Monday, March 15, 2010

Traversing a Multi-Level City

Coming fresh from a vacation on a city built atop a mountain and amidst rolling hills, one would realize that the elevation adds another dimension to various aspects of city-living. The city, that is Baguio, is built within the uneven terrain of the Cordillera Central mountain range in northern Luzon.

As one travels by wheels, (with a private vehicle or a taxi commute), the 'other dimension' almost immediately comes into play the moment the vehicle starts to roll. The driver would soon encounter decision-making forks on the road. But instead of the flat perspective of a lowland city, one needs to think an additional axis. A taxi does not just go left or right on an intersection. At times, the taxi would need to go up or down. One may even need to consider whether you should turn to the upper left road or to the lower right curve.

Thus, touring the city would have to be planned in detail firsthand. Since going upward would cost more (more time, energy, gas) it is very much advisable to plan your tour to follow the natural downward contour of the city.

On a more serious note, the planning of city infrastructures would need much thinking. Hospitals would need to be located on lower parts of the city so that upper dwellers would reach it faster. On the other hand, Fire stations and Police stations should be located on the higher part, so that they can easily reach those calling for help.

The general rule should be that the origin points should be located on higher areas; while the destinations should be on lower parts. This can be applied even to business ventures such as deliveries, storage rooms, water distribution systems etc.

This is a good example of how the geography of the land shapes the society and the people's lifestyle.

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