Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: Public space under bridges?

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    16

    Public space under bridges?

    I am currenly working on a project in which we are investigating using space under a bridge as public space/park.

    The bridge is relatively high, and so the space does receive daylight, and it spans waterfront property. This is a dense, urban site, and so utilising all available space is a priority. Hence the park/open space idea.

    We're thinking of making a skateboard park / basketball court or other use (either hard or soft space). I am looking for precedents from around the world (if any) on other successful examples. I know both Barcelona and Vancouver have some active under bridge spaces.

    Any suggestions/input would be great. Thanks!

  2. #2
    I would imagine that issues of security for those under the bridge might be an issue. I don't know for sure because I've never seen public space under the bridge. In Cincinnati, all the space under the bridges crossing the Ohio are either parking or belonging to the electric company. Upon hearing this idea, the first thing that came to my mind was the potential of tire tread or other objects flying off the bridge and harming those beneath. I'd be curious to see, though, the results of whatever path you chose to take.

  3. #3

    Registered
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Manchester, England
    Posts
    5
    I remember seeing a fantastic public park under a some railway tracks in Amsterdam. It's by uberlandscapers West 8. There's a bit of info herehttp://www.west8.nl/archive/projects/carrasco.html

    It's worth finding some more pictures - the cast iron tree stumps that glow are a joy to behold!

    BTW, I'm in Montreal at the moment and have just cycled along a great cycle/rollerblade track that runs underneath a large part of a motorway. It's by the river and is a great place to shelter from the sun this time of year. If your site is on a major route why not consider including something like this?

  4. #4
    Cyburbian JNL's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Wellington, NZ
    Posts
    2,447
    Brisbane has a cycleway and pedestrian path that passes under a bridge. They were having problems with graffiti, drug use, muggings etc there so they redesigned it with improved lighting, better signage to assist people to know where they were and what was at street level, and they also used colour to indicate uses e.g to alert pedestrians that they were crossing a cycleway. The upgrade is considered very successful.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    The Cheese State
    Posts
    9,981
    I remember an article in Landscape Architecture about such a park. It was within the past year. Sorry I can't be any more specific.

  6. #6
    Member
    Registered
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    16
    Thanks so far for the responses. I've pursued each - keep them coming!!

  7. #7

    Registered
    Sep 2001
    Location
    somewhere cold
    Posts
    201
    Chicago uses areas under bridges to park municipal vehicles - although that does not sound like your intention. I saw an article a long time ago - I don't remember where - about the use of color lighting to discourage crime under bridges. The article has some really cool photos of lighting that made the undersides of bridges look like art.

    Sounds like a cool idea - letus know what happens.

  8. #8
    The area under Burnside Bridge in Portland, Oregon has been well utilized, famously so. The are under the eastern side of the bridge is home to a very successful skate park built (w/o permission) by a few dedicated locals and later sanctioned by the city of Portland. The eastern end of the bridge also houses a very popular Saturday Market. The area is also popular with protestors. And isn't that the sure sign of consummate planning?

    This is a link to the homepage of the market.

    And here is a link to the best site I could find on the skatepark.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    South Milwaukee
    Posts
    8,935
    Originally posted by planasaurus
    Chicago uses areas under bridges to park municipal vehicles - although that does not sound like your intention.
    They also use them as places to burn the US Mail!

  10. #10
    Cyburbian GeogPlanner's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Capital Region, NY
    Posts
    1,429
    I drive past one or two of these parks a day in Troy NY...basketball courts exclusively though, but I'm sure a skateboard park would work just as well.
    Information necessitating a change of design will be conveyed to the designer after and only after the design is complete. (Often called the 'Now They Tell Us' Law) - Fyfe's First Law of Revision

    We don't believe in planners and deciders making the decisions on behalf of Americans. -- George W. Bush , Scranton, PA -- 09/06/2000

  11. #11

    Registered
    Sep 2001
    Location
    somewhere cold
    Posts
    201
    Originally posted by bturk


    They also use them as places to burn the US Mail!
    Why do they burn the U.S. mail?

  12. #12

    Miami

    Underneath Interstate 95 in Downtown Miami, they have a public park. It is pretty safe during the daytime. They have basketball courts. The great thing about it is that it shades the area from the sun, therefore making it cooler. As for safety, I felt pretty safe. The only thing I noticed was small pebbles from time to time.....very small.

  13. #13
         
    Registered
    Jul 2002
    Location
    an island in the pacific
    Posts
    20
    Vancouver's Granville Island under the granville bridge is an extreamly popular destination for market style shopping, eating, going to a show, or even attending one of the two schools under that bridge, a culinary and an art school. As well, the Cambie Bridge in Vancouver has many high end townhomes with amazing ocean and mountain views.

    I have never seen any object fly off a brige from a car above. I imagine that any bridge that has legal developement underneath would have the proper impediments inplace to prevent such objects from harming anyone underneath.

    Have you permission at this time to develope under your bridge?

  14. #14
    Member
    Registered
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    16
    At this point, we don't necessarily have permission to develop anything under the bridge. But I started to look at the opportunities under the bridge after visiting the site and realising that there is no real border between the site and the line drawn at the edge of the bridge. I think all too often we draw a line at the edge of our site and then look inward at what to do. In this case, the line at the edge of the bridge seems arbitrary in a way, and it's that which has made me consider the underneath as an extension of the site.

    Again, thanks for all the suggestions, keep 'em coming, and I'll let you know what happens....

  15. #15
    Cyburbian statler's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Boston Area
    Posts
    450
    Baud

    I'm not sure if this will help but this a site with some graphics of the new bridge they have built in Boston. It is not very detailed but hopefully it will give you some ideas.

    Zakim Bridge

+ Reply to thread

More at Cyburbia

  1. Public/open space guidelines
    Design, Space, and Place
    Replies: 0
    Last post: 22 Jun 2010, 11:55 AM
  2. Replies: 0
    Last post: 10 Sep 2009, 8:30 PM
  3. Public space short films
    Design, Space, and Place
    Replies: 2
    Last post: 03 Feb 2009, 8:40 AM
  4. Replies: 0
    Last post: 01 Aug 2007, 1:14 PM
  5. Accessible public space and policy
    Design, Space, and Place
    Replies: 0
    Last post: 10 Apr 1996, 2:32 PM