The Pedestrian Skywalk - Reviving walkability in the urban environment
The development of various public transport modes in the metropolitan city of Delhi like railway line, Delhi metro, bus stops and auto-rickshaw stands has increased the number of pedestrians on the roads. Due to no proper walking space for the pedestrians on most of the major road junctions in the city, the intersection of the vehicular traffic with the pedestrians causes a call for alarm towards the safety of the people.
Is there an eco-friendly approach to address this problem without further compromising the safety of pedestrians and also help in revitalizing the city?
There is a critical need to segregate the pedestrian movement from the vehicular in order to reduce the amount of chaos in some areas of Delhi. In the present times, Delhi metro serves as the bloodline of the city and has become a boon for all the people who commute daily. It has made commuting affordable, comfortable and safe. Though the Delhi Metro has consumed land with high real estate value, green spaces and public plazas, yet the space along the metro track remains underutilized.
Rejuvenating the unused spaces of the city-
The concept is to revitalize the space along the metro lines and utilize it to generate green eco-friendly skywalk which could separate the pedestrians from the vehicular movement in heavy traffic regions and will also add to an overall experience to the people of Delhi.
Segregation between pedestrian and vehicular traffic-
This is achieved through the integration of a foot-over-bridge to the existing metro track. The vehicular roads, pavements, street lights and other public infrastructure are already working in conjunction with the metro track; thus minor modifications are required to construct any structure along the existing line.
Planning the skywalk:
The overall structure is a space frame and provides large spans without using heavy structural members. This makes the overall structure lightweight and contemporary.
The frame is designed on the concept of fractal geometry in which a given module is replicated at various scales to reach the overall form. This provides with high visual complexity while enabling ease in construction. In this case; the fractal module used is a tetrahedron.
The design thus becomes modular in nature and can be replicated using the same structural module at various places. This opens up numerous possibilities of placing other FOBs and skywalks around the city along with the existing metro lines, flyover as per the site requirements and conditions.
User Comfort and Experience
Various strategies are incorporated to ensure comfort and quality experience to pedestrians. This encourages the people to use FOB rather than crossing intersections.
The skywalk allows an uninterrupted view of the contextual surroundings, green spaces and the heritage buildings.
Roofing above the deck protects the patrons from harsh weather conditions while openings from the sides ensure appropriate cross ventilation.
Seats provided at regular intervals allow pedestrians to take short halts to rest or communicate without disturbing the passage of others.
Integration of kiosks increase commercial potential of the skywalk and also acts as a useful facility for the pedestrians.
Environment Friendly Features:
The structure of the skywalk is based on the simple geometry of a tetrahedron/ space frame. The symmetric triangular geometry makes the structural design efficient.
Bamboo and metal structure module-
The basic structural module is composed of bamboo fixed with custom made metal junctions. As 75-80 percent of the structure is made from bamboo (renewable resource/ rapidly growing grass)
Use of solar cells-
Electricity required for lighting is derived from the solar cells placed along the deck. This reduces the requirement of electricity and the operational maintenance cost.
The bamboo structure encapsulates the Metro piers such that the vertical greens can extend from the piers onto the space frame and the bottom side of the FOB deck. Thus, the reduced green cover on the street is revived thus reducing the exposure of the harsh sun on the pedestrian pathway.
Ease of Construction through Modularity
The space frame is designed on the concept of fractal geometry in which a given module is replicated at various scales to reach the overall form. This provides with high visual complexity while enabling ease in construction. In this case; the fractal module used is a tetrahedron.
The design is modular in nature and can be replicated using the same structural module at various places. This opens up numerous possibilities of placing other FOBs and skywalks around the city along with the existing metro lines, flyover as per the site requirements and conditions. With modularity comes flexibility and affordability, large scale off-site production is possible in modular designs and can be efficiently transported and assembled on site in very less time. This reduces the construction time exponentially without hampering the existing circulation routes on site.
1. Reinforcing Metro
The existing metro pillars are identified as a potential anchor point for erecting the FOB structure at the W-Junction
2. Steel Columns
Steel columns are provided around the metro columns. These pre-fabricated steel columns act as the main structural support for the FOB.
3. Bamboo Frame
A modular bamboo space frame is fixed onto these steel columns. These support members transfer the load of the FOB evenly onto the steel columns.
4. Modular Deck
A modular system consisting of base , side frame and roofing structure is then conjoined together and anchored onto the bamboo frame structure.
5. Urban Greens
The designed structure provides a potential canvas for growing vertical greens on the FOB, further integrating it with the landscape around.