The Node and Place Balance and Spatial Performance

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The “node” and “place” balance and spatial performance.

“Stations, as integrated “nodes” of transport network and “places” in the city can increase the possibilities for physical human interactions in and around them, which in turn feed social and economic activities that still require them”(Bertolini,1999)

Here can see the potential for livability of the spaces in station areas are high. For “place” have functions where it devoid with its original functions. Their high accessibility is a favorable condition for the development of diversified activities, for the concentration and interaction of different people in them. On the other hand it is strengthening the activities and increases the demand for connections. The balance between these two dimensions “node” and “place” can generate social, economic and environmental benefits. In other words it can improve the sustainability performances in station areas.

“There is in these locations an enormous potential (albeit largely unexploited) for physical, social and economic interaction and this potential could be realized in a relative sustainable way, as it could allow the clustering of trips and a more efficient use of land”(Bertolini,L.2000)

The dependence on the degree of balance between the two dimensions gives the realization of the potential for livability or sustainability.

According to the idea of Bertolini (1999), he explains accessibility in a broader sense which can permit this possible balance between the two elements in the station areas. He highlights the human interaction, accessibility of the transport node, how many destinations which can be easily reached with in a time period in an area, and the accessibility of the place for activities, how many and how diverse are the activities that are performed in an area. Addition to that he mentions that the users who are accesses the area is also important.

“The enhancement of accessibility facilitates the actual realization of human interaction and thus the livability of station area. The possible relations between “node” and “place” contents’ intensities at station area, and their consequences for likeability of these locations are depend on the node- place model” (Martines, 2012,p.38)

This model allows for the assessment on the degree of livability of a station area, and also the degree of sustainability. This mainly analysis and link the transport and non-transport related activities at station areas, with the potential for sustainable development.

“Balancing “node” and “place” dimensions of a station area is, in fact fundamentally a spatial problem” (Pakusukcharern, 2003 in Martines, 2012, p.39)

In addition to that it is necessary to explore the spatial dimensions in order to follow sustainable solutions for existing problems of railway stations and its’ urban surrounding. According to martins, (2012) the node- place model does not give indications on how to reach the balance which is explained by spatially. It relates transport and non-transport related activities present at the station areas, but not their physical support. It is necessary to address node and place balance in spatial terms.

Node and place balance does not only depend on the access to transport and non-transport related activities in the given specific location or the diversity of their different users. The spaces that support these activities and allow the user is also contribute diversity of the balance. The space must provide the best conditions for the development of the node and place activities, through the physical human interaction, ultimately to improve social, economic and environmental performances and livability

physical environment in one of the main factor that influence the activities in and around of a place. As Martins, (2012) discussed the quality of a place relates with the type of activities, which the users are willing to perform. For example a poor or low quality space people tend to do only the specific and necessary activities and also a place which has high quality a wide range of optional and social activities occurs within and around them.

When there are problems in station areas, the range of activities facilitated by them is fairly narrowed down to necessary activities especially to transport related ones. Accordingly the place dimension of the station area has fewer conditions than the node dimension, which affects to better development in quality space. So the occurrence of balance has a less chance. For quality spaces, the spaces that should have to perform well, allowing for human physical interaction. Within this framework, which spaces of station areas facilitate node and place balance is referred in this research as spatial performance. Here space quality can be seen as an indicator of good spatial performance. For the balance the layout and the relationships of station spaces activities (transport related or not) should mutually benefit from each other.

“The spatial discontinuities of station areas should be mitigated, as the physical integration of the station in the city is desirable, in order to reach a good spatial performance” (Paksukcharern, 2003 n Martins, 2012)

Factors influence the spaces of station areas

The conceptualization or reconceptualization of station areas is a debate that is going on for recent years. Station operators, passengers, countries users, communities of residents and politicians have put forward their view on how station areas should develop. But no one has presented a specific framework especially relating the local context. The role of redevelopment of spaces in station area is less discussed even though recognized its importance.

Several spatial issues were forced in the redevelopment projects in station areas. The barrier effect of the tracks, and especially considers the surrounding area the station has been in the center. This shows the reconnecting or connecting the station with its surrounding in order to mitigate their spatial problems. The articulation of different transport modes and also the other functions, within and around the building was also approached solutions in different levels.

For the successful development and the improvement of spatial performance of station areas the planning process and spatial design, both are important. Here should have to consider main two sides, station area redevelopment or development and their influence on their spatial outcomes. This research does not forces on the factors which are bounded with the planning process and their influences on the design of spatial lay out of station surroundings. The research mainly approach the internal factors of public spaces of station areas witch influence its spatial performances. Those are bounded with spatial design the specific domain of architecture in station area development projects. In those factors architecture can influence/ control, and relevant for the contribution can give towards the improvement of spatial performance of station areas.

As mentioned before, to achieve livability it is required a good level of spatial quality to the designed spaces. To achieve the required quality must understand the city’s context where it operates. The context is subjected to change in time and the knowledge on that is essential in development.