Despite being one of the poorest, this province is full of breathtaking nature wonders. In Guiyang city alone, there are lakes, waterfalls, caves, canyons, and mountains and over 500 parks. This video only shows a small corner of the city. People living here have easy access to nature more than most viewers can imagine. They have the best of two worlds!
I live in Vancouver, and the SeaBus ferry across the bay is incredibly successful. Crosses Vancouver Harbour between Downtown Vancouver and North Vancouver in less than 15 minutes with service frequencies less than 10 minutes apart, with really low boarding and deboarding times too. There are numerous other systems like it in the world, too. And according to this Infographic:
And this one:
It seems that ferries have really low carbon emissions per passenger per unit distance, beating out busses and even most regional trains, so I assume they're really energy efficient in general.
So for costal cities or cities bisected by or bordering a river (which, most major cities fall into one or both categories) should we be investing in more ship based rapid and regional transport? I imagine it could be cheaper and faster to build from scratch than a brand new train line, since you only need to build out the docks and no track infrastructure since the water is already there. Imagine a rapid ferry zigzagging between the two coasts of a river, connecting the transit networks of either side without needing to use bridges (which are both expensive and tend to be choke points and bottlenecks for the transportation network). Or a bunch of ferries going up and down a row of coastal districts, or a star-shaped network across a bay or lake, when you would normally need to go around the perimeter?
Also, for systems like these that do exist, what are some well-running ones that could be used as examples? What about poorly running ones as examples of what not to do?
There are a lot of ways to build a dense city. You can go the old European city route and have a bunch of low and mid-rise buildings very close together, resulting in a fairly liw city skyline with small gaps between buildings. Or, you can have mostly skyscrapers with large clearances between them to get a similar density as the European city but with more empty space on the ground for trees or amenities, at the cost of being more expensive to build since economies of scales don't really apply to buildings, and tall buildings cost exponentially more per area of floor space than shorter buildings. But, many people prefer having more space on the ground, while others prefer street level shops being close together so you can easily get between them.
Or, you can have a city centre that has both really tall buildings and narrow building clearances to get extreme densities. Hong Kong, Singapore, and other large Asian are examples of this, as well as Manhattan. But I know many people say they hate
Or, you can interleave tall and short buildings such that you get good density of street level shops, while still having more vertical space.
What do you think? For walkable and low car use city development, how would you personally like it to be built? Why? Also, if you have a picture to show as an example of what you mean, I'd love to see it!
*Here are some pictures that I have for reference:*
Old European city:
High rises further apart:
High rises close together:
High and low interleaved:
A lot of different terms for the same or similar thing, but I'm basically talking about any housing setup where you have a bunch of small houses that share the side walls with their left and right neighbours, as opposed to regular houses that are completely separate buildings. Typically they are multi-floor with a private entrance door and a small yard each, but are pretty narrow, often with total floor area per house that isn't much bigger than a standard two or three bedroom apartment.
Apparently they can be less expensive and faster to build per square meter of floor space than a low- or mid-rise apartment, and a lot less expensive per square meter than a high rise, but they're obviously also not as dense as a mid-rise apartment block and a lot less dense than high rise.
But, I've also heard a lot of arguments that their density is still sufficient for walkability and a non car-centric city, and combine a lot of the benefits of both an apartment and a single family house. Obviously, if you plan your district with cars in mind, you'll have trash walkability no matter what you build, case in point, the new townhouses popping up in the US and Canada might as well be regular crappy suburbs with detached houses. But, many European cities and elsewhere seem to do a really good job of both being really walkable or non car-centric and also having a lot of townhouses, especially the old townhouse blocks that were built before cars became popularised. You can also interleave them with higher density apartments.
What do you think? Townhouses in walkable, non car-centric cities, yay or nay? Any other thoughts or relevant experiences living in them you want to share?
Some places have the main train station, the one with the long distance and high speed trains, basically any services other than regional rapid transport, right in the middle of downtown, amid the skyscrapers. Some place it at the edge of a city, and some are in between, placing it in a semi-dense area. I've also seen the area immediately surrounding the train station being a public square or green space, with mid or high rise buildings maybe ten minutes by foot around it. (Or you can be like us in Canada and have your rail service be more of a tourist attraction and fun ride than real public transport, but we won't talk about that.)
How do we make sense of these placements? What are their advantages and disadvantages? What would you personally prefer? Should we strive to have a lot of the long distance commuters not having to take a connection and be able to walk to their destination and vice versa where most people going out of the city cab walk to the station (as in, station in the middle of the densest part of the city), or should the train station be more far out, with more people being expected to take at least one connection on the city public transit? What do you think?
I'd personally make that road narrower and replace the outer lanes with rows of trees and a separated bike path, but overall I think this is the minimum level of density and development for major transit stations.
In a walkable city, density is one of the most important factors. And high rise buildings are a great way to build a dense, compact urban core, as opposed to endless sprawl that imevetably becomes car dependent. You see this in practice even in North American cities, because the urban core is often still walkable with good public transport, and not only are cars often not needed, they likely are even slower than walking or transit (only problem is that downtown housing in the US/Canada is obscenely expensive ans the average worker can't actually live in it).
But, wvenever this is mentioned, even in urbanism communities that explicitly favour density and walkability, people still dislike the idea of dense high rises and complain that "you can't see anything out your window except the skyscraper across from you!" Even more so when a picture of urbanism in a place they already don't like, like the USSR or China, crops up.
For this reason, a lot of new developments with high rises place them well away from each other, which lowers the average density and frankly makes walking between multiple skyscrapers tiring, especially in Canadian cities where it snows a lot. There are even posts where people have done the calculations to find that an many high rise districts can barely even beat old European city centres that have buildings not more than 5 or 10 floors, but packed extremely closely together with narrow, pre-car streets. At which point, why not just build low rises closer together instead of the more expensive and resource intensive high rises then?
Which is another thing. You know what *is* packed together a lot? Houses and low-rises. If you think a 20 meter margin is way too narrow for high rises, wait till you find out about townhouse complexes that have 2 meter margins between the front doors of houses on either side. Guess what? You can't see past the other side of houses in that case either! And you still have to strain your neck to see the sky through your window! Speaking from experience because I live in a townhouse complex (mine is older so the gap between mine and the other side is larger, but I've definitely seen new developments that place the entry doors on either side so close you can basically tough shoulders with the person living across from you, and even with the one I'm in, no you can't see past the other side). Same with those old European cities everyone likes so much, if you're on the second floor of an all five story district with a one lane street separating you and the building across from you, your view is just as blocked as being on the 20th floor of a 50 floor high rise district! I've also lives in low rise apartments, which actually has pretty wide clearances from the buildings around it, and I honestly don't find looking at the street that much more exciting than looking at another high rise. Not that I thought it was a bad thing, I don't spend a lot of time staring out my window to begin with, and honestly don't know anyone that do in that way characters in old school cartoons are depicted as doing.
Another thing I hear talked about is that having high rises so close blocks out the sun in your unit. But, do people actually *want* the sun directly through their windows? I always find it annoying because if it's in my room, it's almost always directly in my eyeline, and it turns your room into a sauna in the summer. Isn't the brightness of the *mere presence* of the sun enough during the day? It's not like you're in total darkness if you're under the shadow of another building.
What do you think? Should high rises be far apart? Or close together? How important are views through the window and does it outweigh things like density and proximity? I'm I totally wrong and an idiot for thinking packing skyscrapers close together is a good thing? I've never actually lived in a high rise (wish I could, but they're all so fucking expensive in my city because they're marketed as "luxury" apartments), so if anyone who actually lives in one where your view is blocked by the next high rise, please share what your actual experience and thoughts are on that!
A classic mixed use development is retail stores on the first floor, and apartments on higher floors. But some buildings are also adding in office spaces, as in cubicle and computer desk office spaces, between the retail and residential sections. So you have, for example, first floor is retail, floors 2 to 10 are offices, and 11 to 30 are residential. Which, I don't know, those buildings always look weird to me, but obviously if it's more functional and more liveable, looks hardly matter. But, is it better?
The other way of doing it is to simply have dedicated apartments and office buildings, but placed close together. You still get the result of residential and office within walking distance, but in separate buildings.
I've heard arguments that homes and offices in the same building can mean that you don't need to leave the building at all for work, completely eliminating your commute as opposed to merely shortening it, but how applicable is this? What are the chances that where you work and where you live are *actually* in the same building? And what if you change jobs? Do you then move homes to where your new office is?
What do you think? Are we better served by an "all in one" building, or discrete buildings all placed close together?