Liyuan Metro Station Concept Design

Project information
Beijing, China
China Sustainable Transportation Center (CSTC)

A flagship example of how Beijing’s stations can cater to people beyond transit.

Andreas Røhl
Associate at Gehl
The Challenge

What can a station mean for local people?

Beijing has a well functioning metro system that shuttles hundreds of thousands of people to and from their places of home and work every day. However, beyond the station platform, there is another, more chaotic story at play. Often extremely busy, the station forecourts, walkways and surrounding public spaces are at best a dance of people, and at worst, an unsafe medley of people, bikes, cars, and buses.

The Tongzhou district wanted to rethink Liyuan Station to improve the experience for transit users and create a purposeful place for visitors and locals alike.

There are many spatial and safety dynamics at play with 3,500 bicycle parking spaces directly outside Liyuan Station entrance. A Public Space, Public Life Survey confirmed the impacts of diverging pedestrian, bicycle, and road traffic flows, as well as the quality of facilities, and the lived experience of arriving and departing from the station.

The Impact

From a monofunctional transit station to a neighborhood hub

Responding to these challenges the Gehl team proposed a readjustment of spatial priorities favoring the natural flow of people walking and cycling, and clear ‘character’ areas to better define public space typologies, spatial functionality, amenities and behavioral nudges. This was combined with reconfigured bike and e-bike parking to overcome a key area of friction in accessing the station. By recognizing pedestrian flows and the required spatial capacity, in coordination with opportunities for ‘staying,’ the team created new opportunities for people to enjoy in the station area.

We found 10X more pedestrians than bike riders or cars outside the main station gateway, yet only 14% of space was allocated to those pedestrians.

Rasmus Duong Grunnet
Project Manager at Gehl

Following detailed urban design plans with local partners, work began on the station area in 2021. NOT is an approach that has subsequently been published as a flagship example of how to redesign a station area in the Chinese national planning directives.

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Rasmus Duong-Grunnet
Andreas Røhl
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