Public Transport and Sustainable Urbanism: Global Lessons
Transit oriented development (TOD) is a viable model for transportation and land-use integration in many rapidly developing cities of the world, including those in Asia. TOD is a straightforward concept: concentrate a mix of moderately dense and pedestrian-friendly development around transit stations to promote transit riding, increased walk and bicycle travel, and other alternatives to the use of private cars. In a way, Asian cities have historically been transit oriented, featuring fine-grain mixes of land uses, plentiful pathways for pedestrians and cyclists, and ample transit services on major roads. However, the recent ascendancy in car ownership and rising incomes are unraveling the historical transit-supportive urban forms of many Asian cities, giving rising to an increasingly car-dependent built form. By focusing new construction and redevelopment in and around transit nodes, TOD is viewed as a promising tool for curbing sprawl and the car dependence it spawns. By channeling public investments into struggling inner-city settings, some hope TOD can breath new life and vitality into areas of need. And by creating more walkable, mixed-use neighborhoods with good transit connectivity, TOD is thought to appeal to the lifestyle preferences of a growing demographic, like childless couples, young professionals, and empty-nesters.