Pedestrian and Cycling Bridge, Portugal
By MXT29-08-2016Popularity:27570 Comments


In 1987 Bruce Chatwin describes in  “The Songlines” (2) his expedition to Australia, cetred on the aboriginal songs, extraordinary atlas of maps sung from generation to generation.

Traveller by choice, in a moment of pause, in the Australian outback, Chatwin reflects on the nature of human restlessness and feeds in a sum of ideas, quotes and meetings, the hypothesis that “Natural Selection has designed us, from the structure of our brain cells to the structure of our big toe, for a career of seasonal journeys” (3).

This primordial human restlessness, more than coincides with the history of mankind, full of explorations and migrations, song lines that mark the entire planet with land, river, sea and air routes, which intersect and overlap in extraordinary moments, the cities.

In cities all moments of their evolution overlap and accumulate, multiplying into distinct maps, witnessing its history of continuities and discontinuities, desires and values, past, present and future.

This bridge belongs to the maps of the future, inevitably optimistic, of other journeys and transport modes, soft, resulting from a new global ecological awareness.

Here, at the place and context of this bridge project, lanes and tree alleys of the Benfica, Luz and Telheiras farms are an opportunity to build this new map. A new network of paths literally taking off the ground, partially a memory of the old farm lanes, cross over 2a Circular, a major arterial road, in a song of overlapped lines of different scales and modes.

(1) “Camiñante no hay camino, hay que camiñar” (Walker there is no path, there is walking), inscription in the cloister of a XIII century monastery at Toledo to which an anonymous added “Soñando” (Dreaming).

(2) The Songlines, 2015 edition published by Penguin Classics.

(3) Op. Cit. 

Photographs: João Morgado

Site plan


key: Maps of the future, bridge design
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