Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The tramways in Paris should embolden transit designers in the U.S. to design for beauty as well as practicality in alignments

New Tramway Paris
Originally uploaded by rob_wrenn
Yonah Freemark uses a link to this image to demonstrate that thus far, European countries, and in Paris particularly, have integrated light rail far better into extant places than we have in the U.S., in a discussion on the new opening of the Green Line Light Rail in Portland, Oregon, and it's failure of commission--by using a freeway as the bed for the transit line, it is likely increasing returns and benefits from better linkages between communities, neighborhoods, reinvestment, and revitalization opportunities and transit WILL NOT HAPPEN.

See "Portland’s New Light Rail Line is Welcome News, But It’s Not Routed as It Should Be" from The Transport Politic.

Generally, it is fair to say that fixed rail transit lines installed in a manner where they are disconnected from activity centers, be they neighborhoods or destinations like central and neighborhood commercial districts, and other places such as universities, arts and entertainment facilities/destinations, etc., that the likelihood of high usage and revitalization impacts are minimal.

It will be interesting to see if Maryland's Mass Transit Administration will design the Purple Line light rail system to be beautiful, as is the T3 tram (relatively speaking) in Paris.


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