One surprising thing I learned about the Japanese (Tokyo) metro system and its complexity, and yet punctuality and adherence to precise schedules:
The Tokyo metro system didn't get as good as it is because of someone's simple desire to have a really nice metro system, or some theoretical love of schedules.
It became so well-timed and complex because it had to be. Due to the constraints of land and existing infrastructure, there was no other way to serve as many people as demanded train service than to build stacks and stacks of rail networks, and have them operate (and interoperate between lines efficiently) down to the second -- in order to be able to cram that many trains into one space.
Versus in other places, people would say, those requirements are so ridiculous, there's no way a metro system could ever be built to work!
Sometimes, the constraints produce progress. (Of course, this is subsidized up the wazoo in Japan, but not crazily compared to other major metro areas.)
Seems like a bunch of concentric circles with lines going away from the center.
I have never been to Moscow, but it seems like an interesting success story of planning infrastructure projects properly.
In Paris it takes you 3-5 minutes to walk between mostly any of the stations of one line. Coming to Moscow I was somewhat surprised to find that the stations can be 30-45 minutes walking distance apart.
That all makes sense of course, given the population density structure of the cities and the mix of inner-city and suburban trains. But it's kind of hard to take that from these kinds of plans if you don't already know the city, and every station is evenly spaced apart on paper.
You all missed the point.
Isn't "easily" and affordable" pretty much the same thing? Surely you can build subway pretty much anywhere, it will just cost you where it's crowded. He is basically saying you can't afford to build infrastructure anywhere - no matter if crowded or not crowded, which is quite dumb.
> In many cases, these huge, multi-decade redevelopment projects bring new life to part of a city, but sometimes we can't foresee what we're going to lose.
This is disingenuous, and shows how little the author understands about the history of American urban development. In many cases the purpose of redevelopment in US urban environments has been to push out people of color. To say that gentrification was an unforeseen consequence of redevelopment is just wrong. Gentrification is often the entire point of redevelopment by city officials.
They should read The Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs or read The Power Broker by Robert Caro.
To be completely serious, this article reads like someone had some ideas about urban development, did absolutely no research, and then talked about those ideas like they were some kind of expert. I don't understand why the ACM would publish something like this.