A Journey to a More Social Bus Stop Environment

University essay from Malmö universitet/Institutionen för Urbana Studier (US)

Abstract: This study suggests that bus stops be viewed from a perspective that sees them both as elements of mobility and public space. Though bus stops represent a seemingly immobile aspect of mass transit, activities can still occur within such spaces, making possible the notion of waiting time as a rich duration that holds the potential for diverse activities. Through such diverse activities present in bus stops, these spaces can be better perceived as a public space. This research approaches the idea of bus stops as a transit assemblage consisting of diverse human and non-human actors that work together yet remain independent. The gathering of empirical data takes place through observing and recording various human actors at seven bus stops that are a part of three study locations. The research takes a mostly qualitative approach in regard to the collection and analysis of data but also includes minor instances of quantitative analyses to better frame and distinguish the findings. The concept of territorial production is utilized both as a theory to explain how diversity of activities can contribute to public space, and as a method to analyze and explain the data gathered through observations. This research identifies multiple design aspects that may aid the diversification of activities occurring at bus stops. It does this by providing insight into various categories of users and their activities throughout the different bus stop environments selected for investigation. In essence, this study claims that a bus stop environment which is able to accommodate a wider variety of users can allow us to move closer to the perception that bus stops are public spaces. By producing such insightful findings, this study hopes to aid in the planning and design of transit stops and to contribute to the creation of more social bus stop environments.

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