Why should cities take care of the public space close to transport systems?
The last decades, cities are clearly exposed to a strong pressure, so they need to adapt to a continuous world in change. Urban planners, technicians and city-makers work to create beautiful and liveable cities. Therefore, we have to explore and learn new approaches that aim to a better management and design of the public space: a better connection will transform these big infrastructure investments in a way that long-term planning will reflect a lifestyle in continuous evolution.
The Cities host people who want to move from point A to point B, making relationship possible. Unavoidably, during the last years the areas close to these poles of transportation and transition became space in which numerous city-users are concentrated, for working, studying, leisure and vacation, staying for a long time.
The main focus of this transformation is the transport system areas, close to the hubs of the transport, where every day more and more people or city-user go and cross these public spaces. Actually, the rail and metropolitan stations have always taken an important position in the development of the cities.
WHAT ARE THE CRITICAL ISSUES?
During the last years, the tendency of the public realm has been to radically transform the appearance of the main rail and metropolitan stations: just to give an example, in many cases the commercial function has been combined with the traditional transport function. In parallel, the sudden change of this pole to a “mall” often results with the consolidation of physical degradation and social issues that affect the perception of their public space. All this can compromise the perception of safety and liveability of public spaces. Often, the main cause of these unpleasant situation is the adoption of policies that mainly take into account aesthetic appearance, but ignore social dynamic of the context; We finally can say that flexible public space are not built for the current society of continuous change.
After this introduction, we can conclude that in every context and every city there are different challenges, good practices and critical issues that are reflected in bigger topic such as the ones listed below:
- Safety measures against terrorism vs placemaking;
- Stations as places of social integration;
- The process of integration between station and neighborhood;
- Resilience: can the public space be attractive and livable?
- Rail Stations and railway lines as edges that divide the city into two parts;
After studying in depth these topics we can see the propensity of the public space close to the transportation system to be flexible and to be attractive for the city-users. At the same time, these public spaces need to be able to adapt itself for the society of continuous change.