Can Public Transport Interchanges Be Positive Urban Environments In The Developing World Context?
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Movement is a necessity in modern day cities. This is especially true for South African cities where the political ideology of Apartheid profoundly impacted on the spatial layouts of cities. The urban poor were forcefully located in areas with the least opportunities, facilities and low levels of accessibility. This resulted in daily travelling between places of opportunity and places of residence having a significant cost implication in monetary value, time spent travelling, comfort levels and safety and thus on the overall levels of mobility of citizens. Public transport is seen as one of the keys to unlock a sustainable society in South Africa because of its potential to be an affordable and equitable system. Although many problems are experienced with the existing system (such as competition between modes, lack of inter-modal provision, low urban /environmental quality) a new commitment from government seems to indicate that public transport could well fulfil its potential in meeting the needs of the present without compromising future generations. Public transport interchanges (PTIs) are an important element of and precondition for a sustainable transport system. As such, a PTI can be seen as a gateway or shop window for public transport, which could have a major influence on attracting people to the system. As it happens, in the case of most South African cities, PTIs are very often dull and boring environments at best, and crime ridden and unsafe city precincts at worst. The purpose of this paper is to highlight the huge potential of PTIs to constitute positive urban environments in themselves. Extensive research has identified certain preconditions and performance measures for such environments and this will be presented here. Keywords: public transport, public transport interchanges, positive urban environments, performance measures, quality of life, movement and access, empowerment, special place creation, economic generation, urban transport.
public transport, public transport interchanges, positive urban environments, performance measures, quality of life, movement and access, empowerment, special place creation, economic generation, urban transport.