Urban Space for Interchange – Assessment

Short description: Indicative targets and recommendations are set in order to guide the design of the urban public spaces around the interchange and evaluate proposals.

The design of public spaces around the interchange is crucial for its success and performance. Especially if transfers do not all take place within the infrastructure, but also in the public space around the interchange.

Research literature has been reviewed and synthesized in order to get some very simple, clear and understandable recommendations, according to several key issues that affect transfers and transport performance: visual contact, number of turns, detour index, design for PRM, quality design, etc. These are chosen to work coherently together.

By attempting to produce synergies between public spaces and public transport, they aim at increasing their mutual attractiveness.

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 0
Increase energy efficiency 0

Good practice

This synthesis has been elaborated specifically for NODES project.

A similar methodological approach and kind of tools (recommendation check-lists) is UK Network Rail document “Station planning and design”. This document shares the same principles and collects a variety of issues that affect transfers.

Application in NODES sites:

This tool has been tested by the cities of Reading, Birmingham, Budapest and Thessaloniki.

Thessaloniki remarks that “this is a very useful tool, low cost, easy to implement and with the additional advantage that it spots deficiencies at the weakest link of a trip.”

Birmingham claims that it is “for the most part fairly simple but effective and should not require too much expert input.” “Clear and well-presented and provides a good guide for practitioners.”
“Presents clear targets for the development of entry / exit routes between the interchange and the immediate urban public spaces. The list of metrics is simple, but provides clear instruction on best practice.”

Reading team considered that this tool was especially useful to compare different indicators.

Nonetheless, Budapest notices that whereas “it provides an easy way to indentify the obstacles”, some items should be developed, such as barriers for disabled access.

This tool has been overall rated as a 4-star tool (****).

Potential interchange performance improvement

This tool aims at improving the interchange urban integration, at guiding pedestrian in&out flows and making the access to the interchange coherent to the city area and the interchange design. This might be quantified as:

–          A higher transport demand, thanks to an improved spatial accessibility and attractiveness.

–          A better economical performance of retail and services in the urban space surrounding the interchange, which would lead to better economical 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 within 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 32-34).

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