|- Light rail providing a design for a healthy and liveable urban public space 1516 kb|
|by Houthaeve, Rik | firstname.lastname@example.org |
|A light rail system not only structures a more sustainable urban lay-out, it also creates a more friendly and liveable public realm and accessible urban neighbourhoods. |
|Transport planning and policies at a regional and city scale needs to facilitate ways of getting around that are less carbon intensive. The shift to lower carbon forms of movement such as walking, cycling and public transport can deliver better health and quality of life for people and results in more attractive towns and cities with less congestion and better air quality. Beneath the obvious environmental gains, the introduction of a light rail system in many European cities demonstrates how high profile infrastructure can reshape the city. A light rail system not only structures a more sustainable urban lay-out, it also creates a more friendly and liveable public realm and accessible urban neighbourhoods.|
The introduction of a light rail system in the existing urban setting of the city of Hasselt is a challenge for urban planners, infrastructural engineers and landscape / streetscape designers. In contrast to the underground / metro systems of urban public transport a light rail is embedded in streets and squares. This principle demands a great urban design effort. In most places ‘space’ has to be claimed from the car. The fundamental rethinking of the place of cars in the city offers opportunities to redesign streets and squares and regains public space for the people. In this respect the light rail development has demonstrated how high profile infrastructure can help to regenerate cities and how it hugely improves image and liveability.
|light rail urban design public realm|