- Design Arturo Tedeschi created a concept for public transportation with social distancing.
- The Passarella design is specifically for trams in Milan, but the ideas could work on subways and busses around the world.
- Seats are separated by plexiglass, and markings at stops indicate where passengers should stand.
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Italian architect Arturo Tedeschi designed a coronavirus-friendly version of public transportation for his home city of Milan. Milan was one of the hardest-hit cities in Italy by the coronavirus pandemic, and COVID-19 has changed people’s habits, including how they think about and use public transportation.
Public transportation has been cited as one of the vectors of coronavirus spread. The virus can reportedly survive on bus and subway surfaces for up to 72 hours. The CDC has recommended that Americans choose cars over public transportation when possible to avoid close contact with others. In response, subway cars and buses have been cleaned more frequently, and stop-gap measures like covering every other seat or stickers advising people to stay six feet apart have become the norm. Tedeschi’s design adapts Milan’s trams to the coronavirus age in a way that’s conscious of aesthetics and design principles.
Here’s what it looks like.
Tedeschi’s design on the right shares most characteristics with the classic 1503 model on the left.
Tedeschi’s design gives the outside an updated look with modern materials.
He says that he reinterpreted the style and proportions of the original, though it’s still recognisable.
The side features a dynamic display of the route, similar to what many trains have on the inside.
The information on the side changing in real time could make navigating a foreign city much easier.
They could also be used for advertising space.
Inside, seats are separated by plexiglass.
Tedeschi said that he turned the centre of the tram into a runway, or “passerella” surrounded with safety measures.
Geometric designs on the floor also signal a safe distance to maintain between passengers.
Tedeschi focused not just on practicality but also appealing designs that are attractive regardless of the coronavirus.
“Milano is the capital of design and ‘Milanesi’ won’t easily adapt to trivial and poor solutions” he said.
He even extended the design to the roof, which can be seen from balconies around Milan.
The yellow design and pattern on the roof are a reference to Italian futurism, according to Tedeschi.
In one rendering, he placed the Passerella in the Piazza del Duomo in Milan, showing how the design would fit into the city.
Though this design is specifically for Milan, the principles could work on public transportation around the world.
As he noted, right now trains and buses around the world have been quickly adapted to a pandemic, with some seats blocked off and stickers reminding people to keep a safe distance.
Tedeschi has created a more elegant design that incorporates safety measures, but doesn’t make them the focal point.
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