The UK’s Network Rail organisation commissioned a project to find out what communities want from transport hubs. The Design Council ran eleven ThinkStation workshops with 320 participants who generated 35,000 Post-It notes. The aim is to embed the priorities into a design competition brief and evaluation framework.
Participants consistently identified “community” as a key theme, especially for smaller stations. They said stations should be linked to the community and offer spaces for other activities and local businesses. Community meeting places, green spaces and well designed landscapes were also important. The Design Council report is comprehensive and explains the workshop process and the outcomes. While it is focused on the UK, there are many ideas that are applicable in other countries.
The nine priorities that will guide the future design, development and procurement of local stations are:
- 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 the town centre and/or the high street.
- Celebrate, improve the quality of and/or provide access to green and open spaces.
- 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.