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Old 03-12-2013, 12:10 PM
 
2,493 posts, read 2,196,095 times
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IMO skywalks are inappropriate for downtowns for all the reasons HandsUpThumbsDown mentioned.
In soulless suburban office parks surrounded by parking they might make sense.

I will not pass judgement on Minneapolis, aka Siberia, but that is an exception.

Indianapolis has a skywalk over one downtown intersection that also serves as an art gallery.
Believe it increases street life since it connects to street level on all 4 corners and is more a destination than a shortcut.
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Old 03-12-2013, 12:12 PM
 
Location: The City
22,331 posts, read 32,182,008 times
Reputation: 7739
A better image with street grid



http://osric.com/chris/subway/concourse1000x1000.gif
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Old 03-12-2013, 12:22 PM
 
Location: Cincinnati
3,341 posts, read 5,929,297 times
Reputation: 2069
i, too, give a big thumbs-down to skywalks. the movement was in response to the shopping mall and the suburbanization of america. downtowns tried to give consumers what they thought they wanted.

here are my criticisms:

1. streets should remain the heart of the city. skywalks take life off of the street.
2. cities struggle with maintaining existing infrastructure. skywalks are another level of infrastructure that must be maintained. they have four surfaces (floor, walls, ceiling) to maintain instead of the one (concrete base) of sidewalks.
3. seemingly privatizes public space. access to the system is often through retailers or hotels. parks, churches, and other public spaces are not prioritized. potentially creates a literal second level of society.
4. skywalks take the public eye off of the street. nothing discourages crime more than eyes on the street. secondly, cities are defined by the relationship between public spaces (streets, sidewalks, parks) and buildings. the skywalk system kills this almost entirely.
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Old 03-12-2013, 12:27 PM
 
Location: The City
22,331 posts, read 32,182,008 times
Reputation: 7739
^ agree
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Old 03-12-2013, 01:52 PM
 
Location: Philaburbia
32,391 posts, read 59,880,407 times
Reputation: 54036
Quote:
Originally Posted by KeepRightPassLeft View Post
People who work downtown every day, whether they commute from some suburb, take the bus from the inner city or walk 6 blocks should be able to ideally bypass the "synergy" of the street life so that they can just get to their desks or get home quicker.
Right. When I lived in Cincinnati, I was grateful for the opportunity of bypassing the "synergy" of all the Cubs fans lolling about the sidewalks in packs when the team was in town.

I also appreciated being able to walk the five blocks from the bus stop to the office, but only spending a half block of it outside in the pouring rain, winter wind, or heat and humidity.

And if I want to go into a business on the street level, I can and will do that. If I'm late for the bus, I'm not going to stop anyway. And of I don't want to go into a business on the street level, my passing by the business on a daily basis isn't going to change my mind.

We must be the most impulsive people on the face of this earth. Oooh! Look! Shiny! I must have it!



Quote:
I think the majority of office workers share a similar mentality, and if there's something on the street that they want/need, they'll go that way instead.
Exactly ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by progmac View Post
2. cities struggle with maintaining existing infrastructure. skywalks are another level of infrastructure that must be maintained. they have four surfaces (floor, walls, ceiling) to maintain instead of the one (concrete base) of sidewalks.
This objection I can buy. The others ... no.
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Old 03-12-2013, 02:03 PM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
6,473 posts, read 11,108,470 times
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I think people misunderstood the meaning of "synergy."
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Old 03-12-2013, 06:35 PM
 
Location: Philaburbia
32,391 posts, read 59,880,407 times
Reputation: 54036
Quote:
Originally Posted by HandsUpThumbsDown View Post
I think people misunderstood the meaning of "synergy."
Sarcasm, my dear, sarcasm ...
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Old 03-12-2013, 07:07 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 23 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,016 posts, read 102,649,686 times
Reputation: 33082
Quote:
Originally Posted by progmac View Post
i, too, give a big thumbs-down to skywalks. the movement was in response to the shopping mall and the suburbanization of america. downtowns tried to give consumers what they thought they wanted.

here are my criticisms:

1. streets should remain the heart of the city. skywalks take life off of the street.
2. cities struggle with maintaining existing infrastructure. skywalks are another level of infrastructure that must be maintained. they have four surfaces (floor, walls, ceiling) to maintain instead of the one (concrete base) of sidewalks.
3. seemingly privatizes public space. access to the system is often through retailers or hotels. parks, churches, and other public spaces are not prioritized. potentially creates a literal second level of society.
4. skywalks take the public eye off of the street. nothing discourages crime more than eyes on the street. secondly, cities are defined by the relationship between public spaces (streets, sidewalks, parks) and buildings. the skywalk system kills this almost entirely.
Rant, rant, rant! Ever been to Minneapolis in the winter? How about with a couple of little kids?
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Old 03-12-2013, 09:17 PM
 
634 posts, read 852,669 times
Reputation: 1458
I can't believe nobody has mentioned Des Moines. They have a very extensive skywalk system throughout the downtown and people love it. Especially good for the cold weather climates!
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Old 03-12-2013, 09:38 PM
 
Location: Canada
4,699 posts, read 8,496,721 times
Reputation: 4893
Quote:
Originally Posted by whakru View Post
I can't believe nobody has mentioned Des Moines. They have a very extensive skywalk system throughout the downtown and people love it. Especially good for the cold weather climates!
Indeed! Check out this great map of the Des Moines skywalk:




Also, I know you specified US cities, but I thought I'd add a map of the Calgary skywalk for the heck of it since its pretty impressive. There's 9.9 miles of skywalk and 59 bridges in a metro of just a little over a million.

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