The park as seen from the southeast; the limit is not a high fence, but a lower one with a deep gutter.
Batignolles has been marked for over a century by the rail yards leading to the St Lazare Station, one of the main access gates to Paris from the west.
The park and the new neigborhood, according to a project by François Grether and Jacqueline Osty, must face common issues: the original rail tracks are sometimes at the same level as the streets. The choice is then between burying the lines (something that can prevent their use for long periods) or to suppress them (a complex issue as this is upstream from a main station to the south). The bulk of the trains and the electric lines has the buildings on the western part of the park raised on a platform 10 m over the park, which will be integrated into the landscape design. Under the slab rail uses will persist, while over it there will be housing and offices buildings. The park is also cut in two by a public transportation exclusive track, so the park level has a discontinuity, that the aforementioned platform solves…
The housing area around the park is a set of sustainable development technologies and icons, but as always the real sustainability will depend on the consumption habits of the citizens.
A new housing building located over a school
A new station for the rail line that will cross the park
A clear schematic layout which criticizes federal plans for the high-speed train national network in the USA. Good use of yellow (not always easy), of density rendering. The result is fit for the web. The original can be consulted on http://www.thetransportpolitic.com/2009/02/19/stopping-the-wrong-project-before-it-happens/ , with some comments that can also be applied to other geographical contexts. As often, a good map is a set of stories that can fuel the conversation.
You wake up early, to come to the Station. And here are those high speed trains, waiting to take you to your day job. The one you see in the first place is an AVE 103, by Siemens, weights 447 metric tons and it can get 404 passangers at 350 Km/h with an electric power of 8.800 kW.
Nine rail lines and three underground lines converge at Shibuya, one of the most important stations in Central Tokyo. It is a case of urban centrality linked to transit that have given Tokyo its present shape.
Department stores, and many other uses, stack over the site, deemed the fourth busiest commuter station in Japan. It is an aggregative architecture.
The rail systems were around the western world one of the first signs of the change brought by the first industrial revolution. The large passenger stations of the XIXth century were joined by goods stations in a moment in which the railroad was the only way to get a high speed transport of goods between distant points.
This pioneer role can be felt today as an obsolescence. One of the first modern speculative bubbles was the British Railway Mania of the 1840s, which exploded in 1846. Already in that moment companies had to be authorized by an Act of Parliament to gain the right to acquire land. Even if many of the companies were ruined by the end of the bubble, most of them were integrated into larger companies. With local differences, most of the European countries started their rail history with private companies, which with time were nationalized and again privatized. Meanwhile, the rail lines that were conceived to serve the XIXth century urban network have served societies that have been transformed. Many lines have been closed due to their economic failure as demography has changed, but also due to changes in the railway management systems or political decisions concerning the role of rail in the city.
The usual cases of rail evolution concerning urban planning is:
Closure of entire lines that have been considered economically unsustainable. It is usually the case in demographically depressed areas and means that stations as well as track land are liberated. In many cases the entire lines have been reconverted into bike and pedestrian paths.
Closure of parts of the line in local areas, usually for straightening the lines, with scarce urban impact.
New urban bypasses, suppressing level tracks in the urban areas. This eliminates the barrier effect of the level tracks, but turns the new station into a distant point, with urban integration problems. In Spain it is the case of cities such as Cuenca.
Burial of the urban rail thoroughfares. It is the most expensive solution, but it is usually the best for cities as it allows a stability of the urban centralities. This usually means associated urban operations with mixed uses in the old central stations, and the transfer to out of town sites of classification and goods stations. In Spain, it is the case of Logroño, León (to be executed) or Cordoba
Duplicity, with new stations for high speed in out of town sites, maintaining the old central stations for other trains, including metropolitan lines. It is usually a less satisfactory options. This is the case of Tarragona in Spain.