4 Lessons for Great Urban Transportation from NYC's Grand Central


Photo: bennie719 under a Creative Commons license.

Last year, New York City broke ground on a new project to move Penn Station into a building to match the one that was demolished in 1963. There are high hopes that it will match its brother transportation hub Grand Central Terminal in grandeur, design, and efficiency in moving tens of thousands of people around the region every day. To make sure it does, Urban Omnibus writer and leader of the new Penn Station project Vishaan Chakrabarti outlines four key lessons the new Penn Station needs to learn from Grand Central.In shortened form, here they are:

  1. Design matters.
  2. The building is only part of a larger exercise in citymaking.
  3. Plan for phases.
  4. Think big.

You can read the details of each of Chakrabarti's lessons over at Urban Omnibus; each is accompanied by a video or audio recording. To get you started, here's the video on the importance of great design in building the main concourse:

Grand Central also faced demolition in the past. But the bemoaned fate of the old Penn Station helped spur a landmark conservation movement that saved the station, which underwent much needed renovations in the 1980s and 90s.

Hopefully, the new Penn Station and other transportation hubs around the world can learn something from Grand Central, the rare success story that is not only beautiful, but practical.

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More on urban train stations:
There's a Jungle in Madrid's Train Station
A Visit To A Very Different Michigan Central Station
Under-Used Train Station Becomes Gardening Hub (Video)

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