Transit Stations: Built Form | Density

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  • Transit Stations: Built Form | Density
    An Analysis of 6 Transit Stations in Global Cities
  • This is a study of transit centers in 6 metropolises around the world in response to the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority (METRO) call for redevelopment proposals of the Los Angeles Union Station.

    The 42-acre site is a prime property for redevelopment, including the redesign and construction of a modern transit station for high speed rail, commuter trains, subway, busses, and automobiles. This opportunity is critical to the long-term success and viability of Los Angeles.

    Through analysis of data including density- solely based on building height, transit figures, and built forms, this study compares and contrasts six of the largest, best, most-visited stations around the world. They include Canary Wharf in London, England; 東京駅 (Tokyo Station) in Tokyo, Japan; Metro Le Halles in Paris, France; Estación Consolação in Sao Paulo, Brazil; Grand Central Terminal in New York, New York; and Union Station in Los Angeles, California. Although only a very small collection of transit stations, it supports a powerful composition for success: density, mixed-use, accessibility and walkability.

    Los Angeles’ Union Station can learn from European examples such as Metro Les Halles and Canary Wharf Station in providing residential and commercial uses within walking distance from the station. It can also incorporate a tightly connected urban framework similar to that of Grand Central Terminal and Estación Consolação.  It does have unique variables that must also be taken into account; such as the 101 and 110 freeways, Los Angeles River, and proximity from Downtown Los Angeles.

    In the end, METRO with proposals from developers, architects and planners will determine the success and ultimately the importance Union Station will play in our future as Angelinos.

    Fall 2011 | University of Southern California