Saturday, 4 January 2014

Kungsportsavenyn, Göteborg, Sweden

A grand boulevard with neighborhood shops, a trolley corridor, bike lanes, parking drop-off areas, mid-sidewalk display cases, bike racks, benches, plantings, sidewalk paving, street trees, public art--every great city should have a street that works on as many levels as Kungsportsavenyn.
Particularly remarkable are the ways different elements of Kungsportsavenyn have adapted over time. Passive historic facades have been made to engage the sidewalk with glass extensions and tents. The potentially street-deadening impacts of modern facades have likewise been mitigated, with café extensions for instance. Sidewalks are buffered from trolleys by benches, bike racks, and trees.

The street's character changes about every two blocks, each transition serving a different purpose. It begins at the top of a hill surrounded by civic buildings and arts institutions. Next it becomes a boulevard with a center median bicycle greenway and smaller, neighborhood-scale businesses and shops. About two blocks later it becomes mainly a trolley street. And at the bottom of the hill, it opens up into an ornamental boulevard, leading to the entrance of the public garden on one side of the street, and opening out to the riverfront on the other side.

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