Co-creation for train station design

Artist view of a station pod showing the clock tower and a sheltered entry. Co-creation for train station design.
Impression of station pod from 7N Architects

Design Council in the UK is extending its experience in co-creation for train station design. Co-creation or co-design is the new buzz-word in access and inclusion. A large cross section of people had a say in the process of designing a station.

Network Rail want to build on the legacy of Great British railway stations to create the transport hubs of the future. Railway stations are an integral part of a community and can offer more than a platform and a train. That’s why they are including a community or retail space. 

Design Council and Network Rail ran a national engagement exercise called ‘ThinkStation’. They spoke to more than 320 people representing a cross section of people and ran eleven workshops. Nine priorities were identified for the next generation of railway stations:

      • Support existing and new communities in their local area
      • Reflect and embody local character and heritage
      • Provide consistent quality of space and service
      • Establish connections with and between town centres and/or high streets
      • Celebrate and improve the quality of green spaces and open spaces and/or provide access to them
      • Be welcoming and facilitate inclusive travel
      • Support and better integrate cross-modal transport 
      • Help to address climate change 
      • Ensure longevity by accommodating changes of use, capacity and trends

Co-creation engagement process

The engagement process covered three key areas:

      • Environment and sustainability
      • Inclusion and accessibility
      • Community and enterprise

Just over half of survey respondents said they feel welcome and safe when using their local station. More importantly, 86% said difficult interchanges sometimes prevented them from taking the train. 

Proposed train station designs

A standard pod design evolved from the engagement process. A video on the webpage explains.

Aerial view of the proposed station pod design.
Photo by 7N Architects

The pod design has sheltered waiting areas and facilities such as baby change and accessible toilets. The signage is easy to use and lighting is designed to make people feel safe. A tall clock tower is the station landmark and the first step in wayfinding.  

The illustrations are very helpful in visualising the project. The project is now complete and the full report published

An older woman is writing something on a wall chart alongside others.






Designing and reorganising transport hubs: A framework

Inside Kings Cross Railway Station in UK showing two floors with shops inside a giant atrium.Seamless transitions between walking, cycling and public transport are important for the environment, inclusion and for reducing traffic congestion. The MATCH-UP project in Europe developed a method to assess how policies are measuring up and creating design solutions. The method and background to the project are presented in an article published in Sustainability.

The aim of the method is to support designers and decision-makers who need to re-organise existing transport hubs and plan new ones. This detailed document is good for anyone in transport planning and transport policy, sustainability, accessibility and universal design in the built environment. Accessibility and universal design are embedded in all aspects and not listed at the bottom as an afterthought. 

The title of the article is, Assessing the Performance of Modal Interchange for Ensuring Seamless and Sustainable Mobility in European Cities.  


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