Esthetics of Urban Transportation Facilities

by Charles E. De Leuw,

Serial Information: Transportation Engineering Journal of ASCE, 1969, Vol. 95, Issue 1, Pg. 23-28

Document Type: Journal Paper


The design team concept offers engineers, architects, landscape architects and other professionals a way to collaborate on planning and design of urban highways and rapid transit facilities. For many, this merely formalizes a practice they have long followed. ASCE has played a leading role in drawing together engineering, architectural, planning and other related professions. On many engineering assignments, consultants are now retained to enhance the esthetic qualities of design and to assure compatability of proposed facilities with their environment. In rural areas the challenge is to refrain from desecrating beauty that has been created by Nature. In cities, however, beauty must often be created where little exists. Structures which are interesting and exciting to engineers are not always so viewed by laymen. Design cannot stop at the building line, moreover, nor at the limits of right of way. The architect cannot make a building attractive by hanging a beautiful facade on a structure that is badly proportioned or inexpertly sited. Likewise, the landscape architect cannot hide with evergreens the combined mistakes of both engineer and architect. A satisfactory project results only from true collaboration—not from compromise.

Subject Headings: Architects | Highway and road design | Aesthetics | Urban areas | Landscaping | Consulting services | Conceptual design | Team building

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