Panta Rhei? What about When Movements Come to a Halt?

Ryser, Judith (2017) Panta Rhei? What about When Movements Come to a Halt? REAL CORP 2017 – PANTA RHEI – A World in Constant Motion. Proceedings of 22nd International Conference on Urban Planning, Regional Development and Information Society. pp. 391-399. ISSN 2521-3938

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Panta rhei means 'everything in perpetual motion'. This may be true for the cosmos but on planet earth movement of people cohabits with staying put. Even nomads –historic and contemporary – alternative between movement and temporary station. Movement in cities is interdependent with arriving, staying put, or moving from one travel mode or one place to another. Normally, movements of people have a purpose of arriving. There exists therefore interdependence between flows and nodes to use Manuel Castells concepts. All types of movements of people on planet earth require man made infrastructure for the flows as well as for the nodes, regardless of mode of movement. The paper concentrates on urban dynamics related to railway infrastructure and selected railway stations in London. It argues that railway privatisation shifted the emphasis from flows to nodes, as privatised railway land and stations had greater development potential than still quasi publically owned and run railway tracks. This shift could have provided an opportunity for greater integration between transportation and land use planning, long an aspiration but more rarely implemented in practice. The corporate separation between railtracks and other key rail functions like running trains and stations may well have constituted a hindrance to such integration, except at interchanges, where flows meet nodes. Since the revival of rail travel in the UK railway stations and their surroundings became the place for massive regeneration projects. In particular, stations were transformed from mere spaces of connection betweeen people travelling and using the city into places in their own right, parts of urban fabric with urban functions other than sheer interchanges between modes of movements. They were accommoding urban activities such as commerce and entertainment for people to linger, stay and use. They and their surroundings had become a destination in their own right. How do these destinations compare with other urban places? Examples of station development are discussed by comparing their different approaches with special attention to their function as railway stations and their surroundings as public realm. The paper critically examines the impact of privatised railway strategies on station regeneration, the local environment surrounding them including land grab and, in particular, the sustainability or otherwise of the redesigned public realm, the 'relique pacificae' to 'panta rhei' as key to urbanity.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: railway station, regeneration, London, shrinkage, expansion
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
Depositing User: Maria Molnár
Date Deposited: 08 Sep 2017 15:44
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2017 15:44

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