Transit oriented development has been a large part of Boston’s growth since the earliest horse-drawn railways. In fact, we live in a uniquely transit-oriented region, where 25% of housing units and 37% of employment is within a half-mile of a rapid transit or commuter rail station. Now Metro Boston is experiencing a new wave of growth near transit, with hundreds of residential and commercial developments underway and more on the horizon. Cities and towns are creating station area plans and updated zoning to unlock development potential; the MBTA is accepting proposals for major developments on prime T-owned parcels; state agencies are using transit proximity as a criteria for prioritizing infrastructure or housing resources; and the development community is finding a strong market for residential and commercial space near the T.
There are good reasons for this burgeoning interest in Transit Oriented Development (TOD.) New growth near transit stations can help…
Los Angeles is transforming our future by investing in the largest transit expansion in the United States. By the end of 2012, the City alone will have 71 operating light rail or bus rapid transit stations, with dozens more in nearby communities throughout the county. Planned Measure R investments will add another 42 stations to the City, for a total of 113 stations in 30 years. These plans could happen instead within a quick, ten year time frame if the federal government approves America Fast Forward, bringing thousands of new transit construction and operations jobs to the City and connecting over 1.2 million existing jobs to high quality, fixed-guideway transit rich areas.
Ensuring that all of our families and workers are able to continue to live and work in our most transit rich neighborhoods is a key priority of the City of Los Angeles Housing Department (LAHD). One way to achieve this goal is to preserve existing affordable and rent stabilization…
As the Puget Sound region invests billions in a new light rail system, many stakeholders, including community leaders, workers, equity advocates and planners, are asking – who will benefit? Will the advantages of living along light rail be shared by households of all incomes and people of all races and ethnicities?
Transit oriented development (TOD), holds tremendous promise and opportunity for communities of color and low-income households. But, strong evidence of gentrification and the threat of displacement in Seattle’s Rainier Valley, accelerated by the light rail, threaten to undermine this promise. Rainier Valley represents one of the most racially diverse areas in the Puget Sound and is also one of the first communities to receive light rail.
Ensuring that TOD results in real equity outcomes requires a sharp focus on what equity means and a steady determination to achieve those outcomes. By including a racial justice framework in TOD planning and…
What Does This Guide Do?
This guide is intended to provide Southern California housing advocates with an understanding of certain opportunities and legal tools for influencing affordable housing and land use polices at four distinct phases of sustainable transit planning and development: the regional, local, neighborhood, and project-specific levels. To address some of the risks that are specific to the Southern California region, and to capitalize on some of the opportunities that come with transit-oriented development, this guide specifically focuses on laws affecting affordable housing and regional and local planning, zoning, and land disposition policies. Additionally, although this guide discusses tools available throughout Southern California, it also specifically identifies opportunities in the City and County of Los Angeles.
Affordable housing, jobs, and transportation infrastructure are central elements of urban planning that have the potential for great synergies if considered comprehensively. Transit- accessible affordable housing can help alleviate the combined housing and transportation burden that many Atlantans face and provide better accessibility to employment opportunities.
The region’s upcoming Transportation Investment Act (TIA) vote provides an impetus to study these issues and determine how this potential infrastructure investment could influence the supply of mixed-income transit-oriented developments (MITOD) that provide affordable housing and increase connections to jobs.
The two research questions being explored are: What are the current housing and employment characteristics near MARTA rail stations and the proposed transit routes identified in the TIA? Where might opportunities exist to preserve affordable housing and develop MITOD? The analysis utilizes spatial analysis…
Over the next 25 years, the San Francisco Bay Area is projected to grow by an estimated 22 percent—adding around 1.6 million new residents. Land use and development professionals are engaged in a dialogue around how the region can accommodate this growth in a way that maintains the extraordinary quality-of-life that attracts people to live and work in the region. With an eye toward demographic shifts like an aging population and an increasing number of smaller and non-family households, planners and developers recognize the growing demand for homes and jobs in walkable, urban environments.
High land and housing costs in the core areas of the region, however, create continued development pressure in the outskirts of the region, leading to commute-times and household transportation costs that are among the highest in the nation. The high cost of housing and transportation is particularly felt by the region’s moderate- and lower-income families, who in some cities spend as…
Local and state governments use various tools to encourage development in economically challenged areas. Tax-increment financing (TIF) has been a leading tool used for this purpose. TIF allows cities and towns to borrow against an area’s future tax revenues in order to invest in immediate projects or encourage present development. When used properly and sparingly, TIF can promote enduring growth and stronger communities. When used improperly, however, TIF can waste taxpayer resources or channel money to politically favored special interests.
To protect the public interst, governments should impose strong safeguards that ensure that TIF projectsare implemented through a transparent, accountable process with clear and compelling goals.
Governments must use care in choosing when to use tax-increment financing. The public can benefit from subsidies that bring lasting economic development to declining or stagnant areas. However, tax-increment financing can be wasted on…
Reconnecting America today released four training modules created for and funded by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) that illustrate various principles of creating and maintaining sustainable communities. The modules created by Reconnecting America’s LINK (Leadership¸ Innovation, Networks, Knowledge) Team were presented at three APTA conferences with the goal of educating practitioners, public transit agencies, elected officials and other decision-makers.
The key is in not spending time, but in investing it. Stephen R. Covey
As you turn the first page of this book, you ask yourself, “What’s in it for me? Am I spending my time or investing my time?”
We live in an exciting time of great innovation and rapidly changing thinking about how to solve transportation problems. Since the early 1990s, hundreds of new organizations have formed to advocate for cyclists and pedestrians; curb sprawl and promote smarter solutions to growth; save scenic roads and promote heritage tourism; support local sustainable agriculture; bring back freight rail and promote light rail; and protect the environment by adopting new energy technologies and constructing resource efficient buildings. Curious people can tap into the web to access a vast universe of transportation information and case studies, and quickly communicate with friends and neighbors through social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In and many other sites and…
Light rail in the West Corridor presents an incredible opportunity for transit-oriented development to leverage market momentum for new investment and community building. A focus on TOD will support growth near new transit stations, enhance access to opportunity, preserve and enhance the supply of a range of housing choices, reduce the combined costs of housing and transportation, and support walking and biking to stations. However, implementing TOD along the West Corridor will not be a quick or simple process. The overall economic conditions in the country are vastly impacting the pace and magnitude of private sector development activity everywhere. This macro-level challenge, combined with some micro-market conditions along the West Corridor, where residential home values are relatively low and the potential value increases related to transit have not yet been realized, indicates that in the near term, most implementation activity in the West Corridor will fall…