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Green-Networks: Integrating Alternative Circulation Systems into Post-industrial Cities


Many post-industrial cities are infused with ready-made spaces for non-vehicular circulation in the form of webs of linear voids that often result from industrial era infrastructure. There have been many successful conversions of individual linear easements into greenways, although attempting to craft continuous green-networks from these residual spaces is often problematic. This paper considers how designers and planners might start to reconcile the aspirations of the green-network as a model and an idea with the actual opportunities on the ground as typically found in post-industrial cities. Central to the discussion is an extension of Robert Searns' greenway generational rubric, whereby the present generation of greenways is described as complete webs to rival the grey infrastructure of the incumbent city fabric. Within this framework, the paper elaborates on a number of themes: (1) how effective green-networks are at influencing urban form; (2) the green-network as a counterbalance to the city; (3) speed versus slowness; (4) issues of intersection and grade separation; (5) the concept of interwoven green/grey space; and (6) the greenway network model versus the standalone circuit. The paper concludes with a call for expanding the greenway nomenclature to reflect the actual diversity of the genre. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

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