Many rapid transit projects are justified by a desire to achieve intangible city image and branding goals such as promoting messages of modernity, economic growth, global competitiveness, and world city status. The relationship between rapid transit and city image is poorly understood in the planning literature. In response, this article presents a theoretical framework of rapid transit in image-led planning. The framework and examples of rapid transit in image-led planning in practice reveal that while important, rapid transit alone is not a sufficient condition for wholesale image change, and image-led planning must be mindful of a host of important practical considerations.

Higgins, C.D. & Kanaroglou, P.S. (2016). Infrastructure or Attraction? Image-led Planning and the Intangible Objectives of Rapid Transit Projects. Journal of Planning Literature, 31 (4), 452-462.