Transportation agencies own and control a lot of real estate in our cities. From the bus shed to transportation hubs, to the sidewalks and streets, these utilitarian places are spread over a wide swath of our cities. We’ve made a lot of progress in using these resources to make our cities more livable, particularly through complete streets, sidewalk improvements and bike infrastructure. Could we also use them to build up societal trust and social capital? Could we use our bus and train stations to connect people not just to destinations but to their neighbors?
Chicago DOT (“Make way for People” and the “People Plazas”), Gehl Institute (“Public Life Instigation” and “Public Life in NYC’s Public Plazas”), Studio Gang (“Polis Station” and “Civic Commons”) and Knight Foundation discuss how the infrastructure of public transportation can also be the infrastructure for public life and civic engagement.