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…
During the past two decades, transit-oriented development (TOD) has emerged as a powerful tool for creating liveable communities near good public transit through the development of dense housing, work places, retail and other community amenities. As demand for liveable communities grows, land values near transit increase, which can sometimes lead to gentrification. Recently, a particular approach to TOD has been gaining greater attention: equitable TOD.
Equitable TOD prioritizes social equity as a key component of TOD implementation. It aims to ensure that all people along a transit corridor, including those who are low income, have the opportunity to reap the benefits of easy access to employment opportunities offering living wages, health clinics, fresh food markets, human services, schools and childcare centers. By developing or preserving affordable housing and encouraging locating jobs near transit, equitable TOD can minimize the burden of housing and transportation…
Historically, many regional transit systems were designed in a “hub and spoke” pattern, focusing on moving residents from relatively low-density residential communities to a single high-density employment center – typically the region’s historic central business district (CBD). In general, these systems have worked well for those workers with jobs in central cities. The effectiveness of this kind of system hinges directly on the density of the jobs co-located in close proximity to each other and within a short distance of transit stations.
Although CBDs and downtowns remain important regional employment locations, American cities have experienced significant decentralization over the last 60 years, as job centers have shifted from urban downtowns to suburban communities. This “employment sprawl” has helped to generate much of the traffic congestion experienced across regions today, contributing to over 100 billion dollars in lost time and fuel every…
The worsening financial state of the federal, state, and local governments is a frequent subject in media and political circles. As discretionary expenditures, transportation programs likely face significant changes if they are to cope with spending cuts across all levels of government. These changes would require not only reprioritizing the use of scarce funds, cutting ineffective programs, and improving the performance of remaining programs, but also encouraging states and local partners to find other sources of funding for transportation.
Measuring accessibility is an essential tool in such a makeover because it reveals the benefits of a transportation system. Accessibility is the ease of reaching valued destinations, such as jobs, shops, schools, entertainment, and recreation. As such, accessibility creates value. Capturing some of this value would allow state and local governments to invest in the operations, maintenance, and in some cases expansion of their…
In the aftermath of the Great Recession, America needs to move toward a more productive next economy that will be increasingly export-oriented, lower-carbon, and innovation-driven—as well as opportunity rich. At the same time, leading U.S. metropolitan areas—which drive the national economy—are mounting increasingly strategic, locally developed, and sophisticated initiatives to move in that direction themselves. And so the nation needs to take a new approach to economic development. Federal, state, and philanthropic actors all need to approach metros not as problems requiring programmatic handouts but as compelling investment opportunities for driving national prosperity. In keeping with that, the “metropolitan business planning” concept described in this brief proposes one approach for reorienting such interactions.
Metropolitan business planning adapts the discipline of private-sector business planning to the task of revitalizing regional development. …
This report documents real estate development patterns along three recently constructed light rail transit lines in the United States. This topic is important for local planning practitioners, transit agencies, community members and other stakeholders in their efforts to plan for new transit investments and foster transit-oriented development (TOD). Setting realistic expectations about the scale, timing and location of private investment along new transit lines is especially critical where new development is expected to help pay for needed transit improvements, neighborhood amenities, or other community benefits.
The three transit lines examined in this report are the Hiawatha Line in the Minneapolis-St. Paul region, the Southeast Corridor in the Denver region, and the Blue Line in the Charlotte region. The report examines residential and commercial development that occurred within a half-mile of stations along the three lines. Development is evaluated in the…
Project Fast Facts
The number of low-wage jobs accessible by 30 minutes of transit travel in morning peak hours increased by 14,000 jobs in light-rail station areas and by 4,000 jobs in areas with direct light-rail bus connections after the addition of the Hiawatha line and related transit network upgrades.
After light-rail construction, low-wage workers are locating near station areas. Hiawatha and related transit upgrades are estimated to have drawn 907 low-wage workers into the Hiawatha station areas. Out of the 907 relocated workers, 78 percent moved to areas near the Cedar-Riverside, Franklin Avenue, and Lake Street-Midtown stations.
The number of low-wage jobs has increased near station areas. Hiawatha and related transit upgrades are estimated to have brought more than 5,000 low-wage jobs into areas near downtown Minneapolis and suburban Bloomington light-rail stations.
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…
CTOD report provides methodology for assessing and boosting the walkability of existing activity centers. As demographic trends, quality of life concerns, and personal preferences shift, more and more residents of the Twin Cities region are looking to live in walkable neighborhoods with access to shops and services and alternatives to driving. These demands—also seen in national trends—will form an ever-greater segment of the real estate market in the coming decades. Responding to these trends will be necessary to preserve the economic strength and competitiveness of the Twin Cities region.
In 2001, the City of Minneapolis began construction on the Hiawatha Light Rail Line, one of the largest mass transit projects in the history of Minnesota. Opened in June 2004, this twelve-mile, seventeen-station line connects Minneapolis’s downtown with the Minneapolis- Saint Paul International Airport and the Mall of America. In addition to connecting major amenities, the Hiawatha Line runs through several of Minneapolis’s residential neighborhoods. To the extent that light rail increases accessibility and decreases transportation costs for nearby residents, such effects should be capitalized into local property markets.1 With this in mind, our paper examines the effect of the Hiawatha Light Rail Line on single-family residential property values between 1997 and 2006.