NOTE: This obsolete post is retained to preserve its comments. The updated post is here.
I'm looking for examples of a successful civic plaza space which is also transit connection point, and where people making connections between transit lines need to walk across the plaza to do that. In other words, I'm looking for something like this:
(This illustration is of a an idea that was developed for a town center in the metro Vancouver area. The place as drawn does not exist. I am looking, by contrast, for something already built and working well.)
The rapid transit station doesn't have to be elevated. It could be underground or it could even be on the surface. What I'm after are these key features:
- We are in the high-wage "developed" world. North America, Europe, wealthy East Asia, Australia/New Zealand, etc.
- Local bus (or streetcar/tram) stops are directly on sides of the square, so that when alighting it feels that you are now "in" or "at" the square. Ideally, terminating buses stop on the correct side of the street to put you right in the square, not across the street from it.
- People walk across the square to make connections between local transit and rapid transit, so that they become, at least briefly, part of the life of the square.
- A rapid transit stop is probably right at a civic square, though if someone found a square with trams on three sides and lots of people connecting between them, I could work with that.
- The connection being made represents a major node in the transit system, so many riders are making the connection there. Typically that means that the lines that cross at the square do not cross anywhere else nearby, and/or this is the most logical place to make a connection between those lines.
- The square is also successful as an urban place, a place where people like to go to have lunch, meet friends, watch people, see street entertainments, etc. It probably has lots of retail nearby but it is an open public square, not a shopping mall. It's a place that might be described (to use the well-worn term for Portland's Pioneer Courthouse Square) as the local area's 'living room.'
Anyone who can identify a place that matches these criteria, and point me to some good pictures of it including a picture or diagram that shows the transit circulation clearly, will get, at least:
- a mention in the book (at least in the small print.)
- a shout-out here on the blog
- lunch or dinner on me whenever we're next in the same city
Please forward a link to friends who might also enjoy the challenge.
(Speaking of shout-outs, the above sketch is by Eric Orozco, based on a plan by Hotson Bakker Boniface Haden architects, in which I played a small role.)
UPDATE: Clarifications in response to the first round of suggestions is here.