Arnd Bätzner has an educational background in piano, physics and railway engineering, holding a master s degree from ETH Zurich. In parallel to academic studies, he worked on optimization projects in the field of Swiss public transportation and in economic research for the investment banking division of Credit Suisse. After a management traineeship in corporate strategy at Swiss International Air Lines and several years of consulting work for small and medium entreprises, he is currently researching for a Ph.D. at the University of St.Gallen’s Institute for Systemic Management and Public Governance. In summer 2011, Arnd was a guest researcher at the SEC Future Cities Laboratory in Singapore. He is a non-executive director of the nationwide Swiss car-sharing operator Mobility and a member of the Rail Transit Committee of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) in Washington D.C.
As urbanisation and urban densities increase around the world, powerful solutions such as automation of metros, BRT or scalable light rail systems have been developed to cope with growing capacity demands. With such solutions in place, increasingly in the future, the focus will be shifted towards accessibility to and from transit stations, which is often particularly difficult since it has to deal with existing, historically grown topologies. Elevated connectors such as walkways, people movers, and cable cars are quick and easy to insert, comparably cheap to build, relieve infrastructure on the ground, free valuable urban space that can be re-assigned, and encourage healthy short-distance modes such as walking. For the first time, the paper presents an analytical framework to categorize and functionally assess the performance of elevated urban links completing and leveraging transit.
The presentation looks at ways to create new short-term connections in existing urban topologies, facilitating access to high-capacity transit stations or creating new links in existing and/or difficult urban topologies. It presents the different options available - from walkways over escalators to cable cars - that all share a common set of basic characteristics from a functional point of view. Aligning them in a systemic framework for the first time, it shows their advantages in urban territories, explains the functionality and added value they provide, what the advantages and consequences for local mobility, business and quality of life are, why they can replace much more expensive solutions and why and where they are particularly suitable. A set of respective examples chosen from around the world and analyzed in a relational framework completes the picture.