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How Urbanization Is Affecting The Architecture Of Transit

Whether you live in an urban space full-time or commute in from the surrounding suburbs, the architecture of transit is a force to be reckoned with on a daily basis. Image Source: Booms Beat

Living in a city can be an exciting experience. With an endless variety of restaurants, entertainment and business opportunities, it’s no wonder that people are drawn to these frenzied centers of civilization. Where big-city dreams await, people are always going to migrate in masses with the hope of being a part of something bigger.

That being said, those masses are growing daily. The world population is on the rise and the numbers are drifting upwards quickly. More people can mean more excitement, but it can also mean tighter living spaces and definitely crowded commutes. Whether you live in an urban space full time or commute in from the surrounding suburbs, the architecture of transit is a force to be reckoned with on a daily basis.

Those who create urban transit systems have felt the growing pressure and opportunity to design differently as cities grow and populations explode around them. There is an urgent need for transit systems that not only function super efficiently, but cater to the human aspect of daily travel as well.

Let’s look at a few of the ways urbanization is affecting the design of our transit ways:

This new station design in India will allow for ticketless travel and will handle over 500,000 passengers per day. Image Source: Daily Mail

No Longer Just A Commute

It’s not a secret that those who commute in urban spaces feel the wear of it daily. While it’s a necessity, it can also be stressful and extremely time consuming. Plenty of commuters easily spend hours of their day in transit, making the trek to and from wherever they are heading becomes a central theme of their daily lives.

Transit architects are paving the way towards making commuting something more than an obligation. They are working hard to find ways to make commuting a lifestyle. The goal is to take the stigma out of commuting and make it a life experience in and of itself where time doesn’t seem to be lost, but maybe even gained.

The strategy behind this is clear; transit architects must design systems that allow for people to experience life in motion. It’s not enough to be carried from point A to point B—passengers should be inspired and productive along the way. Great examples of this are the metro stations in Paris, France. Each acts as its own themed gateway to travel where passengers can be inspired by art, or even do a crossword on the ceiling while they wait!

Similarly, other transit systems around the world are invoking the idea of quick commuting that simply seems easy. It’s now possible to shop, eat and read all while making your way somewhere else on time. Transit architects are dedicated to the idea of inspirational commuting as the population grows, and the evidence is in the increase of inter-commuting activities that are popping up everywhere.

rainbow art in transit station

Make your commute a life experience in and of itself where time doesn’t seem to be lost, but maybe even gained. Enjoying artwork in this Stockholm, Sweden station seems like a great way to pass the time. Image Source: The Guardian

Ticketless Transport

One of the most frustrating parts of commuting, or transit in general for urban areas, is the wait time involved. Whether you’re waiting for a bus, a train, a taxi or a tram—waiting causes stress that can quickly spread throughout a crowd. Pick the wrong morning to forget your metro card and you could easily find yourself at the end of a long ticket line without any hope of making it to work on time. Similarly, it’s not hard to imagine the frustration that comes with stepping on a bus just to realize you left your cash or change at home.

In order to avoid these logistical hassles and save a growing population time and money, transit architecture is moving towards a realm of increased technology. The age of ticketless transport has begun and the benefits are quickly making themselves known. Prepaid collection smartcards are a feature of the future when it comes to public transportation and a more fluid commute.

These reader friendly cards eliminate the need for cash altogether and cut out those long, frustrating lines as well. Easy to recharge from the comfort of your own home, the majority of these cards don’t even need to be presented to be read. Scanners can pick up on them from inside a purse or wallet which means you don’t even have to worry about dropping or losing it along the way.

Additionally, this efficient scanning system can let transit controllers in on data more readily to help eliminate congestion during crowded times of the day. Patterns can be more easily established and dealt with, diminishing the opportunities for stressful situations.

This transit station in Naples, Italy appears as though a glowing sky is opening up and welcoming you. Image Source: The Guardian

Transit Systems That Mimic Life

While the growing population flocks to large cities and becomes increasingly dependent on public transportation, there is a deep seeded need within human beings to be somehow attached to nature as well. This is not lost on transit architects and in fact, is increasingly incorporated into their designs. Just as important as efficiency and ease of travel, is the need for people to be connected to the natural world while they make their way through an urban space.

This shows up in many different forms depending on the city, but those in Moscow have given their transport a little natural touch by painting individual metro cars with natural scenes. Bringing something aesthetically pleasing from above ground to below ground transport is an excellent strategy when it comes to giving transportation architecture a more …read more      

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