A new book published by academic research publisher Ashgate entitled "Transit Oriented Development: Making it Happen" includes a chapter written by Reconnecting America's CEO Shelley Poticha and Jeff Wood, a program associate with Reconnecting America and the organization's GIS specialist.
With California facing an unprecedented budget crisis, eleven California urban planners, architects, engineers, public officials, developers, retail managers and a journalist are convening a seminar on the challenges of making towns and cities in the new realities of fiscal chaos, energy constraints and climate change. Instead of flying to Denver, this group of California New Urbanists has chartered two private railcars from California Zephyr Rail Charters, Inc. that will be pulled by Amtrak’s regular Zephyr train. The California New Urbanists are committing the time needed for a structured, deep conversation among accomplished professionals. They are also practicing what they preach: train travel is 21 percent more efficient than automobile travel, and 17 percent more efficient than airline travel.
The effects of transit-oriented development on housing, parking and travel; the potential for the graying of America to increase transit ridership; and an article that empirically tests for positive network effects in transit use have been added to the Best Practices.
In honor of Earth Day and in partnership with Cinema Libre Studio and Grapeflix, Reconnecting America would like to invite you to view David M. Edwards' powerful new documentary, Sprawling From Grace: The Consequences of Suburbanization, online for free! The film features former President Bill Clinton, former Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis, Reconnecting America CEO Shelley Poticha, Dena Belzer of Strategic Economics, our partner in the Center for Transit-Oriented Development, and many other leaders on the issues of suburban sprawl and the need for better public transportation, centralized planning and renewable energy.
Reconnecting America CEO Shelley Poticha testified before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee on March 26, 2009, saying that we need stronger connections between housing and transportation policy to "unlock a strong market for sustainable and inclusive growth." The secretaries of the US Department of Transportation and HUD had earlier announced their intent to promote development near transit, and Shelley and others were invited to share their ideas on how best to do this. The Banking Committee is gearing up for the upcoming reauthorization of the federal transportation bill.
The secretaries of the US Department of Transportation and HUD have announced their intent to focus efforts on promoting the construction of housing near public transit in order to create more affordable and sustainable communities. Reconnecting America has long encouraged the US DOT and HUD to integrate transportation and land use planning in order to create true affordability and sustainability, based on research showing the impact of transportation on both the cost of living and greenhouse gas emissions.
A common misconception about transit-oriented development is that there is only one type of development that qualifies as TOD. “But we’re not Manhattan!” protest residents. “Our streets can’t handle the traffic!” some cities exclaim. “We need to preserve our park-and-ride capacity!” fret transit agencies. Cities, transit agencies, and communities often struggle with making decisions about station development, access, development, and planning outcomes. The diverse nature of transit corridors, modes, and local and regional land use context, cause this decision-making process to become complex and fragmented.
To address these problems, Reconnecting America’s Center for Transit-Oriented Development has developed typologies at two scales: the corridor and the district (or place). Typologies have the potential to simplify complicated decisions about transit and land use planning and communicate them to a wide audience by identifying the key decision points and relating…
Over the past 18 months, the Center for Transit-Oriented Development (CTOD) has engaged in several initiatives to better understand the obstacles and the opportunities involved in creating diverse and equitable neighborhoods around transit. Changing demographics and traffic are boosting the demand for housing near stations, with demand expected to more than double in the next 25 years. This is good news for all who are concerned about sustainable growth and global climate change, but the increased market interest could drive up prices and drive existing low-income residents out of transit-oriented neighborhoods. Research by our Center for TOD has shown that station areas are currently more diverse economically and racially than the region as a whole.
Portland, Oregon, known for its wet weather and micro-brewed beer, is the destination of choice for those seeking to better understand transit-oriented development. This is understandable — Portland is ahead of the curve when it comes to coordinating transportation and land use and creating dense, walkable, transit-oriented neighborhoods with a lot to see and do. You can take light rail into downtown from the airport, easily walk to hotels, restaurants, shops, and parks, and take the streetcar all around the Pearl District, downtown, and the new South Waterfront District – still under construction -- and from there take an aerial tram to the Oregon Health and Sciences University high atop Marquam Hill.