Suburban Train Station as Community Hub: Proposal for Carseldine Station

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I've been working on this study of a local train station in support of Transit Oriented Development. In it, I propose that community infrastructure (e.g. community spaces and offices for non-profit organisations) and design for sustainability should be provided at train stations. If more parking is required then those structures can and should also accommodate community uses.

I have also posted this to Live Local as my first experiment. Live Local is an online social networking place to share stories and ideas about improving your community. I will be blogging about this venture for Placed.
http://www.livelocal.org.au/experiment/126/precinct-study-carseldine-train-station

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  • hey thanks. really pleased to have your feedback - this was done for an urban design subject as part of my postgrad planning studies. good luck with your study - nice thing about university assignments is that you don't have the constraints of the 'real world'!!
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  • this is a fukin awesome slideshow im a 3rd year architecture student with a local train station community design project and no-one in our years analysis is this thorough
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Suburban Train Station as Community Hub: Proposal for Carseldine Station

  1. 1. SUBURBAN TRAIN STATION AS COMMUNITY HUB LINDA CARROLI Precinct Study: Carseldine Train Station
  2. 2. Contents 1. Introduction 2. Site Context 3. Planning Context 4. Subject Precinct 5. Site Analysis 6. Experience 7. Response 8. Conclusion
  3. 3. 1. Introduction The focus of this study is the Carseldine Train Station with some consideration of immediate surrounds. Located in Brisbane’s outer northern suburbs, 13 km from the CBD, the station is surrounded by low density housing and adjacent to a convenience centre and park. The Carseldine campus of Queensland University of Technology (QUT) is located on the opposite side of Beams Road.
  4. 4. 2. Site Context The aerial image following shows the subject site’s immediate suburban context (the station is indicated with a red marker), demonstrating the pattern of predominantly low density development, particularly housing development. An express bus service also terminates at the station and links to another transport node at Chermside, about 3km south. A northern bus corridor is currently in planning and this is proposed to link to the train station.
  5. 5. Site Context
  6. 6. 3. Planning Context Over the past three decades, this outer suburban area has experienced significant development, particularly low density residential subdivision. The university, originally a teachers’ college, has been operating here for approximately 30 years. In early 2009, QUT ceased classes at the campus and called for expressions of interest for alternate uses of the campus. The subject area is included in the Urban Land Development Authority’s (ULDA) Fitzgibbon Urban Development Area (UDA). The South East Queensland Regional Plan prioritises transit oriented development with an emphasis on enhancing transport corridors. This is echoed in the Brisbane City Council’s Cityshape Plan.
  7. 7. 3.1 ULDA The ULDA was established to help make housing more affordable and to deliver a range of housing options for the changing needs of the community. The ULDA's role is to plan, carry out and coordinate the development of land in selected urban areas. The Fitzgibbon UDA covers 295 hectares of land in the northern suburbs of Fitzgibbon, Carseldine, Bald Hills, Taigum and Deagon. Due to the rarity of greenfield sites in close proximity to transport networks in Brisbane, the Fitzgibbon UDA is positioned for transformation into a modern residential suburb developed on transit oriented principles, that includes bushland, community infrastructure and significant open space. Source: http://www.ulda.qld.gov.au
  8. 8. 3.2 TOD With this focus on transit oriented development (TOD), as a planning approach that integrates land use and transport, the Carseldine Train Station is a strategic site for managing growth, sustainability, densification, relocalisation and transitioning from the carbon economy. It is centrally located in the Fitzgibbon UDA. The Department of Infrastructure and Planning describes transit oriented development as developing a mix of uses – housing, shops, offices and other facilities – around transport hubs such as train stations and busway stations. Source: Transit Oriented Development, Department of Infrastructure and Planning. http://www.dip.qld.gov.au/urban- planning/transit-oriented-development.html
  9. 9. 4. Subject Precinct In focusing on the train station and car park, this study considers movement, built form and land use. It is particularly attentive to local linkages including those with neighbouring shops, park, residences and streets. The image following also shows a small amount of medium density (townhouses) adjacent to the train station. This study is particularly concerned with pedestrian and community access and amenity.
  10. 10. Subject Precinct
  11. 11. 4.1 Land Use
  12. 12. 4.2 Built Form
  13. 13. Built Form
  14. 14. Built Form
  15. 15. Built Form
  16. 16. 4.3 Movement  As an outer suburban location - the broader context of the subject site - the area is designed for car use.  An express bus service terminates at the station and there are several bus routes along Beams Road, which is a main road  Another bus stop is situated next to the convenience centre on Balcara Avenue for a route to the Taigum Shopping Centre which is approximately 1.5km east.  The train line connects between the Sunshine Coast and the Brisbane CBD.  Local pathways run primarily along roads and streets, but the subject site features several internal pathways that enhance connectivity.
  17. 17. Pedestrian Pathways
  18. 18. 5. Site Analysis
  19. 19. Site Analysis
  20. 20. 6. Experience Different pedestrian pathways result in different experiences. Most of the land in the subject area is allocated for car parking and car use. This leaves the pedestrian with few discrete pedestrian experiences which are designed at human scale. Depending on the route taken, pedestrians must negotiate the absence of appropriately defined pathways, open spaces or spaces filled with cars in order to pass through the site. At the train station, pathways are cut off by parked cars.
  21. 21. 6.1 Walkthrough A First Row – L to R Second Row – L to R QUT side of Beams Road Approach to train station Convenience Centre Property line Footpath at Convenience Centre Road environment Convenience Centre Footpath outside train station
  22. 22. Walkthrough A First Row – L to R Second Row – L to R Car park facing Beams Road Entry ramp to train station Green spot in car park View across train station Drop off point Train station platform Bus station Train station (office)
  23. 23. 6.2 Walkthrough B Pathway from station car park to and through convenience centre (photographed on a Sunday morning)
  24. 24. 6.3 Miscellaneous Train station environment – showing pathways, car park, linkages to park and street. All photographs (except last) taken on a Sunday morning.
  25. 25. 6.4 Positive  Focus on transit  Mix of uses and some densification near the train station  Integration of bus and train travel  Landscaped car parking and environment  Linkages to and through neighbouring sites (housing estates, shops and park)  Covered walkways and bus stops at the station  Provision of bicycle stands and storage  Drop off and pick up point for commuters  Some human scale attributes
  26. 26. 6.5 Ambivalent  Mix of businesses in the convenience centre
  27. 27. 6.6 Negative  Pedestrian environment is sparse and uninteresting  Unsealed car parks  Unattractive seating  Street interface  General design of the station including ramps and pathways  Height and density  Not all buses on Beams Road stop at this point  No sense of arrival  Some linkages and pathways poorly defined
  28. 28. Negative  Affirms pattern of segregated low density development  Limited and unattractive bicycle facilities and lockers  Wide set backs from the road  No community or public art (Queensland Rail runs an ‘art in train stations’ program)  Segregation of uses and poor interfaces between uses  Exposure to weather (increasingly hot and stormy)  No apparent sustainability initiatives such as solar panels, storm water harvesting, natural cooling etc
  29. 29. 7. Response The area would benefit from community involvement, masterplanning, design for sustainability and ‘(sub)urban acupuncture’ to ameliorate some of the negatives, enhance the positives, and introduce a more comfortable experience and scale for users. The train station car park is a possible infill development site that could result in enhanced infrastructure as well as coherence and connectivity. Until the Fitzgibbon masterplan is approved, the viability of the convenience centre is unclear. Depending on the masterplan, it may be a likely redevelopment site for uses that complement community life, densification, mixed use and transit orientation. For this study, the convenience centre is retained.
  30. 30. Response Recommendations for change, arising from the analysis of experience, follow. Many of the examples provided are not specifically drawn from outer suburban developments. Design and planning is intended to align to and introduce principles of transit oriented development with a view to consolidating the area and enhancing connectivity. This means the following positive aspects of the area are retained and enhanced:  Multi-modal transit orientation  Landscaping and pedestrian amenity  Connectivity across property boundaries where appropriate  Mixed uses
  31. 31. 8. Recommendations The following recommendations are made:  Enhance public transit experience through train station design, amenity and flexibility  Consolidate surrounding streetscape and create pedestrian friendly areas away from the main road – potentially connecting to the park  Diversify business - development and design approaches that introduce non-profit, social enterprise and social innovation clustering and/or incubation  Co-locate mixed uses and/or integrate multipurpose facilities  Reconfigure and introduce continuous, more natural and water sensitive landscaping including appropriate native shade and local character trees and land art (more ...)
  32. 32. Recommendations  Improve cycling facilities and access  Improve bus station facilities and access  Infill development for coherence  Introduce housing alternatives and diversity into the area surrounding the subject site  Placemaking - engage the community in precinct design, planning and change  Activate – introduce, connect to and interact with recreational and community uses at the park side of the site  Integrate parking management and solutions  Designed street furniture and other elements  Introduction of well designed, adapted, mobile and/or pre-fabricated structures where/if appropriate  Design for sustainability and climate
  33. 33. Recommendations Enhance public transit experience through train station design, amenity and flexibility Train Station Train Station (proposal) Adamstown, Ireland Crestview, New South Wales
  34. 34. Recommendations Consolidate surrounding streetscape and create pedestrian friendly areas away from the main road – potentially connecting to the park. Seattle, Washington Eugene, Oregon
  35. 35. Recommendations Diversify business - development and design approaches that introduce co-working, non-profit, social enterprise and social innovation clustering.* * Catalyst networks and space for local economic, social, cultural and environmental Non-profit Corridor Ross House sustainability Little Rock, Arkansas Melbourne, Victoria
  36. 36. Recommendations Co-locate mixed uses and/or integrate multipurpose facilities Vancouver, Canada Northlakes Community Centre Northlakes, Queensland
  37. 37. Recommendations Reconfigure and introduce continuous, more natural and water sensitive landscaping including appropriate native shade and local character trees and land art. WSUD Land art WSUD in train Charles Sturt University, Victoria Wales, UK station car park Doncaster, Victoria
  38. 38. Recommendations Improve cycling facilities and access* Covered bicycle rack Indoor bicycle parking Portland, Oregon New York, New York * A bicycle co-op/workshop might operate discretely from a space within a new complex
  39. 39. Recommendations Improve bus station facilities and access* Bus station designed to high safety Integrated bus and train transit and visibility standards planned for Varsity Village Brisbane, Queensland Gold Coast, Queensland * Northern corridor busway is currently in planning and will connect to Fitzgibbon.
  40. 40. Recommendations Infill development for coherence Ellard Village Ripcurl - Rundle Mall Roswell, Georgia Adelaide, South Australia
  41. 41. Recommendations Introduce housing alternatives and diversity into the area surrounding the subject site* Density and housing diversity near transit Residences above local offices San Jose, California Concord, Massachusetts * Beyond scope of this study and subject site. Included in the Fitzgibbon UDA Masterplan
  42. 42. Recommendations Placemaking - engage the community in precinct design, planning and change Above: Community art in train stations, Queensland Rail Right: Train Stations as Creative Community Hubs, Victoria
  43. 43. Recommendations Activate – introduce, connect to and interact with recreational and community uses at the park side of the site
  44. 44. Recommendations Integrate parking management and solutions* Above ground/underground parking – Introduce parking fees to encourage Clayton Lane, Denver, preserves street local area walking and cycling. level shops and active frontages * Potential off-site parking when land at QUT is released for development
  45. 45. Recommendations Designed street furniture and other elements
  46. 46. Recommendations Introduction of well designed, adapted, mobile and/or pre-fabricated structures where/if appropriate Clockwise: • Prefabricated community art centre in Greensburg, USA • Adapted shipping containers • Mobile library • Mobile coffee hutch
  47. 47. Recommendations Design for sustainability and climate Queensland’s first sustainably Proposal for Noosa Transit Hub designed train station - Bark Design planned for Varsity Village Noosa, Queensland Gold Coast, Queensland
  48. 48. 8.1 Options Options for the train station, given issues such as cost and ongoing management, include: 1. Doing nothing despite the intensification of development, the imperative of climate change and projected population increase in the area. 2. Making smaller scale cosmetic improvements that are intended to enhance the pedestrian environment e.g. plantings, street furniture etc. 3. Introducing the ‘softer’ elements of these recommendations, such as community and volunteer engagements, which are less costly and result in capacity building. 4. Exploring other possibilities to meet construction needs e.g. adapted shipping containers or pre-fabricated buildings for community uses. 5. Redevelop train station and/or parking space
  49. 49. Assessment of Options Social Environment Cultural Economic Do nothing    Short term saving Small scale Limited Possible Limited  cosmetic benefit benefit benefit improvements Soft  Possible  Short term engagement benefit saving Explore other Possible Limited Possible  possibilities benefit benefit benefit Redevelop    Long term train station benefit
  50. 50. Assessment of Options Redevelopment of the train station and/or car park is the best option, but may not be the most immediately affordable. It is proposed that if a multistorey car park is constructed then parts of the site and/or building are allocated for purposes that enhance the local area and develop the transit hub as a sustainable community resource. Given the extent of proposed development in the area, developer contributions could be directed to transit infrastructure and community benefit.
  51. 51. Preferred Option A possible configuration for the site
  52. 52. 9. Conclusion This precinct study has identified the Carseldine Train Station and surrounds as a strategically located site warranting development in accordance with TOD and sustainability principles. As the station is centrally located in an emerging development area and emerging community, there is a need to ensure accessibility and desirability of public transit. This study proposes a range of initiatives to support that goal while enhancing the station environment and its connection to the community by enhancing mixed uses, designing for sustainability and introducing community uses.

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