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Linked City

Join skyscrapers at several levels
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(+7, -1)
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We're all familiar with skyscrapers. They're the way cities have developed to get a lot of floorspace into a relatively small footprint. Unfortunately, they're annoying, as to get from one point to another one almost always has to descend to ground level, move laterally, then reascend.

To mitigate this and provide commons benefits, I propose a new city architecture, managed by changing the building codes. In essence buildings in the appropriate area would form a grid, and be required to provide public walkways and interface with their neighbours at certain predefined heights above sea-level (say every two stories), as well as having entrances at ground level. The city would be served by public mass-transport at several levels.

The reason for interfacing buildings at absolute heights above sea-level is to ensure that buildings join up correctly. Obviously the ground height must be taken into account - buildings would not be required to span the 'full range' - ie to have incredibly deep basements at higher altitudes, or be very tall at low altitudes. Indeed, the city need not be incredibly high-rise to attain a relatively good density - with current cities a lot of space seems to be wasted.

Thus, the route from any particular place to another would be much more direct. Buildings would need less vertical transport capacity, and so would be more efficient. Queuing for lifts would still be reduced as traffic spikes could be shared between neighbouring buildings. And the result would be a very futuristic-looking city.

Loris, Nov 07 2008

Above ground tunnels in downtown Atlanta http://www.giftswho...letter/2008Mar.html
There's another one not pictured over Peachtree St. which must be on the 20th floor at least. [krelnik, Nov 08 2008]

Sky City http://en.wikipedia.../wiki/Sky_City_1000
[bs0u0155, Aug 06 2012]


       we've got decamiles of underground continuous shopping here, under and in between downtown buildings; there are a few raised walkways, but each building would have to dedicate a floor to transport-nexus, thus reducing overall income for the property management.
FlyingToaster, Nov 07 2008

       //but each building would have to dedicate a floor to transport-nexus,//   

       No it wouldn't. It's not like there would be more people moving around than there otherwise would be. And these are large city-centre style buildings we're talking about. There would be a few more public walkways (which in any case would probably be paid for and maintained by the city, as streets are now) - but there would be fewer lifts and non-public walkways, so there should still be a big space & efficiency saving.
Loris, Nov 08 2008

       what happens during earthquake?
kamathln, Nov 08 2008

       The thing is, how many trips within a city are made from one high floor to another? It's not a rhetorical question as I don't live or work in a city so I don't know; but my instinct says that a typical day involves travelling from out of town to your building, going up and down within that building during the day, visiting a ground-level shop or restaurant during the day, and then returning home in the evening. If this is so, then no vertical movement will be saved by having high-level links. But maybe I misunderhend this idea.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 08 2008

       This is baked to a small degree in downtown Atlanta, Georgia. Mostly it connects buildings that were developed by the same company, therefore ownership/security/cost issues can be coordinated easily. See link for several photos.
krelnik, Nov 08 2008

       Earthquakes? Good question. I assume architects would be required to build to tolerances (sway, thermal expansion, wind stress etc) appropriate to the area.   

       How much vertical movement would be saved? I'm not sure - but to modify your example, Max, you wouldn't need to go down from your appartment flat to the ground, or again to go to a cafe (since there'd be one on a nearby level), or again on the way home. And probably less for other movements during the day - as organisations would tend to spread horizontally rather than vertically.   

       I'd like to point out that lifts are very inefficient in terms of space. Consider how many people can walk along a corridor, compared to being transported by a lift with a similar or larger cross-sectional area. Flights of stairs are much better, but while people seem to be generally okay about climbing up (or down) one flight of stairs at a time, the proportion of people willing to do more than that drops rapidly. Having a few lifts would still be necessary, of course.   

       The picture at the bottom of your linked page looks amazing krelnik.
Loris, Nov 09 2008

       What happens to the London Underground tube lines during earthquakes? What happens to the Eurostar in the Channel Tunnel during earthquakes?
Ian Tindale, Nov 09 2008

       (What would you call the London Underground if it ran along,say,at the seventh floor level?) And the buildings would have ti withstand the decelleration forces of the trains.Surmountable but none-the-less worthy of attention.
Bystander, Nov 09 2008

       [Bystander]: London overground. Obvious.
kamathln, Nov 10 2008

       Oh God! I can´t escape. I just Googled "decamiles" to see if my reference to it on Wikipedia was the only one on the internet, and where do i end up? There´s just no way out, is there?
nineteenthly, Dec 19 2008

       If foot traffic is more dispersed among many passageways instead of being concentrated on streets, there is a great opportunity for crime to increase - instead of walking in a crowd, past people in vehicles, and in front of shop windows, you will be rather isolated in your nth story passageway.   

       Basically like walking down a dark alley - no one to hear you scream.   

       Sure, you could have security cameras & more guards/police in the area but I doubt their effectiveness. Not to mention that cameras can be sabotaged or just neglected.   

       My sister's school is in a state with really bitter winters. The underground tunnels between buildings were closed down because of rapes and other assaults. And this is in a prestigious school in a nice part of town.
ryokan, Dec 19 2008

       //If foot traffic is more dispersed among many passageways instead of being concentrated on streets, there is a great opportunity for crime to increase - instead of walking in a crowd, past people in vehicles, and in front of shop windows, you will be rather isolated in your nth story passageway.//   

       There would be just as many people moving from place to place. Transit times may be reduced, but only because density is increased; people would spend less time in lifts or stairs. Both lifts and stairs being ideal places for muggings.   

       I guess the real point is that this idea would greatly modify what a street is; what you call an "nth story passageway" would actually be closer in usage to what streets are now.
Places which didn't have a lot of traffic wouldn't have extra routes because they're not high-rise to start with.
Loris, Oct 30 2009

       Has anyone else read "At the Mountains of Madness" by H.P. Lovecraft? I'm definately getting a sort of "Lost Antarctic City of the Elder Things" vibe from this idea.
DrWorm, Nov 02 2009

       Put cameras in the nth-level streets, broadcasting live to the cafes and such. Everybody can see what's happening there. If a camera is sabotaged, that'll be obvious, because the "cafe window" will suddenly go dark.
Xenophile, Aug 06 2012


       Rubber walkways, obviously.
pertinax, Aug 06 2012

       Instead of building lots of little buildings with interconnects, why not take it to it's natural conclusion like the proposed 'sky city'? <link>
bs0u0155, Aug 06 2012

       along with noting that making a building taller doesn't mean that more sun shines on the roof: the "green spaces" they go on about are going to be a bit dim.
FlyingToaster, Aug 06 2012


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