Heading towards smart cities – Train stations as third places

A look into the future with Deutsche Bahn.
IXDS supported DB with user research in Hamburg, to get a deeper understanding of the topic of 'third places' and users' behavior. The developed ideas and superior vision of tomorrow's smart cities were then depicted in high level illustrations.  

Major cities across the globe are gearing up to shape smart cities of the future. Europe’s largest provider of train stations, Deutsche Bahn, asked us for help in finding new service and product solutions supporting smart city concepts, both inside and outside railway stations.


Following interviews with key demographics about what they think is necessary to feel comfortable at a train station, we derived key insights and developed ideas that, if implemented, could foster the third place concept. We also produced an illustration to show the vision of the DB train station.


Our research served as input in a workshop with Deutsche Bahn that resulted in tangible concepts and principles creating a 3rd place within and around railway stations. An MOU between Deutsch Bahn and the city of Hamburg included several of the ideas as strategic goals within this partnership, and our main illustration adorns the first page.