Urban Design Solutions for Protecting Pedestrians: Sweden’s Self-De-Icing Tullhus Bridge Takes the Cake – Core77
March 13, 2013 Leave a comment
While all cities have to find ways to protect their pedestrians from drivers, cities at higher latitudes also have to think about keeping them warm, or at least safe from the sort of risks presented by a northern winter. Minneapolis’ enclosed skywalks are well-known, and have proven a model for cities that have hit a growth spurt more recently, including Calgary. Underground concourses are another option, such as Montreal’s “underground city,” which is a less urine-scented version of Philadelphia’s Penn Center (I don’t know this for sure, having never been to Montreal, but it’s hard to believe that there’s a place that smells more of pee than Penn Center). Both of these options have drawbacks: increased construction cost and maintenance, working out easements and such with neighboring tenants, a generally negative effect on street life and street-level retailers, and in at least one case, smelling of pee. But according to this post from Rain Noe, the city of Norköpping, Sweden, has proposed a new solution: a bridge with an integrating heating system that melts away snow and ice. There are other places with similar systems. For instance, Brigham Young University has hot water pipes under many of its walkways which melt the snow. Although it would be hard to retrofit in many places, this is a low-maintenance, elegant and effective method for dealing with winter in cities.