Category: Mobility

Adelaide, Australia: A “twenty-minute city”

Adelaide was designed in 1836 by Colonel William Light. The grid layout, with five squares in the city center and a ring of parks, makes Adelaide a mobility minded city. While it doesn’t exactly qualify as an especially public transit minded city, the benefits of Light’s design mostly cater to the driving population of Adelaide.
Adelaide has been consciously planned throughout all stages of its growth, with multi-lane roads and a very navigable grid layout existing in the plan from the beginning. In the 1960s, the Metropolitan Adelaide Transport Study Plan was proposed in order to research ways to accommodate the future growth of the city. This involved the building of new freeways, expressways, as well as upgrades of the existing public transport system.
The Adelaide Metro is the transport system that caters to the Adelaide metro area, and because the city is centrally located on the Australian continent, it functions as a hub for different routes throughout the continent. However, Adelaide’s main accomplishment when it comes to mobility is its dedication to easy road transport. It is known as a “twenty-minute city” with commuters being able to travel from the edges of the city to the center in around 20 minutes.

Hampton Roads Region, Virginia

The Hampton Roads Region of Virginia has long been an important site for the U.S. armed forces, as during the Civil War, the Hampton Roads waterway was the site of the first battle between two ironclad ships, the Monitor and the Merrimac. In addition, the first naval action of the War of 1812 took place in the waters of Hampton Roads, when a Royal Naval ship was seized by American privateers. Today, Hampton Roads remains a significant site for the U.S. Navy, as the world’s largest naval station, the Naval Station Norfolk, is located in Norfolk, Virginia, near the center of this region. Of the twenty-seven bases for the armed forces located in Virginia, this region contains fourteen of them, with bases for the Army, the Navy, the Coast Guard, and the Air Force, as well as a support base at which Marine Corps personnel are stationed.
Because this region contains a number of bases for the various branches of the military, it was important to be able to transport supplies or troops from any direction, resulting in the spiderweb pattern visible on the map, which centers on the city of Norfolk. In order to ensure that the military could get anywhere within the region quickly, there are five different interstate highways in the network, as well as five different U.S. highways, including Route 13, which runs from North Carolina to Pennsylvania.
In addition to the complex network of highways, the Virginia General Assembly constructed the 17.6 mile long Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel to connect the Hampton Roads Region with the Delmarva Peninsula, offering a quick route between the two. Originally, the government had considered a bridge high off the water, but concerns of the base in Norfolk being cut off if the bridge collapsed forced the government to make it into a bridge-tunnel system. The CBBT is one of only ten bridge-tunnel systems in the world, with two of the remaining nine also being located in the region. The Hampton Roads region has always been an extremely important location for the U.S. military, especially the Navy, and the ease of transportation around the area almost ensures that it will continue to be an important location for years to come.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

The rapid rise of Dubai is relatively unprecedented in urban planning, as in the course of decades, deserts has given way to a world-class city that is currently one of the wealthiest and most iconic. However, despite Dubai’s innovative buildings and land-use projects, such as The World and Palm Islands, mobility in Dubai is relatively restricted to automobile use. This is evident in the the layout of wide roads and various highways that run orthogonally throughout the city. In addition, as one of the wealthiest cities in the world, Dubai has a rich car culture, which is not only embraced by individuals (as some of the rarest production cars ultimately end up in Dubai), but is also embraced by the city, which captures this enthusiasm by auctioning off low number plates (e.g. #1-999) for millions of dollars. In addition, the city maintains an exotic supercar fleet for its police force, consisting of various Mercedes-AMG models, a Lamborghini Aventador, Bugatti Veyron, Ferrari LaFerrari, etc. While Dubai’s socioeconomic conditions and automobile dependent infrastructure make Dubai an undisputed supercar hotspot, the dependence on automobiles has resulted in severe traffic problems, with the average Dubai driver spending 80 hours in congestion every year. While Dubai has attempted to address these problems through the construction of the Dubai Metro, the Metro system appears to link mostly tourist areas. In addition, Dubai lacks a rail link between Dubai and its nearby sister city of Abu Dhabi. So while Dubai tries to spin its transportation woes by promoting their plan for flying taxis, in reality, the young city is trying to expand its metro system in order to be less-reliant on automobiles. In this sense, the mobility of Dubai is not emblematic of its reputation as a city of the future, but is more inline with other car-dependent cities that have bold plans to be more multimodal.

South Korea (Gyeongbu Expressway & Line)

Seoul went through a period of major urban mobility development during the Park Chung-Hee authoritarian regime. Park’s policies were highly focused on economic development of South Korea after its destruction during the Korean War. Consequently, he is accredited for much of South Korea’s modern infrastructure and economic prosperity even today, despite his autocratic ways of implementing these development plans. Of these plans, the opening of Gyeongbu Expessway is a particularly notable project. This highway is 416 km (258.49 miles) long and connects South Korea’s capital, Seoul, to the country’s largest port city, Busan. The Gyeongbu highway also passes through the country’s administrative city, Sejong, making it the most heavily travelled highway in South Korea. This Seoul-Busan axis became extremely congested in the 1990s, which then led to the development of a Korean Train Express in 1992. This railway opened in 2004 and in 2010 Osong station was added in this expressway railway to include a stop in Sejong City. As such, South Korea’s extensive, high-speed transportation system is developed around these three major cities Thus, it demonstrates Seoul’s efforts to decongest the capital city and disseminate its economic prosperity throughout the country.

Sources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gyeongbu_Expressway
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gyeongbu_Line

Toronto: Ctiy of Future Mobility

Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and the most populous city in Canada, with a population of 2,731,571 as of 2016. Current to 2016, the Toronto census metropolitan area (CMA), of which the majority is within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), held a population of 5,928,040, making it Canada’s most populous CMA. It has placed a focus on mobility for all of its future developments. It’s future forward mobility design is focused on 5 things: 1.) complete streets, 2.) Walking, 3.) Cycling, 4.) Public Transit, 5.) Motor vehicles. Regarding completed streets they will undertake a Street Typology Study for key Downtown streets to identify street types and modal priorities. For walking they will, undertake Downtown-focused pedestrian safety improvements as part of the Vision Zero Road Safety Plan. For cycling, they will continue implementing initiatives already planned as part of the 10-Year Cycling Network Plan. For public transit, they review lessons-learned from King Street Transit Pilot, undertake a Downtown Transit Area Study to develop a longterm vision and plan for surface transit improvements needed to accommodate growth within and near the Downtown to improve transit reliability, reduce transit travel times, and increase transit ridership. For motor vehicles Implement the Curbside Management Strategy and promote off-peak delivery using alternative delivery methods such as bicycles and smaller delivery vehicles within the Downtown.

Old West Durham, North Carolina

Old West Durham, North Carolina

Old West Durham, formerly known as Hayti, and its economic decline in the latter half of the 20th century, is a typical example of the negative effects of urban renewal on African-American neighborhoods. Hayti, named after the first independent black republic in the western hemisphere, was established during the 1880s as a result of the growing tobacco trade in Durham. Soon the community became economically and socially independent and grew to be one of the most successful black neighborhoods in the United States. Beginning in the late 1950s, there was an increased interest in connecting downtown Durham with (mostly white) suburbs in the southern periphery of the city, however, the tight-knit community (both physically and socially) of Hayti stood in the way of increased mobility for these residents. In 1957, the North Carolina General Assembly approved a bill for urban renewal of the Hayti neighborhood, citing slum-like conditions: high density, health issues and poor planning of commercial and residential development. The bill included plans for rezoning of much of the neighborhood to build the Durham Freeway, a large highway that ran directly through the neighborhood, and to allow for the construction of more parking and wider streets to increase automobile accessibility. Not only did the plan cost millions of dollars and take over 14 years, but it displaced more than 4,000 and irreparably destroyed the commercial viability and social cohesiveness of an entire community, all for the sake of greater car mobility. Today, the Hayti area remains one of the most economically neglected and exploited areas in all of Durham.

Sources:
Anderson,  J.  B.  (1990).  Durham County: A History of Durham County, North Carolina.  Duke  University  Press, Durham, N.C.
Durham Redevelopment Commission, Durham, N.C. (1960).  Hayti-Elizabeth Street renewal area: general neighborhood renewal plan: project no. N.C. R-7 (GN).  City Planning and Architectural Services, Chapel Hill, N.C.

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