Arch. Myriam B. Mahiques Curriculum Vitae

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Walking Paths of Brasilia. By Daniel

The urban shape of Brasilia is discussed to be a pigeon, or hands. The reality showed that the shape was utopian and the urban sprawl in the suburbs of Brasilia never allowed to keep Niemeyer´s shape.
I´ve seen this link to Daniel´s post, it is very interesting to see that some designs, beautiful on the plans, do not work for people. Here is an excerpt from Daniel´s post about the walking paths of Brasilia, with the link below. The pictures are posted in the same page.
The City of Brasilia, conceived and built in the 1950's and 60's, is the exemplar of modernist urban planning. It's got it all: extreme separation of uses, access only by motor vehicle, mid-rise boxy buildings set in vast open spaces, and a conspicuous absence of any history before the mid-twentieth century. There are no traffic lights or sidewalks in the city (at least in the original design), and almost every four-way intersection is a cloverleaf interchange. The design ensures that motorists will never have to inconvenience themselves by stopping, and pedestrians don't mind because they theoretically don't exist. It all fits together like a machine - actually an airplane, by resemblance.
But when the city is viewed from above we can see incursions of organic human life superimposed on top of the plan. The picture below is near the center of the city, where the wings meet the fuselage of the plane. A network of paths are clear evidence that pedestrians have crossed the open field where they are not suppose to.
These rogue pedestrians don't have an easy task. Virtually the only way to access this space is to cross at least six lanes of traffic and then cross another six lanes to exit. The width of the open space is 1/4 of a mile, which is exactly twice the width of the national mall in Washington D.C., and there is no shade or amenities whatsoever. They still make the journey.
Drawing the human use on the map reveals a complex network of activity very different from the plan.
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