SESSION THEME | Social Values


Wednesday 1 April,  

UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 11 set a target for each country to "make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable" by 2030. Target 11.2 demands to develop accessible and sustainable transport system. In New Zealand, 2018 Government Policy Statement (GPS) on land transport addresses this global target by increasing investment in public transport.  However, this investment is mainly targeting building new projects and increasing the frequency and reliability of existing public transport, while ignoring the improvement of people experience on public transport.

There is limited literature in planning and urban design disciplines which recognised buses and trains and their stations as part of public spaces.  In this context, this paper aims to explore the notion of public transport as a form of "public space" to achieve Auckland's vision of creating a liveable and accessible city.

By using urban design literature on 'what makes a great place', we developed and applied a framework based on social, physical and functional factors to analyse train and bus stations in Auckland. The research finds that New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) and Auckland Transport (AT) guidelines favour operational and functional elements of public transport as compared to comfort, cleanliness, aesthetics and social activities which can improve everyday experiences and perception of buses and trains. The research concludes that transport planners should prioritise public transport users well-being, safety and everyday experience by employing a placemaking approach to transport infrastructure and services. The research recommends improving public transport spaces by establishing connections to place, design and stories to enrich people experiences.

Presenters:  Imran Muhammad 

Co-Author:  Hannah Pettengell

Associate Professor, Massey University

Imran Muhammad is an Associate Professor and Programme Coordinator Resource and Environmental Planning at Massey University, New Zealand where he teaches courses on transport and urban design. He is a Chartered Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), UK and currently serving as a Deputy Chair of RTPI Accreditation and Partnership Board for the University of Hong Kong.


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