Wandering around the web, I discovered today a good news from Rome: A brand new BRT opening in the south-east of the city. The new infrastructure will start from ANAGNINA subway station and extend further east, passing through Cinecittà Est and Tor Vergata. All details of this infrastructure are here (PDF).
Rome Express runs from Civitavecchia Harbour to Rome S. Pietro Railway station, leaving passengers in the very heart of Rome, and avoiding them an unnecessary and potentially dangerous detour through Termini.
Napoli Express runs along Naples Metro lines 3 and 4, from Napoli Porta Nolana to Pompei, Ercolano and Sorrento. A shuttle bus is provided between Naples Harbour and Napoli Porta Nolana.
Ten years ago, low cost airlines were seen as the future of long distance transportation. Fast, cheap and easy to use, low cost airlines put a serious threat over bus and railway development all over Europe. Ten years later, the trend is reversed. Forced by high gas prices, Airlines are rising prices and reducing flights, and private operators are looking at railway transport as the new source of business.
On july 15, NTV presented its brand new high speed network. trains will link the italian cities of Bari, Bologna, Firenze, Milan, Naples, Rome, Salerno, Turin and Venice. The first trip is scheduled for 2011.
Arenaways is ready to start a commuter service in Northwestern Italy, Between Turin, Milan and the surrounding towns.
(photo: model of Le Plessis-Robinson, from wikipedia)
Yesterday I showed some examples of smart growth in Spain. Today, we’ll have an overview of what’s happening all over europe, with the winners of the 2008 Philippe Rottier European Prize. Here they are:
Best Operation of Urban Renaissance in a suburban city – Plessis-Robinson, France Best New City – Val d’Europe, Ile-de-France Best Reconstruction of an Historic Center – Historisches Gesellschaft DresdenNeumarkt, Dresden, Germany Best Reconstruction of a City Center – Palermo, Italy Best New Village – Poundbury, Dorchester, UK Best Public Intervention – Rathaus Viertel, Gladbeck, Germany Best Neighbourhood Center – Borgo Città Nuova, Alessandria, Italy Best European Urban Plaza – Plaza del Juncal, Irun, Spain Best New Garden-City – Heulebrug, Knokke-Heist, Belgium Best Urban District – Akroken Campus, Sundsval, Sweden
I read today some posts about Milan (here, here and here), and my mind came back to one of the most famous ads who celebrated urban life. The scene is in Milan, but it could easily be New York, Paris or any other globalcity.
As gas prices rise, lots of people are wondering what will be the future of suburbia. Will it be able to recycle itself into more dense and pedestrian-oriented neighborhoods, or will it decay and turn into XXI century slums? A visit of Monte Sacro (Rome, italy) can be useful.
In the 20’s Monte Sacro was the typical streetcar suburb: a group of single family houses clustered around a main square, where the only multi-stores, mixed uses were, and where the tramway stop was. All around, only countryside and farmland. Then the city arrived all around, and Monte Sacro found itself as a center of a town of 200.000 inhabitants. Little by little, some single-family houses were torn down or retrofitted as multi-family houses, and the density has increased to the average of a downtown.
When I’m asked about Rome, people often are surprised of how much my description of the city differs from the traditional image portrayed by tourist guides and postcards. They don’t know that behind the famous Ethernal City lies another town, maybe less scenic, but still very interesting. One of the landmark of this hidden Rome was the Roma Pantano Light Rail, as described in “Casilina Express”, a movie by Tommaso Valente.
“A small metropolitan train line that links the outskirts of Rome with the city centre seen through the eyes and the everyday life of the railwaymen who struggle to keep a service to the public guaranteed. By sideways looks, everyday micro-stories and personal memories, the film tells of the transformation of the edge of the city and the encroachment of the metropolis that has gobbled up local identities. The little railway, with all its obsolescence and maintenance difficulties, is the narrative thread by which the film outlines the landscape at the city’s outskirts, with its laid back rhythm and its entrancing blend of old and new fashioned ways, casting a glance both light and melancholy into memory to seek evocative reminiscences.”
In the 60’s, Copenhagen started an ambitious plan to improve cycling and walking. When the inhabitants were asked about the plan, they were skeptical…”we’re not Italians, we don’t have walking culture”. 50 years later, Italy is overwhelmed by car culture and Copenhagen has become a model for biking and walking…