Urban environment for Transport (Indicators-based list)

A summary of indicators provides a reference for guiding the interchange urban environment planning process.

The ultimate aim is to encourage citizens to travel by public transport, through several recommendations in the fields of land use planning and urban design, based on scientific and professional evidence. The indicators are designed to produce synergies between urban planning and transport, making both more attractive and efficient for citizens.

Quantitative and qualitative targets are proposed, covering the following areas and indicators:

  1. a) land use and density: residential density, workers + residents density
  2. b) buildings morpho-typology: floor area ratio, ground space index, number of levels
  3. c) streets morpho-typology: streets hierarchy
  4. d) economic activities: retail shops and ground-floor activities.


Targets are set in order to guide the planning process and evaluate proposals.

–  Research literature has been reviewed and summarised to obtain some very simple, clear, understandable indicators.

–  Indicators are chosen to work coherently together and to be a synthesis of the key issues within the design process that affect transport demand (access and dispersal) and transport performance in general.

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

This synthesis has been elaborated specifically for NODES project.

A similar conceptual approach is used in the planning of Transit Oriented Developments (TOD), a well-known initiative in the United States. See as an example the following case of study on Community and Transportation Linkage Planning Program in Albany, New York Area Metropolitan Planning Organization.

Our summary encompasses a wider variety of issues (e.g. building morpho-typology) and proposes a to-the-point interface (self-assessable checklist guidelines).

Application in NODES sites:

The cities of Budapest and Thessaloniki have tested this tool.

Budapest considered that it is useful and “gives an overview about a given area, but it takes time to collect the data the list is based on”.

Thessaloniki also remarked about the difficulty and need to collect data from various stakeholders and through GIS or similar techniques.

However, the Thessaloniki team reckons that this is a “useful tool, which is low-cost, easy to implement and with the additional advantage that it provides an overall benchmark for the interchange”.

“This tool is considered very helpful as an open adaptable methodology at the stage of allocating and planning a new interchange. It follows a very methodological  approach trying to quantify as many indicators as possible describing the urban complexity around an interchange.”

The tool has been overall rated as a four-star tool (****).

Potential interchange performance improvement

This tool helps to focus on a number of important aspects in urban planning that demonstrate a close association with transport service.

This might be quantified as:

–          Higher demand for travel, due to better coordination with land uses and their density.

–          Also, due to better spatial accessibility and other formal attractiveness issues, as well as due to a more liveable urban environment.

–          better economic performance of retail and services in the urban space surrounding and linked to public transport, which could be the basis for better revenue processes


–   This tool is proposed to guide and evaluate the urban designers’ and transport planners’ proposals.

–  Easy to use.

–  No extra resources required.


A complete description of this tool can be found in the document that presents the tools’ framework and scope of action:  NODES Deliverable 3.2.2. “Urban planning and development at a close-up level” (pages 29-31).

For any further information, please contact the authors of this document: Antonio García Pastor (antonio.garcia@crtm.es) and José Carpio-Pinedo (carpio.pinedo@gmail.com).