Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Hydrological Infill

As an adjunct to the recent post on the abstract 'Blue Road' that attempts to restore in spirit hidden waterways, the inverse process (proposed, but thankfully not implemented) of river removal from in NYC, circa 1924 as a way to alleviate traffic congestion - via Gothamist: "In this issue of Popular Science, circa 1924, there's an article discussing New York's traffic problem — which at the time was reportedly causing the city to lose over $1M a day. One proposed solution: drain the East River and convert it into a 5-mile system accommodating roadways and the subway, while also providing parking spaces in garages and housing city centers."

:: image via Gothamist

It's shocking due to scale and prominence, but probably more shocking is how many rivers, streams, creeks, wetlands, and ponds were filled for development and progress in cities around the world. It seems apt to possibly take a cue from Venice or Amsterdam in embracing, rather than erasing, the natural (or often unnatural) water features as modes of transport and amenity. I could see a new mode of canoe commuters using these to avoid surface traffic snarls via Blue Highways.

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