The Urbanist

One step at a time

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24 March 2016

Episode 232

28 minutes

The floor we step on every single day is an essential piece of urban design. We examine Portugal’s limestone calçadas, Singapore’s unique ‘five foot ways’ and Turin’s covered pavements. Plus: we imagine a world in which every single step we take in a city is converted into energy.

24 March 2016

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Chapter 1

10 minutes

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Chapter 1

Pavement as branding: calçada portuguesa

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One simple and beautiful thing that unites the cities of Lisbon, Macau, Rio de Janeiro and Maputo is the floor. ‘Calçada portuguesa’ (Portuguese pavement) consists of small flat pieces of stone arranged by hand to form patterns and images. We hear more about the humble paving stone that’s the pride of a small nation.

10 minutes

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Chapter 2

4 minutes

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Chapter 2

Urban design: Singapore’s five foot ways

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The ‘kaki limas’ (five foot ways) are a unique architectural feature of the city-state. Implemented by UK statesman Sir Stamford Raffles when he founded the Lion City, the walkways are not only preserved as ‘living heritage’ today but instrumental as a guide and starting point for urban planners in the 21st century.

4 minutes

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Chapter 3

4 minutes

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Chapter 3

Heritage stroll: Turin’s porticoes

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There is something about going for a walk under a portico that feels a bit more stately than a normal open-air promenade. It’s not just about sheltering from the rain but also taking the time to linger in a space that’s midway between inside and out. In the Italian city of Turin the 18km-long network of porticoes may not be the longest in Italy but it may stake a claim to be the most elegant.

4 minutes

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Chapter 4

8 minutes

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Chapter 4

Pavegen’s CEO Laurence Kemball-Cook

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What if every single step we took in a city could be converted into energy? That’s exactly what London-based technology company Pavegen aims to do. It has developed pavement technology that converts our footsteps into renewable electricity. We speak to Pavegen’s CEO and founder Laurence Kemball-Cook.

8 minutes

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