The Austin Transit Partnership (ATP) announced a partnership with an international design team led by HKS, UNStudio, and Gehl to create system-wide architecture and urban design for the light rail program of Project Connect, according to the company's news release.
Project Connect is a voter-approved investment that includes light rail, expanded bus routes, and more services across the city.
HKS, UNStudio, and Gehl will design a human-centric transit experience true to Austin's landscape.
"We are thrilled to work with this visionary, interdisciplinary design team," said Peter Mullan, ATP EVP for architecture and urban design. "The design team brings both broad international expertise delivering transit and public realm projects at the highest level of design and an acute sensitivity to Austin's specific culture and heritage. Project Connect gives us the opportunity to stitch our community together more closely and to adapt our core values to our continued growth and our increasingly urban future. To deliver on that promise, we need to bring a human-centered approach to the center of our design process, and this team brings that focus to our collective work."
In November 2020, Austin voters approved Project Connect and the creation of the independent entity ATP to implement this investment in transit. In partnership with the City of Austin, CapMetro, and the community, ATP will deliver on the community's vision for transit in a way that embeds equity, sustainability, and transparency as overarching priorities.
Design research and visioning will begin in March 2023 and will continue through the project development phase. ATP will share an updated light rail implementation plan in spring 2023.
"Project Connect will be transformational for the city of Austin," said Ben van Berkel, founder of UNStudio. "Austin is a city experiencing rapid change as more and more people are drawn to its high quality of life and vibrant cultural scene. Project Connect will advance this by creating a human-centric transit system that celebrates Austin's culture, history, and diversity while making the city more accessible for all of its citizens through an efficient and sustainable transportation system."
Project Connect is designed to improve access to essential jobs, health care, education, entertainment, and more. This investment includes $300 million in funding to prevent the displacement of people and create more affordable places to live.
See all comments