Europe’s Grass-Lined Green Railways = Good Urban Design | Inhabitat


Green tramway in St. Etienne, France. From inhabitat.com.

Returning to trams, Bridgette Meinhold describes some of the advantages of the green tramways found in Europe in this post. Of course it is more aesthetically pleasing than the asphalt or concrete of many rail systems, but it has a number of other benefits as well. Green spaces in the city help reduce the urban heat island effect, capture stormwater, and can help reduce pollution. I can’t think of a similar tramway anywhere in North America, although I would be glad to be corrected in the comments (I’ve seen renderings of Atlanta’s planned light rail which includes a grassy right-of-way). Part of this is because there really just aren’t many true trams in America, but part of it is that we’re not interested in the upkeep that they entail. But I would hope that, considering the benefits, it will eventually catch on in North America.

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About Dave Munson
This blog is about architecture, cities, and myself.

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