Major Transportation Systems, the Space In Between and Livable Cities

Principal Investigator(s):

Mary Vogel, Senior Research Fellow, Center for Changing Landscapes

Project summary:

Human settlements and transportation systems have been linked since the beginning because human settlements would not exist without transportation systems. Paths, trails, roads, and rail systems make movement possible within them. These systems provide the connections to the land and to other settlements, which are necessary for the existence of human settlement. As settlements have grown in size and become cities, the transportation systems that serve them have also grown. These large, important transportation systems have a major impact on the form and character of the city influencing its livability and economic vitality. Not all the impact of these systems has been positive. Most highway and heavy rail systems have created massive corridors that cut our cities asunder. The areas adjacent to the systems are too often leftover tracts of low value, "no-person lands" that "buffer" the city from the systems. There are many such places in the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area. Currently the Twin City Metropolitan Area is moving to a transit strategy that utilizes existing heavy rail lines for commuter lines and existing highways as bus corridors. The lack of connection of these existing systems to the cities and suburbs to be served is a significant barrier to overcome in order to create effective transit in these corridors. Physical strategies for connecting these new transit systems to the city needs to be explored through design. Using the case study method, this project uses the disciplines of landscape architecture, architecture, and urban design to investigate the potential for creating urban opportunities of connection, amenity, and value in the places where the city/suburb meets the new transit systems. Representative types of these urban and suburban environments in the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area along existing rail and highway corridors will be selected and studied. Prototypical designs for these sites will be created. The focus of this investigati

Project details:

  • Project number: 2001042
  • Start date: 12/2000
  • Project status: Completed
  • Research area: Environment and Energy
  • Topics: Urban Transportation