Transit (transportation) infrastructure as a key element of civic architecture
Been busy. Hard to write.
The Germans know how to do train stations. Essen is not a small city for German (I think it is the seventh largest), as a region, the Ruhr is unusual because it is so dense, and is a contiguous framework of cities, like Greater Los Angeles or Detroit or in New Jersey. But the transit system isn't massive, with about 300,000 riders daily.
Underground there are great connections to the tram and subway networks, and outside the station there are taxi stands in the front and back, and connections to the local bus system--many of the stops are located under the train yard overpass, so they have some protection from the weather, and regional bus services.
The underground areas of the station have nice use of light as an artistic element.
Video of the changing colors behind glass blocks in one of the connecting hallways in the underground section of the station.
Underground tram-subway platforms
The various underground walkways have shops or basement sales floors for above-ground stores. This kind of setup was definitely a missed opportunity in DC.
The bus station underpass has a kind of Dan Flavin artistic treatment
Informative and attractive bus stop signposts.
Embedded lights in walkways. Blue is the dominant color scheme.