Thursday, February 28, 2013

Pedestrian Friendly Streetscape in Santa Cruz

Greetings one last time from Quito! Our flight leaves at 9 this evening from Quito to Lima, and we will be spending the next few days in Miraflores on the coast of Peru.

I wanted to write another post that I hoped to write prior to getting sick, and this one is all about Landscape Architecture.

As a Landscape Architect, and my wife will attest to this, when I travel I notice things that others may not. For instance at the Mitad del Mundo (Middle of the World), the very touristy location of the equator dividing the Northern and Southern Hemisphere, I took note that there was a lot of curbing separating lawn from the street, or sidewalks, but behind this curb was planted a row of flowers, a nice and simple touch.

Flowers Behind the Curb
Mitad del Mundo
So when we were in Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz Island I was immediately taken by the impressive streetscape improvements to the main streets in town. Puerto Ayora is the most developed and populated of the towns in the Galapagos, and is a major jumping off point for dive cruises, and day trips to the other islands. The town boasts a population of 12,000 people and tourists are everywhere! It was my favorite place in the Galapagos, that we visited, aside from everything below water!

The mayor of Puerto Ayora is allotted a certain amount of money each year for various projects and if he doesn't use, he loses it. He decided to construct some pretty awesome streetscape improvements to give back to the residence and visitors of the town.

I was able to (crudely) recreate a plan and section to denote what the extent of the proposed improvements was to be.

Puerto Ayora Streetscape                                     

As this project was currently under construction there were several posters of renderings illustrating the before and after. As the group from the boat walked around the town looking for dinner one night it was neat to give them an idea of what landscape architecture actually is!


There were also parts of the project that had been finished and I was able to get some pictures of these areas. I was very impressed at the craftsmanship, and was a little jealous we couldn't have a little more of this type of thing in Buffalo. However, due to snow and other hinderances a streetscape of this exact design may not be best suited for Buffalo. In Puerto Ayora, it works just fine!

Left Side of Improvements
(Left to right: Sidewalk, Bike Lane, Curb/ Planters, Vehicular Travel, Pull Off, Sidewalk)
Right Side of Improvements
(Left to right: Sidewalk, Bike Lane, Curb/ Planters, Vehicular Travel, Pull Off, Sidewalk)

Looking Back at the Start of the Improvements
I took note of a few interesting construction practices. I noticed that they used several base courses, and their lowest base course is volcanic rock which is readily accesible to them. I was curious if there was a NYS DOT Item number for that, as well as a documented compressive strength. Ha! It was also impossible not to notice that the entire construction site was not blocked off except to vehicular traffic. This means that locals and tourists alike were walking through the limits of work right as the workers were cutting and laying pavers, spreading and compacting the base course and demolishing the existing streets. Not only was this a little dangerous, but if I was working there, this would drive me nuts!!

It was very cool to see a project of this type being constructed right in front of us as we walked through town. What do you think?

See you in Peru!

1 comment:

  1. Seems like roadside planting would be killed by salt spray up in those northern states... unless you intend on using annuals.