Integrating public transport into urban area development

Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - urban


Incorporating public transport into urban area development is important since it involves more than better accessibility. Despite the difficulties, there are certainly opportunities to give public transport a more ambitious role. The aspects of public transport in urban area development have been studied by the authors during several projects and recent assignments. The lessons learned here have been described based on 9 cases inside and outside of Europe. So as to obtain a clear picture of the importance of public transport in urban area development, we will discuss the relevant institutional and process-based aspects. Urban area development benefits from efficient public transport because of required accessibility, particularly because of better accessibility compared to other areas, because of the environment, and because of the appealing image. The cumulating effect of such public transport may be even more important, namely an increase in the commercial value of real estate and amenities within the development area. The nine cases (Portland (OR) MAX & Streetcar, Ottawa (Can), Orléans (Fr), Strasbourg (Fr), Freiburg (De), Oberhausen (De), Stuttgart (De), Manchester (UK), each illustrate five major themes: =An institutional framework that enhances the integration of spatial development into traffic & transport; =Providing access to new locations and redevelopment locations; =Focusing on hubs and centres; =Revitalising city centres; =Integrating spatial development into traffic & transport initially relates to three scale levels: region, city and location. The nine cases provide some lessons for successfully integrating public transport into spatial planning in general and into urban area development in particular. 1. All cases demonstrate that integrating spatial development into traffic & transport benefits from a vigorous administration at a level that exceeds the purely local level and that has sufficient planning tools at its disposal. 2. In all cases, at least a major part of public transport was financed locally/regionally. Private financing is unusual 3. Support is essential. In this context, particularly Portland turns out to be innovative. Here, both citizens and entrepreneurs are intensively involved in the project. This involvement appears to be more intensive than the usual participation in European countries such as France and Germany. The regional think-tank of Stuttgart is innovative, as well. 4. All cases prove either directly or indirectly that public transport is to exist at an early stage if it is to be successful at all, especially if it is to be integrated into urban area development. 5. Together, the cases offer a great example of truly high-quality public transport. High-quality is a conditio sine qua non for successfully integrating spatial development into traffic & transport. 6. In almost all cases, urban area development qualifies for being connected to public transport. In this context, particularly the larger projects have priority, such as the Pearl District in Portland, or the Rieselfeld location in Freiburg. In general, such a connection is obvious if the urban area development comprises large-scale shopping facilities, such as CentrO in Oberhausen. 7. Most cases demonstrate that public transport is used first and foremost for corridors where development takes place. 8. All cases demonstrate that linking public transport to spatial planning requires that the development is concentrated in hubs at a regional and urban level. In this context, it appears that urban area development can never be considered in itself. A successful urban area development of one location always forms an integral part of a spatial planning that makes the location an integral part of a hierarchy of hubs at a regional and urban level. At minimum, the relating location is either linked to the major hub of the urban region, or it is an integral part of the central hub. In the latter case, there is a main station development. 9. The significance of public transport, and hence the effectiveness of the link between spatial planning and traffic and transport, is increased if transfer facilities are provided between public transport, on the one hand, and cars and bicycles, on the other. In all cases, such facilities are provided to some of the stops. These lessons may be considered as rules of thumb for successfully integrating high-quality public transport into urban area development. It increases the accessibility of an area and the quality and value of shopping facilities. In addition, efficiently integrated public transport enhances the image of an area.


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