11 Apr 2018

Our lives are busy and our time is precious. Today, where we choose to live, work, shop and play are merging into one. Increasingly it’s also tied into how we commute.

With a growing population and unprecedented rail investment, there’s no better time to leverage the spaces within, above and around our transport hubs.

At Urbis, our specialists can help you deliver successful station precincts that are designed to draw a crowd. It’s a unique opportunity to improve social, economic and urban outcomes for everyone.

If we think strategically and plan ahead, together we can bring the heart and soul to any place.

Here are ten winning trends to help you create a transport hub that benefits everyone.

1. Create a sense of place

Distinctive spaces create a lasting impression. Around the world, transport hubs act as gateways to cities, towns, suburbs and communities. While we’re often on the move, our experience of arriving in a new place quickly colours our first impression. Distinctive locations make for popular meeting places and create enduring memories.

2. Be the heart of the neighbourhood

Transport corridors often physically separate our neighbourhoods, with railway stations split between a ‘good’ side and a ‘not-so-good’ side. Successful transport hubs however are destinations that unify and integrate surrounding areas.

More than a train station, thriving hubs offer more to their clientele, by way of desirable retail experience or offer sanctuary from the day to day. Customers are attracted to valuable experiences. This means designing buildings more thoughtfully. The right physical and spatial connections benefit communities, workers, visitors and residents alike.

St. Pancras Stations, London. Image source: Urbis.

3. Inspire inclusiveness

Make your customer experience your top priority. Think about how people will move through and interact with your space. A successful transport hub considers different ages, abilities and nationalities. It is a place that thinks beyond the transport infrastructure and focusses on the most important element: the people using it.

We need to investigate new models to deliver new facilities on the doorstep of our transport hubs.

4. Deliver a mix of uses

Mixed-use developments can be so much more than just a supermarket or residential apartments above a train station. Destination uses such as health, education and research facilities are major people attractors driving visitation. When we expand the uses in any one location, we increase activation and make that place safe. 

5. Planes, trains and automobiles (almost)

It’s not just bus stops and taxi ranks – a modern transport hub welcomes bicycles, car share, rideshare and more. Smart travel planning and clever infrastructure can reduce our stress as commuters and encourage us to pursue a more active lifestyle.

Utrecht Central Station, Netherlands. Image source: ©City of Utrecht.

6. Catalyse for wider precinct renewal

Precinct renewal works best when it considers its context. Recent funding for transport infrastructure projects has shifted from station to renewal across entire transport corridors. This allows a more comprehensive consideration of how best to accommodate growth in infill areas.

7. Capture value from the start

Don’t wait until a station is complete to gauge value realisation. Whether yours is a new or existing development, considering value capture during the design phase offers abundant benefits.

8. Keep the lights on

With careful planning, late-night activation around transport hubs can be a win for everyone. When we’re more likely to travel at night, a greater sense of safety emerges through passive surveillance and being surrounded by a livelier atmosphere.

Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre precinct, Malaysia. Image source: Getty Images.

9. Bring everyone to the table

A coordinated approach is essential when planning new communities and establishing new transport corridors. If new developments are to be feasible, with social infrastructure in place when residents move in, a long-term focus is required from the start.

10. Speed up

High-speed rail acts as a pressure valve for cities – relieving congestion, enhancing connectivity and unlocking the potential of regional areas. Access to faster trains can change our lives and how we work. So why not build for it?

Unprecedented rail investment is transforming the way we move. Never before have we had an opportunity of this scale to truly shape cities and communities for a better future.

Our complete guide for delivering successful station precincts is available now. 

Download your copy of ‘Shaping, Not Just Stations’ by clicking the thumbnail below. 


Maximise your transport investment – get in touch with our station precinct specialists.

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