Urban Nodes Essay

In the context of the plan, the nodes are planned areas of high-density multifunctional developments featuring a pedestrian friendly environment and good public-transit accessibility. Meaning that there is a concentration of activity centred around easy access to the transit network. The strategy of the multiple centres concentrates growth where it is most easily accessible in terms of both transit and infrastructure, the strategy forms a hierarchy of nodes from the major centres, connections with the railway network, and plazas formed along the arterial routes, grouped with developments.

The density is increased at a node to maximize opportunities to be able to reach the transit without the need to travel. This is a central part of the strategy to combat the adverse financial, quality-of-life, and environmental consequences of urban sprawl. These form employment centers, shopping centers, entertainment centers, or multi-function activity centers. Where living, working, and entertainment activities come together.

The major nodes in the plan are the islands, destinations in their own right, these have nodes within them for example the island centre of Ravi City in hase 1 has the Central Business District, Central Park and Commercial District. Moving out from the island the crossing of the railway line forms a major node where the long distance transit and local transits intersect, based on current global trends the railway is becoming the backbone of a sustainable transport network, that in the future could see high speed rail replacing domestic flights.

These nodes form a focus for retail activity around the transport interchange, with office, hotel and residential towers above, this is a strategy that is applied throughout the plan where development intersects with the railway. Historically city centres have grown up at the place where the road crosses a river, on the plan the narrow section of the Ravi River passing between North Lahore and Shahdara, the river training creates a unique situation, the river is crossed by the railway and the Grand Trunk Road.

The raise in ground level required by the river training, will create a podium that accommodates transit tunnels, road tunnels and service corridors beneath a promenade that is over-sailed by mixed use towers. An opportunity exists to create a grand central station on the railway bridge that is linked to underground metro stations on both sides of the river.