STUDY | Train Station as Community Hub

Posted on 03/06/2009

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I’ve been working on this study of a local train station in support of Transit Oriented Development. In it, I propose that community infrastructure (e.g. community spaces and offices for non-profit organisations) and design for sustainability should be provided at train stations. If more parking is required then those structures can and should also accommodate community uses. I’m particularly interested in how these transit hubs can be used to enhance community capacity in a range of transport and mobility modes e.g. cycling.

In remodelling train stations for mixed use development, community uses seem to be overlooked. The proposed urban village for Albion is an interesting case, described as a mix of residential and retail buildings linked by public plazas and spaces. The focus on design elements can sometimes appear to overlook the need for community development. In the shadow of the overpass sits the Albion Peace Centre, home to OxFam, the Global Learning Centre and other social justice and community groups. The building is a hive of activity and there is some value in clustering like-minded groups. The building is also old and the community groups are no doubt situated there because the rent is cheap. How can the Albion development benefit the Peace Centre and the groups that are situated there?

I have also posted this to Live Local as my first experiment. Live Local is an online social networking place to share stories and ideas about improving your community. I will be writing more about Live Local for Placed.

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