NODES Interchange Typology Diagrammatic Representation

This typology representation consists of a visual diagram that provides a very quick understanding of facility requirements and design implications.

A very simple diagram collects and displays each transport mode importance (demand) and accessibility at a particular interchange. This is done in a way that facilitates the understanding and comparison of interchanges, going beyond adjectives that address a restrictive classification or categorisation.

Interchange typologies have been developed to understand differences and to guide consequent implementations during planning, design and operation. However, planners and operators do not agree on typologies, because of their reductionism and different descriptive focus.

This tool is proposed with a dual aim:

–          First, to overcome the limits of typology classifications, which always lead to some complicating issues and do not provide a good description of each individual interchange.

–          Second, to understand the particularities and design stakes of each interchange from the beginning.

Also, the order proposed within the diagram quickly enables a comparison to be made of the balance between:

  1. a) public / private mobility
  2. b) sustainable / unsustainable mobility

c)  segregated (e.g. underground) / ground level with a direct implication for public space

NODES strategic objectiveContribution
Enhance accessibility and integration ++
Enhance intermodality ++
Enhance liveability 0
Increase safety and security conditions +
Increase economic viability and costs efficiency +
Stimulate local economy 0
Increase environmental efficiency +
Increase energy efficiency +

Good practice

This tool is designed for the first time specifically for NODES projects.

A similar approach and the same kind of visual tools can be found in the field of “Information Design”. Two classics works here are “The Visual Display of Quantitative Information” by Edward Tufte (1982) and “International Picture Language” by Otto Neurath.

In order to check some of the proposed interchange typologies or categorisations and the implications, a number of examples can be found in European projects such as this one (NODES D3.1.1. pages 28-31) or previous (ESBF, D 3.1.2)

Application in NODES sites:

The NODES sites for Reading, Budapest and Thessaloniki have tested this tool.

It has been considered “a simple and effective visualisation” (Budapest), “with little cost and time penalty” (Reading) and a “quite straightforward process” (Thessaloniki). “Potentially this is a quick and useful visual check on how proposed changes could improve interchange connectivity” – Reading.

“Much more understandable than simple numbers” – Budapest.

Budapest and Reading have used it to communicate the advantages of the design, in relation to other alternative or previous scenarios. They claim that this tool is especially useful for comparisons.

Thessaloniki describes how this tool has been really useful for their Mikra interchange: “It was clearly demonstrated from the implementation of the typology tool that certain modes had been neglected during the design process i.e. Taxis and Bikes. Highlighting these deficiencies in a clear and understandable way can be credited as a success of the Typology Tool.”

The three NODES sites gave this tool a 4-star rating (****).

Potential interchange performance improvement

–           The improvement using this tool is logically neither direct nor quantifiable.

–          It allows a better understanding of the physical infrastructure of the interchange, regardless of its classification. This overcomes conceptual debates and goes further in practical discussions.

–          It can also be useful to detect or predict some problems or special issues.

–          It is useful to visually note and compare the balance between public/private transport, the degree of environmental sustainability and the implications for public space.


–          Easy to use.

–          No extra resources needed.



A complete description of this tool can be found inNODES Deliverable 3.2.2. (pages 25-28).

For any further information, please contact authors of this document: Antonio García Pastor ( and José Carpio-Pinedo (