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Modern mobility in shaping the city

Wiktor Bochenek
25 of November '21
Technical data
Type: Second degree thesis.
Year of defense: 2021
Name: Just City. Modern mobility in the context of the formation of a just city
Author: Sara Mailcka-Skrzek

Krzysztof Kafka Ph.D. Prof. PŚ

In thinking about the development of urban space, one should not be limited. What forms of transportation belong to the future in cities? How will they affect the model of life in the future? Finally, what is a modern fair city? Sara Malicka-Skrzek tried to answer these questions in her work.

"The Fair City. Modern Mobility in the Context of Forming a Just City" is the title of Sara Malicka-Skrzek's second degree thesis defended at the Faculty of Architecture at the Silesian University of Technology. We wrote about the author's first-degree thesis on changing Piast Square in Gliwice on our portal. In her latest work, the architect tries to determine in which direction cities should develop and what kind of transportation will be developed in the future. She tries to fit modern transportation systems into several zones of Gliwice.

what is a fair city?

The idea of a fair city is primarily to improve the quality of life for users, based on equity in access to urban goods, equality and choice. A city that wants to be fair cannot discriminate on the basis of age, gender or physical ability. It must also be supportive of safety and accessibility to educational, health, cultural, social and, most important to the author, transportation infrastructure.

diagram listing features of cities

© Sara Malicka-Skrzek

The starting point for determining what forms of transportation are conducive to an equitable city was to characterize solutions to this issue. Solutions that would meet these conditions had to be local in scope, be suitable for mass or group transportation, offer surface or aboveground transportation (underground transportation was excluded due to knowledge of its impact on the city), be modern solutions and above all, be public. Based on these criteria, the author singled out five modern means of transportation that I want to discuss.

SkyWay - a two-rail means of transportation moving above the ground, independent of road infrastructure

© Sara Malicka-Skrzek

Among the listed facilities are:
1. Chinese model train TEB-1, which is elevated above street level. It would be possible to drive a car under this object.
2. SkyWay, a double-rail means of transportation that travels above the ground, making it independent of road infrastructure.
3. cable car railroad.
4. Personal Rapid Transit. A means of transprot moving on segregated tracks, combining features of light rail and cab.
5. Shweeb, a set of human-powered cabs moving on autonomous, isolated rails.

cable car

© Sara Malicka-Skrzek

Of the models listed, the most important was to select ones that avoid heavy interference, can serve hard-to-reach areas, are low-emission, collision-free and prioritize egalitarian and easy access for every city user. From the above list, Sara Malicka-Skrzek chose three solutions: SkyWay, Line Rail and Personal Rapid Transit.

Personal Rapid Transit - a means of transportation that travels on segregated tracks, combining features of light rail and cabs

© Sara Malicka-Skrzek

transportation of the future

The author of the work, after the characterization of the means of transport, decided to create concepts for introducing them into use in Gliwice. A necessary element of the work was the division of the city into zones such as the center, the urban zone, the suburban zone and the periphery.
Based on this division, it was possible to distinguish the most important points of communication. The center along with the urban zone would be covered by frequent and short-distance connections, while the suburban zone and periphery would be reached by long-distance and infrequent connections.

diagram of the proposed transportation system model

© Sara Malicka-Skrzek

How would modern modes of transportation support traditional ones? In the center itself, there would be a connection via Personal Rapid Transit cars, which would have a connection to the urban zone. Similarly, a cable car would operate in the center, which would also be connected to the suburban zone. The periphery and suburbs would also be connected to the urban zone via the SkyWay, which travels above ground.

Chinese model of the TEB-1 train, which is elevated above street level. It would be possible to drive a car under this object

© Sara Malicka-Skrzek

Transportation designed in this way would make it possible to provide all city users and residents with access to the most important public, educational, health and cultural functions located in the downtown area. It would reduce the occurrence of places without public transportation and reduce the number of transfers. Driving an efficient and fast transportation network would improve the attractiveness of undeveloped areas for investment purposes.

Shweeb, a set of human-powered cabs moving on autonomous, isolated rails

© Sara Malicka-Skrzek

sample changes

How would the streets be affected by the changes proposed in the paper? In the center, there would be segregated tracks for Personal Rapid Transit traffic, in addition to newly segregated green areas also designed for recreation. There would also be a pedestrian and bicycle zone next to it.

diagram of the development of the center zone

© Sara Malicka-Skrzek

In the suburban zone, transfer stations were located for Line Rail and SkyWay. A bus stop and urban bicycle stations were placed next to the stations. Car lanes would be narrowed to the minimum allowable widths.

diagram of the development of the suburban zone

© Sara Malicka-Skrzek


Improving transportation accessibility is an integral aspect of city planning concepts. In order to make means of transportation easily accessible, safe, efficient and equitable, the introduction of modern means of transportation should be considered. Will we live to see such solutions in the future? Time will tell.

elaboration. {AuthorAiB}

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Interior trends 2023
Interior trends 2023