Opportunistic Destinations: Transforming Railway Stations into Sustainable Urban Centres

Atocha MadridAll over the world stations are changing to become new urban centres and destinations. Some flagship projects, like Atocha in Madrid or Grand Central in Manhattan, make great destinations with shops, restaurants, museums and exhibition spaces.

The urban spaces around them have been redesigned to provide excellent public areas and rationalise functional needs. Suburban stations also have the potential to follow the same trend. After all, stations are places of high symbolic value, they are central to the life of many people and include all sections of society, while generating high footfall and stimulating the economy.

For this reason, Station Master Planning must focus on ‘place’ as well as ‘product’ to respond to the multiple opportunities. Considering that designs of stations need to be sustainable, preserve and value the public spaces, this paper reflects on the case study of the station master plan of the Tottenham Hale Station in London where SKM Colin Buchanan applied opportunistic urban design principles and created a new, significant urban square for north London and a local destination for leisure and investment. 

The design methodology are further explored and transferred to the local context of Melbourne where the unique spatial circumstances of suburban stations along the New Regional Rail Link line are tested and visually charted, highlighting how these stations possesses specific opportunistic and sustainable urban design answers.

Martina Juvara, Master Planning and Urban Design, SKM Colin Buchanan, London UK will speak at the 5th International Urban Design Conference – The Hilton on the Park, Melbourne, Australia from the 10th to the 12th of September – 2012

Email: conference@urbandesignaustralia.com.au | URL: www.urbandesignaustralia.com.au

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