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 for the design of transport hubs. 320 participants generated 35,000 Post-It notes with their ideas.
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 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.
Mind the Mind Gap in Transportation
Among the list of invisible disabilities are mental health conditions, as well as compulsory and phobia conditions. While basic physical access is being addressed, different mental health conditions are rarely considered. Using the underpinning principles of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, researchers from Austria looked at the issues with participants from the target groups. They found that strategies to support self-distraction as well as relaxing environments helped. The paper concludes,
“In general, measures should concentrate on strategies to support self-distraction and self-manipulation (e.g. personal entertainment, breathing exercises), as well as on infrastructural and organizational improvements (e.g. relaxing environment, improvement of layouts and signage, trained service personnel, raising of public awareness). The target group may get confronted with additional challenges or barriers due to the social and technological developments (e.g. automated driving) in the near future.
The full title of the paper is, Access to Transport Services and Participation in Traffic for People with Mental Health Diseases – Challenges to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to provide an overall inclusive Transportation System.