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In urban planning, past and present, the treatment of the sidewalk is often overlooked...


In urban planning, past and present, the treatment of the sidewalk is often overlooked. Architecture’s primary objective seems to be the creation of iconic buildings, and thresholds around buildings often become fragmented, left-over spaces.

Densification and the evolution of technologies has put strain on the services required by the city. This has translated into a demand for ‘space’ beneath the streets to house pipes and conduits, such as fibre optics, electricity and storm water disposal. Work to the streets is being carried out in a haphazard manner, often leaving the sidewalk severely and irreparably altered. Consequently, pedestrians are faced with dusty sidewalks and inadequate walking space on the street. There is also little or no relief provided from the ‘hard’ surfaces of built-up areas.

A need has arisen to ‘design’ a new network of services that can easily be installed beneath the sidewalks of city streets. This design will simultaneously find new space for services and challenge the treatment, uses and significance of the sidewalk within the city.

New concrete sidewalks will be installed that house a well-organised, modular, ‘duct’ solution formed from fibre-cement. The system will allow easy access for maintenance without the need for persistent cutting, digging or re-routing of walkways.

These new pavements have been designed from concrete to bring a revitalised excitement, character and uniqueness back to the street. Specially considered surface patterning will ease communication, legibility and wayfinding on the street, re-activating the relationship between the surface and the subterranean.


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