Can cities have a soul? Can they be equipped with irreducible individualities? Can the cities inherit some unique aspect of the landscapes they belong to; to such an extent that they become a new and different representation of its aspect? Drawing streets is an important action within the definition of urban structures: street patterns are like etchings that trace their signature in the Earth’s crust. Their signs have an impressive importance on creating specific urban systems. Streets establish specific locations, arrival and departure, possible routes and therefore resting areas, settlements and land colonization. Streets distinguish, disconnect and join different portions of the landscape. They create new possibilities for meeting and sharing the same place at the same time. They mark threshold and places among spaces. By their multiplication and their interconnection, streets define the spatial organization of settlements, whether urban or agriculture based. They create newer and faster opportunities to communicate. However, when they come up too fast and dense, streets can generate in the territories they pass through, alienation and sometimes desertion. Streets generate two core elements: building the artifact and a strategy to colonize the land. As an artifact, the street form is strictly linked to its construction methods and guaranteed allowances for transportation and vehicle techniques. As a strategic element, streets establish a link between empty spaces and settlements and within the settlements themselves. Streets show the direction of urban development and how they are able to dissect the landscape. It lays between these two elements; the life and the future development of the street itself. On one hand, it is expected that a specific project aims to design an accessible pathway within a space. On the other hand, the street is the result of a planned action related to the use of a specific space. Across time, the main drive-way features are delineated in relation to the railroad system. Streets compete with this latter long haul passenger and goods transportation system. These two systems output two different performances: one more flexible and another more feasible. One targets public transportation, the other holds and promotes private one. However the development of outer-city highways brings them closer; high speed transportation imposes on both similar constrains in terms of patterns. These outer-city highways follow a set of rules and technological limitations which tend to isolate it from other factors that characterise its landscape and environment. Streets are mainly thought of as constant section pipelines which modify their dimension according to their class, their capacity, their speed limit and their covered distance. This section is mainly horizontal, therefore it designs big curves. When the outercity highway makes its entry in the city and changes its name into ‘speed’ street, speedway, tangenziale, variante, junction, etc…., it mediates its morphological features with those belonging to the urban settlement and with human requirements. Thus mediation is no longer a conflict between two different dimensional relationships, in term of scale and public spaces. High speed networks step out of the continuity of public spaces and urban patterns. They make it difficult to access. Main contemporary research issues are shaping their structure according to the relationship between planning and architecture, street and building.
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