A skyway, skybridge, or skywalk is an elevated type of pedway connecting two or more buildings in an urban area, or connecting elevated points within mountainous recreational zones. Urban skyways very often take the form of enclosed or covered footbridges that protect pedestrians from the weather. Open-top modern skyways in mountains now often have glass bottoms. Sometimes enclosed urban skywalks are made almost totally from glass, including ceilings, walls and floors. Also, some urban skyways function strictly as linear parks designed for walking.
In North America skyways are usually owned by businesses, and are therefore not public spaces (compare with sidewalk). However, in Asia, such as Bangkok's and Hong Kong's skywalks, they are built and owned separately by the city government, connecting between privately run rail stations or other transport with their own footbridges, and run many kilometers. Skyways usually connect on the first few floors above the ground-level floor, though they are sometimes much higher, as in Petronas Towers. The space in the buildings connected by skyways is often devoted to retail business, so areas around the skyway may operate as a shopping mall. Non-commercial areas with closely associated buildings, such as university campuses, can often have skyways and/or tunnels connecting buildings.
The world's largest discontinuous skyway network – Calgary, Alberta, Canada's "+15 Walkway" system – has a total length of 18 km (11 mi). The Minneapolis Skyway System is the world's largest continuous system and spans 11 miles (18 km) connecting 80 blocks in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States.
Skyways are an interesting concept. They allow for pedestrian access from one building to another. However, they can also encourage exclusion inside a city, depending on how they can be accessed and are governed (see e.g. https://99percentinvisible.org/episode/beneath-the-skyway/).
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