Transit-oriented development (TOD) – typically defined as compact, mixed-use development within walking distance of a transit station – has emerged in recent years as a key strategy for fostering quality neighborhoods and reducing auto dependence. Despite the emphasis on TOD in many policy discussions, however, only limited information is available to help communities understand the likely development impacts of new transit investments. This report builds on a 2010 study by the Center for Transit-Oriented Development (CTOD), Rails to Real Estate: Development Patterns along Three Recently Constructed Rail Lines, to examine the opportunities and challenges involved in promoting TOD in different types of neighborhoods, and the strategies that may be appropriate to catalyze TOD depending on the neighborhood context. By examining development patterns and public investment strategies through the lens of “development context” or “neighborhood type,” this report…
The infrastructure needs of the Orange Line transit system are well-documented. But who lives and works in the corridor, and how is the current mix of land uses projected to change? This report provides a baseline understanding of the demographic, economic, transportation, and land use characteristics of the corridor; a schedule of planned and projected corridor development activity over two time horizons: 8 years and 8-15 years; highlights quality TOD projects already completed or underway in the corridor; and recommends five action items to ensure that the corridor receives the continued attention and investment that it deserves as one of the region’s most heavily used and diverse transit corridors.
What are the characteristics of the corridor in the context of the region?
One quarter of the region’s households live near the Orange Line. Approximately 709,900 residents reside within a half mile of an Orange Line station, representing 23 percent of the…
Public transit agencies have employed intelligent systems for determining schedules and routes and for monitoring the real-time location and status of their vehicle fleets for nearly two decades. But until recently, the data generated by daily operations in the transit system were only available to managers and engineers inside agencies. Transit riders could consult static information when planning trips, primarily through printed or online timetables or maps. Where dynamic train or bus arrival predictions were accessible, riders could only see this information on fixed signs at transit stations or stops. With the popular adoption of smartphones and other mobile technologies transit riders gained the capacity to access information anywhere and at any time. Some transit agencies have responded by publicly releasing disaggregated data files for schedules and real-time feeds of vehicle locations. These agencies have thus empowered civic entrepreneurs to…
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…
Suburban multifamily housing is an often overlooked housing typology that is the fastest growing housing market in the country and holds strong potential for achieving smart growth goals in suburbia. This housing type is ubiquitous throughout all regions in the nation, is a widespread example of density in suburbia, and is typically located next to commercial uses. The proximity between suburban multifamily housing and commercial uses creates the potential for nodes of concentrated activity, mixed use, and the possibility of substantial non-auto transport in suburbia. While this potential exists, the design of this housing type often follows an enclaved pattern of development, negating any synergy, minimizing the possibility of non-auto transport, and denying any potential for sustainable development.
Through case studies of suburban multifamily development in Oregon, Arizona, Florida, and Massachusetts, this report looks at the specific ways in which regulation,…
A livable community has affordable and appropriate housing, supportive features and services, and adequate mobility options for people, regardless of age or ability. As communities address the general shortage of affordable housing, preserving affordable housing in transit-oriented developments (TODs) is one of the challenges that communities can address to increase their livability.
TODs are compact, walkable, mixed-use communities that are developed around high-quality public transportation. Residents often prize these places for the advantages created by the proximity to transportation and other amenities. One consequence of this desirability is that it can increase land and property values, exacerbating housing affordability challenges.
As policymakers try to extend the benefits of TODs to affordable housing locations, they must ensure that those benefits are available to people of low and moderate incomes and to those with different mobility…
These case studies, funded through the support of the Surdna Foundation, present transit-oriented development (TOD) examples from diverse, low-income neighborhoods around transit, all built within the last 10 years. The goal of this survey is to provide examples that can help spur development around Philadelphia’s underutilized transit resources in similar types of neighborhoods. To that end, the examples in these case studies all overcame barriers to implementation using innovative, but replicable approaches. These examples are intended to allow the Philadelphia Neighborhood Development Collaborative and others to advocate for more involvement by the public sector, test some of the same mechanisms for financing and land assembly, and provide examples of successful TOD to developers and community members.