The Design of Metro Stations in the (east flank) metropolitan areas of Rotterdam
Due to the growing demand for mobility (as a primary need for people to get to work, to obtain personal care or to go travelling), cities continue to be faced with new urban challenges. Stations represent, along mobility networks, not only transportation nodes (transfer points) but also architectural objects which connect an area to the city’s territorial plane and which have the potential to generate new urban dynamics. In the ‘compact city’ the station is simply no longer the space to access mobility networks, as informed by their dry pragmatism, but becomes an urban place of sociality and encounter - an extended public space beyond mobility itself. Which relationships and cross-fertilizations can be significant for the design of the future living stations in the Municipality of Rotterdam? How ought these stations to be conceived in order to act as public places for collective action? Which (archetypical) devices can be designed to give a shape to the ambitions for these stations? The station as a public space and catalyzer for urban interventions in the metropolitan area of Rotterdam is the focus of the research initiative presented in this publication. City of Innovations Project – Living Stations is organized around speculating and forecasting on future scenarios for the city of Rotterdam. ‘What is the future of Rotterdam with the arrival of a new metro circle line system?’ In the past fifty years, every decade of Rotterdam urban planning has seen its complementary metro strategy, with profound connections with the spatial planning and architectural themes. Considering the urban trends of densification and the new move to the city, a new complementary strategy is required. The plans to realize 50.000 new homes between the city center and the suburban residential districts in the next 20 years go together with the development of a new metro circle line consisting of 16 new stations; 6 of which will connect the new metro line to the existing network. Students of the elective City of Innovations Project (AR0109) have been asked to develop ambitious but plausible urban and architectural proposals for selected locations under the guidance of tutors from the Municipality of Rotterdam and Complex Projects. The Grand Paris Express metro project in France has inspired the course’s approach. Following the critical essays on the strategic role of the infrastructural project for city development interventions, the ‘10 Visions X 5 Locations’ chapter is a systematization of the work of 35 master’s students with input from designers of the City of Rotterdam and experts and academic from the University of Gustave Eiffel in Paris. The research-through-design process conducted in the City of Innovations project - Living Stations consists of documenting and analyzing the present urban conditions of selected station locations in the City of Rotterdam and proposing design solutions and visualizations of the predicted development of these locations.
Living Stations for Hybrid Urban Configurations
More than ever before, cities today are the frontrunners in social, economic, cultural innovations. They attract new inhabitants for they produce opportunities for many. Especially large cities are in the focus of complex migration fluxes from (peripheral) national and international regions, 1 fostering diversity and cultural multiplicity and raising relevant management issues: social cohesion, spatial and environmental qualities, variable time-space geographies, sustainable economies and ecologies. In the near future, these dynamics will increase the pressure on cities and territories. What new urban configurations emerge from these processes?
Stations as a Lever for Inclusive Growth
This article attempts to define the paradigms associated to the notion of inclusive stations in future metropolitan areas. It explores the challenges on the nodes of the future identified by the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management in the report Public Transport in 2040 - Outlines of a vision 3 and by the Grand Paris Express 4 project, being used as references by the City of Rotterdam for the proposal of the construction of new circle metro-line and the (re)development of its transitnodes.
The Art of Designing Infrastructure
Infrastructure is designed. Infrastructure is man-made; it is devised, made and maintained by people. For a city as Rotterdam to properly function, many types of infrastructure are needed. From sewers to rails, from fibre optic cables to underground railway tunnels and metro stations. The city is based on a ‘spaghetti’ of pipes, tunnels, cables, routes and wires. The crossings and knots are the connecting points for exchange. The physical infrastructure we all use, often without giving it a second thought, is purposefully designed. The right approach to design of these kind of infrastructures is not te see infrastructure as only a facilitator of mobility, but as a possibility to create value in sociological, cultural, ecological and economic ways as well. This is an integral way of designing infrastructure. This is infratecture, and the people designing in this way are the so-called infratects. It is important to stop approaching the design of infrastructure as a solitary project and we start seeing it as an integral, inextricable part of our everyday environment. By closely working together with professionals from other disciplines we can profit so much more from our investments in infrastructure. In this way, we can create possibilities that contribute to a sustainable society for this generation and those of the future. Infratects know the art of integral design of our dynamic society, of the spaces in which we meet, in which we are, in which we move.
Railway Station Projects in Greater Paris
This article concerns the projects to renovate and modernise railway stations in the outer metropolitan area of Paris. These projects correspond to the objectives of the metropolitan authorities: optimised mobility and the emergence of a more polycentric conurbation. However, their roll-out is being hindered by a lack of identification with, and democratic debate around, the issues that these projects raise at local level.
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