Cardiff Central Station is the main gateway to Cardiff. The local context of the station is currently constrained by the largely vehicle oriented road infrastructure, the railway infrastructure and the poor quality of the public realm.
Cardiff Central Masterplan represents an opportunity for Cardiff and the surrounding region to raise the profile of the area both within the UK and internationally.
The masterplan includes the BBC project with a Central Square to the north of the station, a new Arena and public sector offices to the south and a new public route through the Central Station.
In order to assess the impact on pedestrian movement patterns of the station masterplan and the future developments around it, Network Rail commissioned Space Syntax to develop a Predictive Movement Model and Forecast.
One of the unique inputs of Space Syntax was to provide contextual understanding of the site in terms of connectivity and movement potential.
Firstly, our Spatial Accessibility Model of the existing network of Cardiff was used to analyse spatial opportunities and constraints of the site.
During the design development process, this model was used as a design tool to test the impact of spatial layout changes as a result of the emerging design options. This informed the design development and influenced strategic decisions by enabling an objective evaluation of proposed scenarios in terms of potential impact on movement patterns and activity potential.
Combined with land use, population and transport data, the Spatial Accessibility Model was used as the base for the Predictive Movement Model.
This was used in order to translate future changes in layout, quantum of development and station demand uplift into a Pedestrian Movement Forecast for the preferred masterplan option and its immediate context.
The Spatial Accessibility Analysis highlighted the potential of the proposed public route to create a well-used north-south connection that would contribute to the overall improvement of connectivity in the area.
This was validated by the Pedestrian Movement Forecast for the future scenario.