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PUBLIC ART AND PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

Building communities that rely on transit and walking will require greater attention to humanizing transit stations and integrating them into their surrounding context. Public art has a role in this process: it can help make transit stations more than just places to wait. To build the image of transit as an amenity in the community requires recognition of and sensitivity to the fact that the quality of the transportation experience directly affects the quality of the lives of transit users. The experience of travel by transit should be an attraction in itself. To build transit systems that are competitive with, if not better than, the experience of moving by automobile requires attention to those things that make the public spaces serving transit successful. Spaces that serve to accommodate waiting, as well as sidewalks and paths to stations that connect surrounding activity centers and land uses to transit, can be more interesting and made more secure by including public art in their design. Public art can draw out the identity of a space, aid the understanding of the historical or cultural significance of a neighborhood and its residents, and help to forge a connection to the social needs of the 1990s. Combining the skills of artists with those of transit engineers, planners, and architects in the design of public spaces related to transit has been successful and at times difficult. Involvement of public art in the design of transit-related public spaces is not a mere aesthetic issue. It has become a means whereby community values are expressed and a sense of ownership is fostered between the community and the transit-related facilities. As a result these transit spaces have become more secure and active by virtue of the stewardship assumed by the community. Artistic expression, though, at times has been at odds with public opinion. There can be an underlying fear of public art and the inclusion of artists in the design of transit-related spaces. Public art can be too provocative and seen as appealing to an elite audience rather than to regular people. Where has the inclusion of public art in transit projects been successful? What methods have been used to achieve positive results? How do constructive collaborations between artists, designers, and engineers happen? In what ways has the inclusion of public art served to encourage pedestrian access to transit stations? These questions are addressed in this paper.

Language

  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: p. 75-86
  • Monograph Title: SEVENTH NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON LIGHT RAIL TRANSIT, BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, NOVEMBER 12-15, 1995. VOLUME 1
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00716765
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0309061520
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Jan 30 1996 12:00AM