This small park offers a beautiful view out over the center of Lisbon. From a practical standpoint, hills are a curse in a city, but from an aesthetic standpoint, they are magnificent. Lisbon offers many different vistas out over the city from its hills.

The hill problem has technical solutions. In the first place, if the streets are laid out with respect for the topography, then the grades can usually be held to reasonable levels. In the instances where this is not possible, the use of funiculars makes it easy for residents to get up the hills. Lisbon today has three working "elevadores" (which, oddly, does not translate correctly to "elevator" but is a more general term encompassing both elevators and funiculars). I believe that some others have been removed from operation. The old, narrow-gauge trams are capable of climbing remarkable grades, although not as steep as the funiculars.

Since we generally desire to inhabit the hills and leave the lowlands as open space, that means that in hilly country we will have to contend with building on hillsides. Sensible application of proven technology solves most of the transport difficulties, and unless the hills are very steep, construction difficulties are easily managed.

The views are a gift.

Please Wait
City Design Home

Text ©2001-2002 J.Crawford