synonymous with an urban motorway to you?
Not to me. Even though the reasoning behind those abandonments is completely different. In Germany in particular, one can identify many cancelled non-urban motorways too. Unlike urban motorways, I think that the key driver for those cancellations must have been the idea that those roads were unlikely to sustain a traffic density that justified motorway construction.

Does anyone really miss the following German routes that were never built?
- A4 Olpe - Bad Hersfeld
- A5 Giessen - Bremen
- A8 Pirmasens - Karlsruhe
- A45 Aschaffenburg - Stuttgart
- A48 Dernbach - Siegen
- A60 Wittlich - Bingen
- A93 Regensburg - Rosenheim
- A98 Basel - Rosenheim

On the other hand, some of those cancelled motorways are slowly but surely being turned into expressways. Parts of the cancelled part of A93 are now becoming a Gelbe Autobahn. In the Hunsrück they are slowly but surely upgrading B50: not in a place where A60 was once planned, but B50 will serve through traffic in a comparable manner. And in the mid-term future (as "Weiterer Bedarf"), there may even some further construction on the A4 between Olpe and Bad Hersfeld.
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