In Search of Sustainable Solutions
Edited by Eran Feitelson and Erik Verhoef
Chapter 9: Public transport-orientated urban design: plans and possibilities
Stephen Marshall INTRODUCTION Transit-orientated development, transit corridor districts and transit villages are all manifestations of public transport-orientated urban design, or the use of urban design and physical planning to facilitate public transport use. In the context of the drive towards sustainable solutions to transport provision, public transport-orientated urban design relates sustainable modes of transport to the design of the built environment. The justification for promoting public transport has generally been derived from reasons of operational efficiency (high-capacity systems able to move large numbers of people) and equity (providing a service for those who do not have access to private transport), and has been given particular contemporary significance by the increasing concerns for the environment and the desire for achieving sustainable mobility. Settlement forms have traditionally been associated with particular forms of mobility: from cities of the pre-motorized age based on movement on foot, through public transport-influenced development patterns (railway and streetcar suburbs) to forms geared to use of the private car. With renewed interest in public transport, the forms orientated towards rail- and bus-based travel have become the object of various works of speculation and evaluation. Public transport systems can be influential in the design of urban areas at a variety of scales. At the macro scale, the main public transport routes may act as ‘structural axes’ or ‘spine routes’ which help shape the structure of settlements as a whole. At the micro scale, the location and detailed design of public transport stops can influence local accessibility and environmental amenity,...
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