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).
XIX and early XX century were the century of machines, a century in which the mainstream idea was the possibility to explain everything as the sum of a series of deterministic movements. Cities were explained on the same principles, and deterministic solutions were proposed to solve the problems concerning urban development.
Jane Jacobs was the first to show the limits of this approach, showing how it led to a car dependent, socially impoverished society. Against the deterministic approach of mainstream architecture, she proposed an approach based on life sciences, stating that cities grow in the same way as living organism do.
Most of her battles were against new expressways and neighborhood destructions, and now most of her ideas are supported by the new urbanism and complete streets movements.
On November 26th, a new shopping area has opened in the Flon area in downtown Lausanne. The new complex includes a supermarket (Migros) and some smaller shops, and is located close to Lausanne-Flon subway station (lines M1, M2 and LEB), making it a perfect example of Transit-Oriented-Development.
With the opening of the new complex, Flon area turns into a major commercial-entertaining-business center at the scale of the entire Lausanne-Morges metro area.
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.
“…All of our politics was built around the idea that there are cities, and there are suburbs, and the suburban people don’t like the city people, and the city people don’t like the suburban people, and usually the suburban people are republicans, and the city people are democrats…our politics was built around that idea. Except that now all the researches are showing that, if you want a driving suburban area, then you’d better have a driving city…”
Little by little, the theme of city life and suburban life is entering the main political debate. First, talks were about gas prices and how they are threatening the suburban lifestyle. Then little by little, the speech moved to the opportunities offered by a less car-friendly and more pedestrian-friendly city: socializing opportunities, random meeting opportunities, life-improving opportunities. The suburban model is not “the one and only” possible model anymore.
In Vaud, public transport is organized around several companies, each one with its own website, its own design, its own line numbering criteria. During the day, a centralized bus and train schedule and fare system allow users to organize their trips without many inconvenients, but during the night (between midnight and 4AM), things become more difficult: some companies ask for a night surcharge, some other turn their lines into an on-demand service, and all these changes turn a night trip through Vaud into a treasure hunt.
To compensate the lack of informations in nightbus services, CITraP-Vaud has recently launched Somnambule, a complete listing of all bus and trains which run in Vaud between midnight and 4AM. Choose the area in which you want to travel and you’ll have the complete list of all company which operate night bus/train services, all the needed tickets and surcharges and all the bus/trains timetables.
Here in Switzerland, the ultimate decision on infrastructure and urban planning comes from people, so a good communication campaign is essential in order to promote a project. So, public administrations always put a big effort on promotion and communication, as in the case of CEVA, the new underground link between the Swiss and French railway networks in Geneva. In order to promote CEVA, the State of Geneva has commissioned a series of video to student of Geneva Applied Art School. The results can be seen here.