HOW WOULD YOU LIVE IN THE BITTER COLD?
by Karen Zhang, VerticalCity.org
It has been reported by NBC on Jan 29th in Atlanta, "Thousands of drivers were hopelessly stuck for a second day Wednesday, many without food and water, on paralyzed interstates around Atlanta after a winter storm appeared to take the city by surprise."(See article)
For the past month, snowstorms have been hitting the East Coast one after another. Such a frigid temperature with snow for long period was barely seen in the area in the recent years. It interrupted travel by air, train and car. Thousands of flights got canceled in all major airports in East Coast every time the snowstorm went across. Ground transportation has been disrupted. Car accidents raised because of the ice on the road. The icy condition even trapped cars overnight on the highway as reported in suburban Atlanta.
On the other hand, in New York, even though the entire city was covered by snow, life remained mostly ordinary. Thanks to the subway, one of the main transportation in this dense city, the daily traffic stayed regular to support all the city travelers. Therefore, work, study and life has been going on well except one or two days with extreme heavy snow.
It’s obvious that, indoor transportation, such as subway, has the ability to avoid extreme weather and keep the cities operate stably. In cities like New York, Chicago and Shanghai, you can almost reach everywhere within the urban area by subway.
The denser the city is, the easier indoor transportation system can be established. Skyways system in Minnesota is one of the longest enclosed pedestrian system connecting 80 blocks in its downtown and dated back to 1962. However, with mainly commercial and business district in downtown, most people in Minnesota is going home at night to their suburban house. Most of the skyways are closed at night in a various schedule. On the other hand, in Hong Kong, there are covered elevated walkways and enclosed sky bridges to connect buildings in Central where a live/work community is around. People can stay in a relatively decent condition when walk around in whatever weather 24/7.
One may think such a extreme weather is so rare that is not worth worrying about. But scientists said that such a harsh winter weather is hand-in-hand with the global warming and will still be possible and even commonplace. (See article)
Such a climate change is urging a change of our living style. It drives me further into the Vertical City model. What if the future city is dense enough that cars are no longer needed? What if everything is indoor and within a walkable distance? What if even elevator becomes one of the main transportation? Living in a city like this, what do you think about it?
This article was archived on December 17, 2015.