Lan[d]tern: Designing the Transit-Oriented Pedestrian Nightscape
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This thesis looks at the challenges and opportunities associated with designing pedestrian routes and public spaces near transit for safe and enjoyable use at nighttime. Since most commuters in northern latitudes spend several months a year commuting in the dark, landscapes that help them access transit more easily in evening hours should increase willingness to use public transit. In particular, illuminated art or light art integrated into the urban landscape can be used for wayfinding, placemaking, visibility, and increasing natural surveillance. Research is conducted into the history of public space at night, the psychology and physiology of experiencing public nighttime spaces, and the current state of lighting standards and technology, with an emphasis on the dichotomy of night as a time for both festivity and caution. A station area is proposed for a subdistrict in Ballard, Seattle that currently has a number of nighttime workers and anticipates future transit development. The subdistrict site is analyzed for its current lighting situation and circulation. Light, art installations, and other suggested treatments are grouped by function and applied to the site in conceptual design sketches. Finally, recommendations and design suggestions are given according to street and lighting typology for nighttime-oriented interventions to improve the pedestrian experience in the proposed station area.