MJM 02 - 13 - 2010

I have recently found two features of built areas very interesting. The first is the solution of underground passage ways to move pedestrians around parts of the city not really built for them. At the intersection I studied, the beach front road was six lanes wide with a four lane road intersecting with it. This was two major roads coming together and the beach road was denying access to pedestrians. On the side opposite the beach was a park, with the two of the parts being a skate park and a more family oriented park. Users of both of those parks surely want to use the beach as well. The solution that Dubai came up with was underground passageways to connect them (diagram to the right). This is a very simple way to remove the pedestrian from vehicle traffic. The passageway was very inviting, having mosaics on the entranceways and on the walls through the whole tunnel. The tunnels were also attractive because two of the three entrances had fountains to entertain the user as they went through. The other attractive feature I found is a fountain next to the man made harbor in Dubai. This harbor was made to increase water front land. The problem is that no waves or sounds come from the water in the harbor; like the sounds of waves hitting rocks. This fountain somehow solved that problem for the people walking and sitting around the fountain. The water is pushed from the central part of the fountain and is forced through holes on the side. The water then falls below the feature and hits rocks, making a sound just like waves hitting the shore. It was very impressive. The diagram below helps to explain the process. To add more interest to the feature, tiny water spouts added more sounds and splashes. The fountain added interest to the harbor, creating a more realistic sound and excitement to the water that the harbor could never give by itself. The fountain honors the water because the only reason it or the surroundings exist is because people want to use and see the water.

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