Inhabitable Bridge Infrastructure: A Reappropriation of the Street from Vehicular to Pedestrian Scale
thesisposted on 23.05.2021, 14:19 by Sacha Marthinez
For the past century urban infrastructures have been designed primarily with automobile use in mind. The built environment consequently reflects a neglect of the human scale, that is, pedestrians. This thesis looks at existing contemporary bridges and explores ways of bringing pedestrian-scaled activity and vitality back onto the bridge, thereby breaking the confines of vehicular bridges to create a continuum of the urban environment on both ends. This thesis investigates methods of integration and coordination of vehicular and pedestrian traffic as a way to maintain the bridge as a “connector” for transport purposes, resulting in a future where bridges may facilitate a higher quality urban environment. The site for this thesis is the Jacques Cartier Bridge, a vehicular bridge that spans the St. Lawrence River in Montreal. This thesis examines the history of the street versus the road, place versus non-place, mobility versus transport and the influence of the Megastructuralist movement in Montreal as applicable elements for future bridge design. This thesis will also find ways to reacquaint itself with the estranged concept of the inhabitable bridge and demonstrating how it can be reintegrated into current and future infrastructural bridge concepts.