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Originally produced in: France
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2. Rome, a network

2a. Network of the underground of Rome

Questions 2a

  1. This map shows the current network of rail passenger transportation in the roman urban area, within the “grande raccordo anulare” (G.R.A.).
    How would you translate this expression? What is the difference between the regional railway lines and the underground lines? What is the shape of the network of regional lines?
  2. What is the shape of the underground lines? Do they serve all the places in center? Otherwise what parts of the city are not well served? How many lines are really serving the center and how many rather serve to connect it to the suburbs? What is the most central station of this network?

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2b. Urban area of Rome

Questions 2b

  1. On this map, the urban area of Roma is schematically defined by the great circle of the highway called "grande raccordo anulare" (GRA). How long is the radius of this circle? Where is precisely located its geometric center? Is it a particular place in downtown?
  2. Is the shape of the urban space really circular? How would you describe it? Is it possible to distinguish different types of urbanization (tight, compact, continuous, discontinuous, elongated, fragmented, disseminated, etc.)? What explains the apparent heterogeneousness of this town? Where are the parks? Is the Tiber valley the most urbanized area ?
  3. Look at the main radial roads (roads coming from the center colored green or yellow). Did they take the layout of ancient roads (indicated by names in blue boxes)? In what part of the town are they more radial roads than circular streets. Where are the most important motorway crossroads? Why do you think?
  4. Now, look at the ring roads surrounding the center at various distances. How much are they westwards ? How much eastwards of the center of the city?
    In which directions the growth of the city seems to have been the more regular and the better structured by transports ? Why do you think so ?

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Answers 2a

  1. The literal translation would be "a great connection ring" but this term will find its equivalent in each country: in France, it is rather a “périphérique”. The regional railways are a Y-shaped network which extends throughout the Roma area with lines along which the stations are farther apart than those of the underground.
  2. The network of the Roman underground crosses two main lines in X in the center of the city and they are divided from the terminal stations of Termini Laziali, Flaminio and San Paolo to better serve certain areas in the periphery of the center (southward to Laurentina station, and south-east to the Anagnina). But it is a highly centralized system on the station Termini, in contact with the ancient Roman center, and leaving many neighborhoods to regional services, resulting from the organization of the lines of the underground. This network appears less dense and interconnected than is the underground in Paris and it serves much less the periphery than does the underground in London.

Answers 2b

  1. The large ring road encircles the Roman settlement about 10 kilometers of a center located approximately at the Coliseum.
  2. The peripheral ring surrounding a heterogeneous agglomeration juxtaposing highly urbanized areas and large empty ones. The buildings are compact in the center, in the space corresponding to ancient Roma and eastward of the Coliseum is a succession of several neighborhoods separated by parallel boulevards. North and west urbanization grows in bands more or less guided by the axes of transport while in the south, a great less built area indicates other occupations (including the airport). Compared to Paris and London, the urban area of Roma - paradoxically - maintained natural spaces I in the center of town and did not grow preferably along the river banks. All these elements suggest a discontinuous growth and little control of that city.
  3. As we used to say "all roads lead to Rome" but we find that they have not all retained their former importance if we are to judge by the modest contemporary ways Pisana, Boccea or Nomentana. The peripheral position of major interchanges and major radial ways (yellow) suggests that relations are now the most intense from the north to the port of Ostia, that is to say along the Tiber valley and especially to the south-east, wide open on the south Italy of which Roma is the front door.
  4. There is only one ring on the edge of downtown, near the western half of the Roman settlement but at least three in the neighborhoods of the east side of the Coliseum . This indicates that urban growth has been more consistent and better organized eastward where a probably less strong dynamism of industrial and commercial settlements has been replaced by the expression of residential choices.