Facilitating interchange

Public transport demand continues to increase and the growth of passenger numbers is exceeding the capacity of existing transport infrastructure. However, expansion of existing stations poses a huge challenge as the majority of stations occupy city-centre locations which, are constrained by their surrounding urban context and by the need to maintain operational capacity.

These constraints also offer the opportunity for transport hubs, new or regenerated, to make a positive contribution to the public realm by continuing to work as a civic symbol to the city, by providing mixed uses and, by integrating and enhancing the urban context. This is achieved whilst addressing the primary objectives of providing passengers with convenient and easy access to various forms of transport in an enjoyable and vibrant environment.

Space Syntax’s evidence-based work approach to the planning and design of transport infrastructure has demonstrated that passenger behaviour is heavily influenced by the design of layout. Ease of access and navigation is driven by the careful design of the public realm at all scales: from the way the transport buildings are located and linked to the surrounding context to the distribution and shape information panels, ticketing facilities and retail and catering units.

Our approach helps our clients to achieve the ideal combination of layout and programme in order to improve passenger flows and passenger experience and ultimately to improve operational efficiency and achieve higher revenue income from rental, retail and advertising streams.

Client objectives

Return on investment.
Business effectiveness.
Speed of design & planning process.
User wayfinding, comfort & convenience.
Retail performance & revenue growth.
Safety & security.
Visitor satisfaction.
Tenant satisfaction & retention.


Pre-planning & design
Portfolio evaluation: buy/sell/keep/develop.
Growth/downsizing strategy.
Site evaluation & selection.
Competitor analysis & precedent studies.
Existing user behaviour analysis.

Planning & design
Critical review of development proposals.
Masterplan design.
Overall building layout design.
Department layout design.
Furniture layout design.
User behaviour forecasting.
User group profiling.
Retail & catering strategy.
Wayfinding & signage strategy.
Planning support.
Tenant negotiations.

Post-planning & design
User flow enhancement (signage & wayfinding).
Tenant lease/renewals negotiations.
Performance benchmarking.
Growth & downsizing.


Stage 1  Building Baseline Study

Data collection
User flow volume/density
User attitudes interviews/questionnaires
Customer purchase patterns
Visitor route choice/object engagement
Rental distribution.

Performance modelling
Location accessibility analysis (public & private transport)
Building layout efficiency
Vertical movement efficiency
Object/display attraction
Movement network capacity
Entrance/exit capacity
Sales density/rental distribution.

Stage 2  Design Strategy

Forecast simulation
User flow volume & density
Retail & catering effectiveness
Safety & security effectiveness.

Read our Rail Station Regeneration brochure.