I am posting this up in reference to the post in Treehugger. It made me feel like writing this because after I have been traveling to a couple of destinations using MRTs in Malaysia, Singapore, Delhi, Cologne City of Germany and Shanghai, I think I would have an opinion in this. As I said in the title of this blog post, it offers a destination. Well of course it does, but I mean I see that we should integrate the destination in a way that it links to convenient stores or any necessities that adapt to the demand of the local community. Directly, it makes sense to low carbon urban planning because people could just pick up their dinner package or groceries without a detour to another destination.
In Tyler Brule’s writing, he wrote that the Japan is one good example of how city planners that slowly intend to build up the city population from the metro suburban stations. It is also a fact that neighborhood revitalization often follows investment in infrastructure on its own. This I clearly agree when I was in DSDS conference where I hear SMEs in India is facing a hard time due to lack of infrastructure.
Above is some snapshots I had. From the Metro in Delhi to the Metro in Shanghai, Tram in Cologne Germany and then to SMRT Singapore. I agree with what Tyler said that they should offer more than the destination, but not all metro stations are able to cater such feature that has shop lots around the station etc because some stations are allocated to the present demand area and some are allocated to the future demand. And that’s how we could chart a population distribution, or to plan it.
That’s exactly what metro does, it’s path and node could influence the demographic of a city by planning the distribution of the population. Talking about providing more than destination, Shanghai is an example, one of the primary interchange station is People’s Park, where you have more than 20 exit stations, and what is more fascinating, along the underground tunnels that link the exit point of the metro towards the underground opening of nearby shopping malls, they have concurrently existed an underground shopping lanes, along the walking path to the nearby building exits.
That would be a different context, it is utilizing the exit path lanes to boost up job opportunity and also revenue. But the other case study is the new metro stations in suburban which are meant to concentrate the business district and also convenient shops nearby to ease the nearby residential in their daily circulation. In which in Shanghai it did not succeed because most of the stations are built with the means of just stations.
On the other hand, this happens well in Malaysia, Kelana Jaya station for example that has at least a few shop slots available that houses convenient stores and also a supermarket in the same building, and furthermore, a bus transit at the lower ground. In this context, we are emphasizing of having a convenient store that is within the building, not beside the building, or also which is in the pathway of the daily routine of the users.
It could be Bakery shops that sell bread to metro users before boarding the metro to their working destination, or even convenient shops like 7-11 and Cash ATM stands that provides daily needs facilities or the best would be a supermarket. Also, we could put a recycling center there.. or park and ride facilities.. biking stand. And if there is bigger capacity, then start cafes and also shopping outlets within the same building. That would work really well to make a metro station as a central node meeting area instead. There goes a city.
That’s how powerful it could be. So Metro prototypes everywhere? Naa.. design a few extra space for facilities that could cater for local needs, it will not only help them in terms of convenient but save the carbon footprint of traveling and boost efficiency.