We ask readers to share their visions of the industry in 25 years’ time. Here, John Puttick sees public transport buildings becoming a place for the community

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B175 thought for tomorrow

John Puttick BW 2018

Twenty-five years from now it will be widely accepted that transport buildings are community buildings. Having moved on from their fixation with the massive central hub, transport planners will be driving forward a renaissance in local transport routes and buildings.

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As cities continue to grow – the UN predicts the urban-dwelling population will increase from 55% to 68% by 2050 – the current trend of neighbourhoods previously considered peripheral developing dramatically will continue. Migrating to newly flourishing areas, people will look at the quality of transport experience offered with the same emphasis they do today for schools, entertainment and healthcare. Local authorities will respond by raising their game through design.  

People will look at the quality of transport experience with the same emphasis they do today for schools and healthcare

Currently, innovations in private vehicle design greatly outstrip that of public transport – but this trend will be reversed as the cost and environmental effectiveness of shared transport for most people becomes ever clearer. Local train and bus stations will no longer be considered mere utilitarian spaces but instead places to enjoy on a daily basis. They will become increasingly multi-functional: as ideal places for exchange their social focus will become obvious with facilities for holding meetings and for families to play together. Flexible infrastructure will allow waiting areas to be converted for different uses during a day. The transport building will become the face of the community it serves.

In the nineteenth century the first omnibuses offered a library in every vehicle. Twenty-five years from now we will just be catching up …

John Puttick is director of John Puttick Associates

Do you have a Thought for Tomorrow? Just send your name, job title and company, and 250 words to building@building.co.uk, with the heading “Building Your Future”, answering these questions:

  • What would you like the construction industry to look like in 25 years’ time?
  • And what needs to change to make that happen?