Spain
eem 01 - 12 - 2010

Over the past few days in Spain, we have witnessed a vast array of different types of transportation methods. Cordoba, Seville and Granada all seem to have similar urban properties that allow for these modes of transportation to exist as separate components functioning as a whole. The dynamic of having such a diverse array of transportation really adds a certain aesthetic to the cities. The automobile becomes a secondary component to the alternative methods like bikes and busses.
My hometown project in Carmel, IN proposes an urban redevelopment that gives residents the option of alternate means of transportation. Carmel really needs a cheap, public way to get from one city to the next while still enhancing the idea of filtering more people through its "core" between Keystone Ave. and Meridian (US-31). In this design studio component, I chose to look closer at a few concepts I have seen that will be vital to the development surrounding the site. The two main concepts I'm profiling are
what I have observed about Spain's public electric railway systems, as well as Spain's incorporation of the bike as an alternate means for commuting. In short, they are two ideas that I feel could strongly enhance my project and give it a greater sense of direction and purpose. Developing these "layers" is a crucial part to the design process.
The first concept I have observed is the different types of trains and bus systems in each city. The sketch shows the electric railways in Seville, Spain that run in the middle of a street; It does not hinder pedestrians, cars or bikers from also using the space. The blending of different transportation methods in combination with successful plaza and public spaces allows for a very elaborate street scape that never ceases in excitement. This particular sketch was done of a train moving around a
corner; the cross-section shows a basic idea of how the railway systems work on electric cables that are attached to the surrounding buildings. I am thinking about incorporating this mode of transportation into the downtown Carmel area to enhance the "core" of the city while providing an easy, cost effective and unobtrusive (stylish) way to provide great alternate means
of transportation.
The second concept I have started profiling is of the bike-ability of every place we've been in so far. Bikes are not just a secondary form of transportation here. In cities like Seville, the bike seems to be a very main route of transportation that people use each day. And rightfully so, because the urban design has accommodated for long, wide bike paths separated
by landscape features that connect to the main roads and plazas. This makes it so easy for people to use a bike. Also what was interesting was that the traffic controls allow for their own separate bike stoplights; they are smaller and located below the automobile traffic symbols. The bikes have the right of way by these signals, and thusly become equally important mode
of transportation. The sketch shows a scene in Seville where there is a bike path running along a plaza. This is a very typical scene in the cities of Spain that we have visited so far. I hope to incorporate bikable paths and enhance the surrounding plazas in Carmel around my site so that people can arrive at the public transit building or even to a bus stop by other means.

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