High speed rail and urban space

Implications of new mega-stations

Expert seminar of the Design, technology, behaviour series hosted by LSE Cities in partnership with Buro Happold

This was the fourth instalment of the expert seminar series ‘design, technology, behaviour’, organised in partnership with Buro Happold, which explored urban development implications of a new generation of railway stations that have emerged as part of an unprecedented investment in high speed rail. Most visible in China, these mega-stations have transformed the relationship of the city with its regional and intercity rail connections. Here, rail travel no longer equals direct access to the urban core but instead follows the model of air travel and connects hubs at the central fringe or the urban periphery. Similarly, the designs for mega-stations have adopted the architectural language of airports, mainly planned for access by public transport or private vehicles and no longer seek walkable connections with an immediate urban context.

To explore these trends and implication also for the UK context, the focus of this expert seminar was a group discussion following an opening presentation by Sir Terry Farrell, founder and principal of Terry Farrell and Partners. Sir Terry’s firm has extensive experience in the design and delivery of large scale infrastructure projects which more recently included the design of the Beijing South Station and New Guangzhou Station. The seminar participants included senior representatives from government, related industry sectors and NGOs, as well as academic colleagues. LSE Cities expert seminars are intense but informal events, open by invitation only to a select group of 20 to 25 experts.

Download a summary of the discussion (pdf).

Photo courtesy of Dominik Kapusta, http://www.flickr.com/photos/ayoy/5983750609/


    Terry Farrell

    Founder and principal of Terry Farrell and Partners

    Philipp Rode

    Philipp Rode is Executive Director of LSE Cities and Associate Professorial Research Fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science. As researcher, consultant and advisor he has been directing interdisciplinary projects comprising urban governance, transport, city planning and urban design at the LSE since 2003. The focus of his current work is on institutional structures and governance capacities of cities, and on sustainable urban development, transport and mobility. Rode is co-directing the cities workstream of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate and has co-led the United Nations Habitat III Policy Unit on Urban Governance. He is a Member of the Board of Directors of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP).