The concept of Skyways

In a recent comment Mike said, “Daniel has obviously never been to Minneapolis Minnesota in the USA. They solved the weather, connectivity and transportation problems by interconnecting all of the CBD 1st floors…warm in the winter, cool in the summer and smooth consumer flow from store to store and block to block.”

The term Skyway was not one I have really thought of when visualizing our interconnected buildings ideas so I did a bit more digging.

A quick bit of googling I came up with a lot of info:
The all-knowing Wikipedia has specific info about the Minneapolis Skyway network, and more info about Skyways in general.

In Minneapolis the skyways are all enclosed, from what I can see, and are owned by the buildings they connect to, with some having different opening/closing hours, depending on the businesses the access. Which definitely makes perfect sense in an environment where it is hot and humid in the summer and below zero for for the winter.

We had/have at least 3 skyways in the CBD pre-quake (two into the food court in the bus exchange, and one from the town hall and the convention centre) and there is one I can think of at the Westfield mall.

In our climate it’s not so critical that they are enclosed though, and I can see that if a building had an open rooftop component then the skyway could connect to the building with a landing type of area, which gives access to the inside of the building (during opening hours) and also the rooftop section (24 hours) to continue the flow of the pathway.

Skyways are very, very common though. The  general skyways entry lists skyways in many cities across North America, Europe and Asia. In densely populated places like Mumbai, Skyways are being developed as a way to manage pedestrain flow in an environment where there is just too much activity going on at street level. Obviously that’s not an issue in little old Chch but it is another angle to consider.

An excellent addition to the discussion, thanks Mike!

If you have any other info on this concept, please post in a comment.

About Julian

Julian has been working with web technologies as a systems architect, administrator and software engineer since late last century (1994 to be exact), with Landcare Research, NBCi, RealContacts, Eurekster and most recently YikeBike. He also founded, which hosts the PDA user website PalmHeads, and rugby fan website, RugbyHeads, amongst other things. He has a Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Geography and Information Systems from the University of Canterbury, which attracted him to Christchurch and he has never left.
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One Response to The concept of Skyways

  1. Shane D says:

    You have my vote and I would love to see this actually happen.

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