Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A Bridge

Looking at my last few posts here, you could be forgiven that I've turned this blog into nothing more than an advert for my book (which you can buy here). Sorry an' all that. Here's a proper post.

The majority of the world's great cities are built on or near water: rivers, canals or creeks. And where you get a body of water dividing a city, you need to build the means to cross it. Ferries and tunnels are fine, but nearly invisible. Some cities have become defined by their bridges. Think of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, Tower Bridge in London, the Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol or the Forth Bridge near Edinburgh. They are all marvels of engineering design.

The one those Americans thought they were buying

More recently we have the Millenium Bridge in London, which is purely for pedestrians. And what a beauty it is. It opens up a vista between St Paul's Cathedral and the Tate Modern Gallery, and is a superb example of what city governments can do to improve the environment for citizens.

So, I was very pleased today to come across images of a new bridge to be built across the Creek in Dubai on the UAE Community Blog. I've always thought that Dubai needed landmark bridges. The Maktoum and Garhoud Bridges are nothing to write home about: they are utilitarian devices for getting vehicles across the Creek without them getting wet. The Business Bay Crossing is also nothing more than a road over water. The new one, as yet unnamed, although I suggest that The Keefieboy Krossing would be a suitable name, is sexy, curvy, big and bouncy, and I love it! Kudos to the designers, FXFowle of New York and even to the RTA for commissioning it.

Images from Popular Mechanics

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