By: Jeremy Clow
Rural communities housing universities are facing new age problems, integrating a metropolitan lifestyle. Where vehicular traffic is limited and public transportation is prevalent. Walking, biking, and riding the metro are second nature for the majority population attending a university. When this demographic begins to further their education in a small community their basic principles of daily life are flipped upside down. Why must a small town rely on an automobile? The distancing of dominant hot spots requires not only the use of gas for transportation but space for parking accessibility. What if transportation to and from the city were directly tied to the economic factors within?
Facing the approach, when arriving in a smaller community the visitors come from all angles. Transportation via air, train, highway, and interstate all come together in one major hub, a melting pot of national and international cultures. Upon arriving accessibility to specific destinations and locales is most important. When flying into an airport if there wasn’t an exit terminal what would one do?
This process of integrating within the community is closely related to a puzzle. The corner is a key location connecting the visitors with their next destination, a transportation hub. The edge piece is the path from arrival to the next key point being a career, a university, or a place to stay the night is the edge piece. The inside pieces make up the environment along this path, the first impression and the lasting substance to any photo.
The big picture starts with the anchor points, a university, major institution, or career. The transportation from a defined radius to this locale is the second most important factor. Who is the target audience to bring in and where are they from? How do they arrive? Bring all major forms of transportation through a major hub, connecting airports, trains, busses, and automobile traffic. This structure and its surroundings are the key element, the first impression of what’s left to be seen. A path of easy travel and least resistance connects the hub with the anchor. Along the path an abundance of attractive economic facilities can be accessed with ease. These points create a sense of belonging and social setting similar to that originally found at home.
Many potential outcomes for this problem can come from a few tactical placements. A well designed transportation hub placed strategically located to the anchor point or points. Spaces designed in congruence along the way from hub to anchor(s), leaving small gaps allowing for local new age growth to happen simultaneously. All of this leads to a fully functional and productive rural community with metropolitan features from the implementation of well-designed structures with specific functions.