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Old August 21st, 2009, 07:19 AM   #1
minneapolis-uptown
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skyways?????

I know that minneapolis has the original and largest skyway system, but i was wondering if this is a usual thing for large cities, and are the systems similar in any way?


for those people who don't know what a skyway is, it is an indoor bridge that connects buildings over streets so people don't have to go outside.

here are some photos of skyways in Minneapolis:






and some pictures of what they look like inside:






and a map of the minneapolis skyway system:
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Old August 21st, 2009, 07:44 AM   #2
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They aren't that common in Canada. I know of only 3 in Halifax, but Calgary seems to have lots of them. I recall only 2 in Toronto. There's one connecting the downtown Bay store to the Eaton Centre across Queen Street and another running from Union Station to the Convention Centre, but this one doesn't cross any roads.

They're building a new one to connect the Air Canada Centre to Maple Leaf Square across the road in between. Most of Toronto's pedestrian connections to adjacent buildings are under ground or below the road, rather than above it.
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Old August 21st, 2009, 09:54 AM   #3
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The Winnipeg Skywalk is probably the most extensive above ground system in Canada, details for wikiedpia:

The Winnipeg Walkway System, popularly known as the Winnipeg Skywalk, is a network of pedestrian skyways and tunnels connecting a significant portion of the city centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
In 2002, a profile of Downtown Winnipeg published by the City of Winnipeg described the Walkway as a system of 14 skyways and 7 tunnels connecting 38 buildings and allowing for a maximum protected walk of 2 km. It went on to state that the system provides year-round climate-controlled access to over 170,000 m2 of space, including over 200 shops and businesses, 10 office complexes, 60 restaurants and snack bars, 700 apartment units, 2 hotels, 11 financial centres, and the Winnipeg Millennium Library, bringing together 21,000 employees.[1] There are plans to expand the walkway from City Place to the Convention Centre with construction from the spring of 2009 to the spring of 2010.[2]
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Old August 21st, 2009, 11:44 PM   #4
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Houston has one too, called the Houston Tunnel System, but it incorporates skywalks too.

Houston tunnel system
From Wikipedia,

The Houston tunnel system is a system of tunnels 6 m (about 20 ft) below Houston's downtown street system. The system is 10 km long (6-7 mi depending on the source), and forms a network of subterranean, climate-controlled, pedestrian walkways that link 95 full city blocks.
Today's Tunnel is a series of underground passageways that, with above-ground skywalks, link office towers to hotels, banks, corporate and government offices, restaurants, retail stores, and the Theater District. Only one building, Wells Fargo Plaza, offers direct access from the street to the Tunnel; otherwise, other entry points are from street-level stairs, escalators, and elevators located inside buildings that are connected to the tunnel. Most of the tunnel system is located in the western half of downtown Houston.

Discontinuous portions

The Harris County tunnel at the far north side of downtown is not connected to the rest of the system by either tunnels or skywalks. This portion connects Harris County courts, jails, and associated buildings totaling 10 blocks. Six blocks of the St. Joseph Medical Center is connected via skywalks at the southeast corner of downtown near the Pierce elevated.
Other parts not connected to the main tunnel system are the skywalk connections between the Hilton-Americas Hotel and George R. Brown Convention Center, the skywalk connections at the Toyota Center, and at the Houston Public Library.

And i also think they're going to connect the u/c Hess Tower to 5 Houston Center via skywalk, and 5 Houston Center is connected to the Houston Tunnel System.
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Old August 22nd, 2009, 06:05 AM   #5
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Here in Toronto, we use PATH. It is underground, a set of walkways with stores along them. It is the largest "underground shopping complex" in the world.

The whole "skyway" thing looks really cool, and ESSENTIAL in cities like Minneapolis, or Winnipeg.
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Old August 22nd, 2009, 10:41 AM   #6
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The only one I have seen is the skyway that connects Athens airport main terminal with the metro and suburban railway station:


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Old August 22nd, 2009, 01:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by minneapolis-uptown View Post
I know that minneapolis has the original and largest skyway system
The idea to connect separated building via elevated pedestrian bridge isn't that recent. Here's one very famous example in Venice, Italy:



This being said, it is indeed not thought as an extended system connecting several downtown malls. You can still find a very similar concept in Paris with the pedestrian walkways connecting Galeries Lafayette buildings and Printemps buildings. However, they're made to unify those departments stores rather than to make of it a pedestrian system.







Considering more modern examples, there's a huge network of elevated walkways in Hong Kong Central and Admiralty districts. You can cross nearly all the area only going from mall to mall without even touching the ground once.



I've personnally disliked it because it gave me the feeling of killing the streetlife vibrancy of the city. Indeed, in devellopping such networks, you give most of space at ground level to cars, making it even harder for pedestrian to use sidewalks.

HK neighbourhoods of Kowloon or Wangchai gave me a better urban feeling than Central HK, and I believe that's predominantly because elevated pedestrian walkways are less used there.

Last edited by Metropolitan; August 22nd, 2009 at 01:35 PM.
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Old August 22nd, 2009, 08:31 PM   #8
Kame
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Interesting thread, I didn't know there were such huge systems in some cities.

We have some small examples of skybridges here in Kiel, all aroud the Sophienhof Shopping Center, next to the Central Station:



Most of them look ugly and the whole center sucks as it kills the streetlife between the Station and the Holstenstraße (a shopping street, pedestrian zone). In addition, a lot of old buildings had to be demolished due to its construction in the 80's. A lively and diverse continuation of the Holstenstraße would have been way cooler!

Anyway, here is one of the better looking examples (modernized a few years ago) leading over the central bus station:



I guess this concept somehow makes more sence in American downtowns than in German city centers.
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Old August 23rd, 2009, 12:52 AM   #9
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Des Moines, Lowa, has skyways in the downtown, if Im not wrong.
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Old August 23rd, 2009, 01:25 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isaidso View Post
They aren't that common in Canada ... and another running from Union Station to the Convention Centre, but this one doesn't cross any roads.
And a picture!

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http://www.flickr.com/photos/5597611...33489/sizes/o/
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Old August 24th, 2009, 02:02 AM   #11
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Melbourne



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Old August 24th, 2009, 08:05 AM   #12
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more in minneapolis:















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Old August 24th, 2009, 08:09 AM   #13
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fergot to post this one:
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Old August 24th, 2009, 09:07 AM   #14
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There are very few skyways in Montreal, but Montreal has the largest underground city in the world.

But here is one of the few skyways in Montreal, the one that connects the CDP capital building

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here is another one connecting the convetion center from inside

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