Hong Kong's elevated walkways
Robinson   Nov 30.-0001
In Hong Kong, it is possible to walk all day without ever having to set foot on the ground.

Introduction

In one of the most densely populated cities in the world, the urban hustle and bustle that plays out on Hong Kong’s streets, as throngs of people jostle while  going about their daily business, fascinates visitors not used to such pace. But such interactions don’t only play out on the streets. Indeed, one of the striking aspects of Hong Kong’s cityscape is the extensive labyrinth of elevated pedestrian walkways,connecting and extending high-rise buildings like a giant maze. Intriguingly,in many areas of the city, it is possible to walk a kilometre or more from point A to point B without ever touching the ground.

Reason to Be Selected

Density obliterates figure-ground in the city, and in turn re-defines public-private spatial relationships.

Highlights:

Three-dimensional circulation networks

Pedestrain system in high-dense city

Details

Without a ground, there can be no figure either. In fact, Hong Kong lacks any of the traditional figure-ground relationships that shape urban space: axis, edge, center, even fabric.Hongkong’s three-dimensional circulation networks join shopping malls, train stations and public transport interchanges, public parks and private lobbies as a series of spatial models and drawings. These networks, though built piecemeal, owned by different public and private stakeholders, and adjacent to different programs and uses, form a continuous space of variegated environments that serves as a fundamental public resource for the city. The emergence of the shopping malls as spaces of civil society rather than of global capital— as grounds of resistance— comes as a surprise.
This continuous network and the microclimates of temperature, humidity, noise and smell which differentiate it constitute an entirely new form of urban spatial hierarchy. The benefits of these systems are manifold: firstly, they alleviate street traffic and pedestrian congestion. This is especially true when many main thoroughfares or expressways cuts through the city, effectively disconnecting neighbourhoods; the elevated walkways relink them, greatly increasing pedestrian flow and convenience. Also, almost all the overhead walkways are covered, protecting pedestrians from both sun and rain, something that can be helpful in a city
with over 100 inches of rainfall annually. The walkways also provide a relaxing and safe environment to walk in, free from worry about vehicle traffic. And for
the most part they lead to popular destinations: MTR and other transport exchanges, office buildings, shopping malls or residential developments, and of
course they are all eminently safe as they are well lit at all hours.
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Conclusions

The city’s overhead walkways also transform conventional notions of public space. Rather than competing with motor traffic and essential calls on the public realm at ground level, these quintessentially Hong Kong public spaces liberate movement in their own maze-like world, providing an organic connectedness that redefines urban existence.

 

 

 

Hong Kong - (City IQ)

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