Inclusive station development

Achieving post-war neighbourhood renewal by creating station areas of the future

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In recent years the redevelopment of railway station areas has had an important role in urban planning and governmental politics. As most of the central stations have been improved focus of municipalities and the Dutch national government have shifted to the smaller, peri-urban stations. When researching these peri-urban stations it became clear that some of those stations are located in disadvantaged neighbourhoods. The development of the station areas clashes with the deterioration of the existing neighbourhoods. The goal of my thesis was to formulate a strategy that will use the momentum of the station development to improve the quality of the adjacent neighbourhood. At the core of the strategy was my perception of what I think is the role of the architect: There are always areas which are being neglected because they are of lower quality, their redevelopment won’t make anybody any money or they don’t fit in the image of the city of the future. I think an architect you should always have a wider scoop and look for opportunities and creative designs to connect the interest of different stakeholders and create architecture that is holistic in addressing societal issues. Based on this statement, a theoretical framework based on the theory of affordances, spatial analysis and resident interviews a strategy was developed which had three parts: 1) Lift the new station development to a higher level, to make a place for a program that creates benefit for the existing neighbourhood. 2) Create a transition from highly urbanised to local community scale to protect the current good qualities of the neighbourhood (dense but green and quiet). 3) Connect the new development to the surrounding area to prevent segregation. Each part of the strategy had specific design tools which were elaborated on by a design proposal.