Strategic evaluation of scenarios (site and connections) for a new interchange development.

Strategic scenario evaluation provides a framework to assist and inform strategic decisions for a new interchange development by evaluating different possible alternative locations and connections (scenarios) at a city-regional level.

This framework helps to evaluate alternative scenarios by understanding the pros and cons of each possible scenario. It focuses primarily on summarising the future performance of a new interchange in a few indicators.

At a city-regional level, this kind of decision is usually assisted by transport models (macro-simulation). However, not every city can afford the costs that transport models imply.

At a city-regional level, a few target indicators are selected to be sufficiently representative to articulate the planner’s choice. The evaluation framework is flexible and adaptable to the available resources of each city, in order to value and take into account target indicators such as: network centrality, the impact on centrality on other modes or urban integration (both local and global). The latter are not considered by macro-simulation models.


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

Good practice

No similar approach is to be found among good practices. To achieve the same goals, planners usually apply macro-simulation and transport modelling, but the methodology is completely different.

Also, planners approach some of these targets in a more instinctive, qualitative process.

Application in NODES sites:

This tool has been tested by the NODES teams in Thessaloniki and Birmingham.

Both cities consider the tool useful and relevant, but it “needs extensive data” – Budapest.

Birmingham reckons that “some of the metrics which are suggested for analysis are quite detailed and would ordinarily require complex assignment models or accessibility models in order to generate the data.” It is hard to implement if “none of the software and models are already in use – if they are, the score could potentially be significantly higher.”

Birmingham and Thessaloniki gave this tool a 4-star rating (**

Potential interchange performance improvement

The main goal and potential performance improvement of this method is the optimisation of public transport demand, which is directly connected with economic sustainability.

At a macro (city-regional) level, this framework focuses on summarising the future performance of a new interchange in a few indicators. It is designed to be a relevant tool for all planners that cannot afford transport models. Also, it takes other goals into consideration, such as urban integration, which has proved to be a crucial factor for the ultimate performance of the interchange


–  An expert is required during the process and for the interpretation of results.

–  Software may imply licensing costs.

–  Costs assigned to authority in charge of physical planning/design.


A complete description of this tool can be found inNODES Deliverable 3.2.1. (pages 51-57). Please also see the detailed description of each indicator – including references – in section 5 of the document (pages 62-78).

For any further information, please contact the author of this document: Javier Aldecoa (

Some of the software platforms involved in the methodology are:

Geographic Information Systems (G.I.S.). List of commercial software providers here.

– Network analyst: which may be included in some of the G.I.S platforms (example), or based on transport models.

Space Syntax software.