Friday, February 10, 2017

Podcast: High Speed Rail Station Planning in France, Parts 1 & 2

In a two part discussion of French high-speed rail and cities, guest host and German Marshall Fund fellow Eric Eidlin interviews Stephan de Fay, executive director of Bordeaux Euratlantique, the public agency overseeing the redevelopment of Bordeaux’s main train station, and Etienne Tricaud, president and CEO of AREP, the French railway’s architecture office.

We thought you might find their thoughts on the subject illuminating so we pulled some specific quotes from Episode 1.  We'll be back with more in Episode 2 in a subsequent post.


A few quotes of significance from the first episode:

On the citizens mental map of France:
HSR has fundamentally changed the mental map of France. Time-space relationships are now completely different. The French now think of their country as a network of cities that are easily connected to one another. - Etienne Tricaud
On having experts in-house:
...we exist to take risks and to take decisions. At some point, we need to be able to evaluate things by ourselves. It is not our role to do architectural design, for example. But having people on staff who know how to design, and who therefore also know how to speak intelligently with people who design is very important. This in-house competency helps us to be more relevant, both in terms of the questions that we ask and ultimately the decisions that we make. - Stephan de Fay
On urban planning:
Fundamentally, architecture is space planning, it’s organization of the space. So early on, we need to think about the organization of the pedestrian spaces of the station, the organization of the surrounding district, as well as the layout of the local transportation systems that serve the station.- Etienne Tricaud
On value:
However, if the public sector leverages that value of the investment that it is making in transportation (HSR), additional public subsidy for urban development in station areas is not necessary. In our case, our expenditures are equal to our revenues. We invest one billion euros on the district around the station and we earn on billion euros through the sale of construction rights. - Stephan de Fay
The audio above was first posted at Streetsblog USA.



The audio above was first posted at Streetsblog USA.

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