Transit-Oriented Development in the Chicago Region, 2000–2010
Mixed-use centers anchored by public transit are essential to the triple bottom line, or the economic, environmental, and social sustainability of the Chicago Region. With the publication of GO TO 2040 in 2010, the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) put forth a vision to grow the transit-oriented development (TOD) areas of the Region and make them communities of choice. In 2012 the Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) built on this vision with the publication of Prospering In Place, which honored GO TO 2040 for its commitment to reconnect land use, transportation, and the economy, and recommended the locations in the Chicago Region that had the best prospects for growth—and hence warranted priority access to public and private resources. Prospering in Place was also a cautionary story of how a blueprint alone, without a place-based framework for development, will not reverse the…
The Denver region is currently embarking on one of the most ambitious and extensive investments in new rail and bus service in the United States. In less than a decade, the $7.8 billion FasTracks transportation infrastructure project will connect much of the Denver Metro region with 122 miles of new commuter and light rail, 18 miles of bus rapid transit, 70 new transit stations and a variety of other expanded multimodal options.1 This investment has the potential to expand the reach of opportunity for many people, providing better connections between housing, jobs and other essential destinations. New transit service will provide more transportation options to major job centers and educational institutions that provide career ladders and workforce training for people of all incomes and skill levels. Other regions are watching closely to see how the network is built out and if transit can spur new development and redevelopment of existing assets in station areas, as well…
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…
In 2006, the Center for housIng PolICy released A Heavy Load: The Combined Housing and Transportation Burdens of Working Families in partnership with the Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) and the Institute of Transportation Studies at UC-Berkeley. By documenting the trade-offs that moderate-income households make between their housing and transportation costs, A Heavy Load encouraged practitioners and policymakers to take a more comprehensive view of housing affordability. This broader approach adds the costs of travel to daily destinations to the traditional components of housing costs — rent or mortgage payments and utilities — to compute a combined cost that better reflects the full costs associated with selecting one housing unit, and its location, over another.
Six years later, the idea that housing and transportation costs need to be examined together has gained considerable traction. A growing number of localities and states are considering the…
We all remember being a child on what seemed like an endless journey to grandma’s house or the Grand Canyon and asking “Are we there yet?” In America’s cities and towns, we are having one of those “Are we there yet?” moments — although it seems the GPS is malfunctioning and we have lost the ability to chart a course toward our future.
What does “there” look like? How will we know when we are “there”? What are the critical investments we need to make in order to strengthen our regional economies and ensure that America remains globally competitive? What are the attributes of communities and regions that help the people who live and work there succeed? How can we ensure that every child – regardless of what zip code they are born into or the color of their skin — has access to opportunities to improve their lives and contribute to America’s prosperity?
America is confronting serious issues in this second decade of the 21st century: The gap…
Faced with rising poverty rates, high unemployment, and a fragile economic recovery, more and more families are struggling to hold on to the American Dream —the fundamental belief that here, in the “land of opportunity,” anyone willing to work hard can get ahead, save for the future, and build a better life for themselves, their families and the next generation. Policymakers and the public alike are focused intently on what has always been the very linchpin of achieving that dream —jobs, jobs, jobs. Yet, in that pursuit, there is one critically important element that is often overlooked: the fact that today, simply getting from home to work and back again has become a growing challenge for many Americans.
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.