The development of grade separation pedestrian system: A review

Jianqiang Cui* (Corresponding Author), Andrew Allan, Dong Lin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


During the past century, numerous cities around the world have introduced Grade Separation Pedestrian System (GSPS), including Underground Pedestrian System (UPS), skywalk systems or a combination of both, as an alternative way for pedestrian circulation to overcome the limitations of congested and traffic
compromised street networks. This paper provides an overview of the development of GSPS across the world, and discusses the varied issues and debates relating to the development rationale and impacts of GSPS. The literature review indicates that GSPS were implemented in various cities due to various considerations and they have varied impacts on the city and its people both positively and negatively. As a relatively new topic in urban and transport studies, GSPS highlights important issues and questions that are deserving of more in-depth research. This research suggests that five research aspects need to be updated: new drivers beyond what has been presented in previous research; evidence-based research of GSPS in different cities; quantitative assessment of the development of GSPS; comparisons of the development patterns of such systems in the world; and the development of GSPS in developing countries.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-160
Number of pages10
JournalTunnelling and Underground Space Technology
Early online date4 Jul 2013
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2013

Bibliographical note

We would like to thank Dr. Raymond Sterling, Professor Emeritus at the Louisiana Tech University and the President of the Associated Research Centers for Urban Underground Space (ACUUS) for his valuable comments and suggestions and kind support of references for this article. We also would like to thank the three anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments and suggestions.


  • Grade Separation Pedestrian System (GSPS)
  • Underground Pedestrian System (UPS)
  • Skywalk systems
  • Cities
  • City centre
  • Development rationale
  • Impacts


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