Skyways and Space


I was reviewing some small ideas that got me going from reading a wiki page that started with Being John Malcovich. I had read earlier on about the Minnesota Skyway system and how segregating it was among the poor and wealthy citizens in the downtown area. Such an account was conceivable for me but I didn’t know how far-reaching the skyways was. The map above shows every major shopping and government building connected. A completely secure interior walkway eliminating outside travel.

Now it is cold in Minnesota and many cold weather cities have interior tunnels for travel. But this a way for middle class people not needing to interact with the poor and homeless citizens of the city. Public space is largely dead and reborn with shopping centers. All of communal activities from shopping, fundraising, dining, community activities is centered not in city streets but mall corridors and courtyards. DMV’s, military, and churches have implanted their activities in malls. Aside from parks there is almost no example of unsegregated housing in cities dictated by streets and transportation. If it’s bad for cities, it’s even worse for suburbs where the mall is the only town center. Suburbs like Colonie, Latham, Loudonville around the city I live in have no town squares. Small towns and farm land and been built over with thruways and strip malls. There is almost no sense of connectiveness among communities like this because every landmark is a box with a storefront and huge intersections that alienate walkers.

People are so concerned with commercial developement and security that as a society we are wasting more money on transportation and infrastructure than we need to. But developement has not stopped even in a so-called recession now. In Florida the construction of housing developments is non-stop…you can see them in progress over the states flat lands and waterways. Urban Sprawl and privatized public space is causing humans to waste our culture and resources.

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