Great Urban Places Support Great Transit Infrastructure
Great spaces support transit infrastructure.
Vibrant public spaces need to be integrated and embedded into transit infrastructure design. These spaces speak to the importance of the granular integration of transit and community context – they are part of the critical connective tissue, supporting the high priority that transit users, pedestrians and their communities truly deserve. The investments in these spaces give back to the community by demonstrating that people, and their spaces, matter.
Great spaces support transit infrastructure investment.
The creation of urban places around transit infrastructure is one of the key ingredients that support the success of transit systems. These spaces and places surround and connect to transit while underpinning the significant public investment of a modern transit system. They are a vital pillar of Transit Oriented Development (TOD) and other sustainable growth strategies in the city-building continuum. As high-caliber (and expensive) transit infrastructure is introduced, there is an expectation that the excitement of intensification, new development and community investment will follow soon after.
Great spaces support connectivity.
The urban environment and experience around transit infrastructure needs to be a bespoke, multilayered, carefully-woven fabric – a high-quality and functional urban space with places to sit, to move and to meet. When being viewed through the lens of pedestrians and transit users, these places and spaces need to contribute to safe, diverse and delightful experiences – this is what makes us feel comfortable, stimulated and connected to our communities. The layers that support this experience include greening and landscapes, textured paving materials, comfortable seating, climate comfort strategies, pedestrian-oriented lighting, wayfinding, accessibility efforts, outstanding architecture and engaging public art. This connectivity extends beyond the transit facilities to the surrounding community through the careful integration of complementary businesses and land uses.
Great spaces support thriving communities.
Supportive and vibrant land uses that form and extend the edges of these spaces help provide the open invitation for people to engage and enter, which is critical to long-term success. These land uses animate and enliven the space with businesses that energize and embrace the surrounding community. These land uses and businesses need to be allowed to evolve but the stage needs to be set for them through thoughtful design and integration strategies.
What matters most is the destination, but it is the journey through public spaces that gives the opportunity to delight, provoke and engage.
The convenient coffee bar that satisfies our desire for caffeine and a quick conversation, the public art that makes us think or smile, and the nourishment of our senses with a wealth of colours, textures and contrasts.
Cathryn Chopko Beck areas of expertise include landscape and urban design, land use planning, socio-economic analysis/market research, site planning, recreation and tourism planning, policy development and environmental planning.