Continuing from Borders & Boundaries Part I, looking further into the topics discussed in”The Public Realm”
The main routes such as Abbeydale Road and Woodseats road surround the site servicing more central areas of the city and can cause a disconnect through being high in volume and difficult to cross. “Highways cut through cities are the obvious example: crossing through six or eight lanes of traffic is perilous; the sides of highways in cities tend to become withered spaces; these invisible walls infamously have been used to mark off the territories separating the rich from the poor, or race from race. Porosity is lacking. Put as a general rule, in 20th planning motion has served as the instrument for making boundaries rather than borders.”
The same can be said for the railway lines which once would have served the cities industry in a similar fashion to the rivers now severs areas with limited places to cross created the same withered areas bordering the tracks.
“Water plays a particular role in defining the difference between boundaries and borders. Up to the 1950s, the existence and shape of waterways has supported the economy and determined the shape of cities… But the docks and warehouses and water itself held little aesthetic interest for urban designers; water was just the utilitarian substance of the trading city.”
The river could be reconnected to the site via industry once again as a means of cleaner energy mixing modern technologies with the old age industrial practices.
Sennett, R (2008) The Public Realm. Unpublished essay for Quant available online at: http://www.richardsennett.com/site/senn/templates/general2.aspx?pageid=16&cc=gb