Friday, August 31, 2007

New York as Venice

While researching my book on omnitopia, I came across The Building of the City, a volume of the 1931 Regional Plan of New York, which describes a plan of elevated walkways designed to allow pedestrians and motorists to occupy separate spheres:
We see a city with sidewalks, arcaded within the building lines, and one story above the present street grade. We see bridges at all corners, the width of the arcades and with solid railings. We see the smaller parks of the city . . . raised to this same sidewalk-arcade level . . . and the whole aspect becomes that of a very modernized Venice, a city of arcades, plazas and bridges, with canals for streets, only the canal will not be filled with water but with freely flowing motor traffic, the sun glittering on the black tops of the cars and the buildings reflecting in this waving flood of rapidly rolling vehicles.
When I can, I'll post an image of that quasi-utopian vision of metropolis.

1 comment:

Lis Riba said...

Sounds like something I remember from downtown Minneapolis.

I believe they have walkways between buildings on the third floor (above traffic).

Makes sense for MN, given the cold winters.