Sustainable Development Design for the Transformation of the Thessaloniki Railway Station into a City Hub.
Maria Tsami, Centre For Research And Technology Hellas (CERTH)/ Hellenic Institute Of Transport (HIT), Giannis Adamos, Centre For Research And Technology Hellas (CERTH)/ Hellenic Institute Of Transport (HIT), Eftihia Nathanail, Centre For Research And Tec
This paper aims at introducing a sustainable development design for the transformation of transport interchanges into city hubs, investigating the case of the Railway Station of Thessaloniki as a case study.
The present paper aims at introducing a comprehensive approach for the design and reformation of urban transport interchanges in terms of planning for sustainability, accommodating mobility needs for urban-interurban travelling, as well as incorporating soft modes of travel, information provision and servicing travellers’ needs for efficient urban movements.
Transport interchanges play a crucial role in urban development, embodying an attraction cell of movements and facilitating links among different modes, routes and destinations. Time savings, urban integration, better use of waiting time and improvement of operational business models are some of the benefits that result from the development of efficient urban interchanges. In view of planning for sustainable urban transportation hubs, the objectives of this paper are:
• to provide guidance on design and operation of seamless, smart, clean and safe intermodal transport systems
• to promote accessibility, servicing travel needs of all users (i.e. vulnerable users)
• to investigate the possibility of transforming a transportation terminal into a focal point of urban development, closely interconnected with central attraction zones
• to introduce new technologies and smart solutions, promoting efficient operation of transportation hubs
• to contribute in the development of intermodality standards and efficient transport interchange planning in Europe
Towards this direction, a number of European transport interchanges are being examined in order to indicate the aspects of developing sustainable and efficient operated transportation hubs that fit appropriately to the urban environment and serve effectively the relevant mobility needs. These aspects are linked to a number of indicators, properly selected to be tested in the case of Thessaloniki’s railway station transportation hub.
An ongoing internet survey is being conducted to investigate the degree of sustainability anticipated to be achieved by the alternative proposed development scenarios for the case study area. Travellers’ stated preferences are being recorded, along with their perception of the existing conditions at the terminal, and their needs and expectations for its reformation towards a sustainable hub.
The analysis of the results of the above survey will provide a comprehensive view to assess whether vital development solutions are applicable in the case study area, how mobility would be affected if selected scenarios were implemented and which are the key elements, structures and indicators that enhance the development of sustainable transportation hubs in Europe.
This research is part of the European project City-HUB (www.cityhub-project.eu), which aims to develop an integrated business model and propose a comprehensive set of methodological guidelines, addressing different aspects of an urban interchange and promoting public transport, and is planned to be completed in the end of February 2013.
Association for European Transport