Last week, Bill Price, a Director at WSP in London, shared development and commercial insights around connecting rail stations with the urban realm.

As the author of the must-read paper titled Out of Thin Air, Mr Price was in Australia to discuss the use of rail overbuilds to address the pressing shortage of housing that exists in our growing cities.


“At a time when most Australian cities are striving to deliver compact, walkable, mixed-use communities centred around high-quality public transport, there is a need to think outside the square,” says Mr Price. “By building over railway stations, we can increase the supply of housing, offices, retail, other social infrastructure, and even stadiums, as well as connect previously divided communities, without having to unlock new land.


“This concept known as Transit Oriented Development, Integrated Station Development or Over Station Development is much more than simply an exercise in creating housing, retail or office space. It is also about a sustainable vision of urban improvement that results in vibrant, connected communities that are infused with urban authenticity, where people aspire to live and which add value to surrounding areas.”


During his visit, Mr Price discussed the work he is currently undertaking in delivering air rights and overbuild solutions for Network Rail, London Underground and Transport for London. He highlighted examples of Principal Place, Royal Mint Gardens and Paddington Square. He also shared lessons learnt from The Shard at London Bridge and Victoria Station in London plus examples in New York and Sweden.


“Having the opportunity to explain just how feasible and fruitful rail over-site developments can be, was extremely valuable to our Australian clients,” adds Mr Price. “Our international experience in this area can help shape the future of Australian cities and provide benefits to developers, landlords and society as a whole.”


About Bill Price

Bill Price is a director at WSP in the UK. He worked on the Shard at London Bridge from the earliest stages of design development to completion in 2012. Currently Bill is delivering air rights and overbuild solutions for Network Rail, London Underground and Transport for London. Mr Price developed the strategy for Paddington Square and is leading the design which includes a major tube station, office and retail development. He is also Project Director for the new stadium for Chelsea FC which requires 500m of rail decking.


Mr Price has responsibility for the WSP UK strategic growth function which involves driving connectivity and knowledge sharing across property and infrastructure disciplines in the UK and internationally.


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