Arcaded Streets

Some cities have a long tradition of arcaded streets. Most of these are in areas where weather extremes make protection from the elements highly desirable. Arcades can provide highly effective protection from sun, rain, and snow. They also provide some protection from wind. Arcades can be continuous except for breaks at street crossings. Narrow streets obviously expose pedestrians to the elements for shorter periods. If the streets are narrow enough, it is even possible to carry the arcades across the intersection, as has sometimes been done.

The regularity of the arcade form is attractive, and some variation is introduced from one building to the next. It appears that comparatively long building frontages are common in cities with arcades, as the joining of one arcaded building to the next involves a bit of complication. with waterproofing of the joint.

It is important to keep streets open for pedestrians even when arcades are provided - in nice weather, pedestrians should be able to leave the protection of the arcades and walk in the sunny street.

In cold climates it might be possible to apply arcades extensively to provide pedestrians with a concourse that was not so bitter cold. During the cold months, transparent covers could be applied to the arcade openings, to keep out the wind and allow a moderate buildup of warmer air. While the temperature increase would be limited to a few degrees, the wind could be stopped almost entirely, which makes a large difference in really cold conditions.

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