Courriel Impression

Hubs and new / inter mobilities - Executive summary

The research delivers:

  1. an appraisal of European-­‐funded actions carried out from the 1990s to this  day,  with  a goal  to develop expertise,  knowledge and  experience  regarding interconnection  and  intermodality  within  hubs. No less than twenty research programmes have been financed on this topic alternatively referred to as interchange, exchange, interconnexion, inter-­‐connectivity, interfaces, interlinkage, inter-­‐flow, seamless transfer, cross-­‐modal mobility, multimodality, intermodality, etc. Most of these studies can be said to have focused on users’ perception and their (compulsory) experience of intermodality. The main goal of this  kind  of research  has  been  “to  build  a  framework  of  a  structured  evaluation  of the  necessary  and desirable  to  improve  interchanges  and  intermodality”  (MIMIC,  19992).  One  could,  however,  wonder whether the majority of the issues flagged as problems – later referred to as obstacles or “barriers” to intermodality in the MIMIC project – had not been already identified from the very first research efforts financed by the European Union (HSR-­‐Comet 1996-­‐19973): the overall too long walking distances between connections, the lack of comfortable waiting areas, the difficulty or even impossibility for disabled people to gain access to train carriages, the insufficiently secure and weather-­‐protected bicycle parking facilities, the absence of shops and other retail services available to commuters during waiting or transfer time, etc. The H2020 European program shows that attitudes have evolved. On the one hand, the topic of “Smart mobility in cities”4  has been introduced; on the other – and regardless of the marginality of the project –, a new approach has been added to the usage perspective, which raises questions about the travel mode itself and as to whether innovation could come (also) from the vehicle used for transfer from one mode to another (« Bike Intermodal »5).
    Our investigation of European-­‐funded research actions and case study hubs (recently completed and currently underway) demonstrates that the multiplicity of new mobility practices  as  well  as  the  new modes of transport and the spaces devoted to them have not been sufficiently taken into account. We argue that the way research activities have been framed, to this day, has largely contributed to  this oversight. In conclusion: -­‐ methodology has not been sufficiently updated to fit contemporary contexts, problem issues and social configurations; -­‐ aims and deliverables have not always been consistent and they have lacked a multidisciplinary approach; -­‐ insufficient attention has been paid to architectural and urban design, and to the relationship between spatial layouts and the performance (and perception) of the interchange

  2. a comparative cartographic analysis of the current  state  of  intermodality  in  20  case  study interchanges in European cities, which have recently been completed or which are  currently  in  the process of being built (Greater Paris Express network). Two categories of interchanges were selected; our goal was to analyse the existence and quality of the new mobilities offer and their intermodal performance. The time distance for each change in mode of transport (5minutes) has been the intermodality’s efficiency and comfort criterion. This variable is measured on different maps and diagrams
    • Stations where the issue of interchange has been backed by the MIMIC project (1998-­‐1999): London, Stratford; Rome, Ponte Mammolo; Tampere Intermodal Passenger Terminal; Copenhagen, Bilbao Central station + Bilbao Termibús; Warsaw, Wilanowska/Pulawska.
    • Stations which were part of the NODES and CITY HUB case studies, and/or which were selected due to their involvement in the CIVITAS initiative: Hertogenbosch, Rotterdam, Utrecht, The Hague, Amsterdam, Bremen, Berlin (Sudkreuz railway station, as well as the EUREF campus hosting  the  headquarters  of INNOZ), Gothenburg, La Rochelle. Grenoble was the sole exception: while the city’s central station has not been part of European projects, the Municipality is currently the sole European partner of the Toyota car manufacturing company for the development of their intermodal mobility concept ‘Ha:mo’.
    • The Greater Paris Express (GPE) network, 200 km of new metro lines (supervised by engineers) and 65 stations (handled by architects).
      By using chrono-­‐geographic maps, our research demonstrates that only few of the new stations to be created, expanded or connected as part of the GPE project will offer increased accessibility to the users, and that the existing of feeder transport will inevitably be maintained. We argue that users will continue choosing the car in situations where the walking distance exceeds 5 minutes, and even more so in environments lacking the attractiveness of commercial activities and other services. 

  3. thinking points and proposals to be considered in the transformation of intermodal spaces and in the choice of typologies to be applied to the future hubs of new mobilities. Two main hypothesis were investigated:
    •  A large common space.
      The silent and clean nature of environmentally-­‐friendly vehicles favours the integration of modes, services and spaces at the architectural scale. The station thus becomes a sheltered and protected building, accommodating all programmes and intermodalities under the same roof, within one single building, a large common space.
      The majority of stations will therefore become multi-­‐functional programs which integrate spaces that are made flexible and available for various future activities.
      The internal atmosphere of the vast common space ensures the functioning of the station, which is organised, above all, from the ergonomic perspective of movement and by an “architecture of time” that makes comfort it’s first priority.
      Gathering all modes as close as possible to the railway, organising a “sustainable” succession of modes along the chain is part of an overall time management strategy.
    •  A revolution: the vehicle comes to you
      While we still consider that it is us who must move towards the vectors of movement, a more efficient configuration would be that we expect them to move towards us. This relevant mindset change dictates a separation within the parking function, or in the management of the pick-­‐up and drop-­‐off areas. Comfort and space economy are thus enhanced. The arrival of autonomous vehicles will even further accelerate this transformation: “Hello, VEC, come and get me, I will be waiting at point X…” 


1  Dominique Rouillard, Alain Guiheux, Door-­‐to-­‐door. Future of the vehicle, future of the city, Paris, Archibooks, dec ? 2015.
2  MIMIC: Mobility, Intermodality and Interchanges (01-­‐1998 – 06.1999).
3  HSR-­‐COMET: Intermodal Connection of High-­‐Speed Railway Terminals in Metropolitan Areas
4  Smart, Green and Integrated Transport -­‐ FP8 EU Program: H2020: 2 programs: 2014-­‐2015 + 2016-­‐2017
5  Bike Intermodal: H2020, 2015