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International model of sustainable transit finance and urbanism

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Hong Kong’s principal rail operator's "Rail+Property" development program has advanced the practice of transit value capture more than any public‐transport organization worldwide, according to Robert Cervero and Jin Murakami, the authors of the May 2008 working paper, "Rail + Property Development: A model of sustainable transit finance and urbanism."

The paper discusses the history behind "R+P" and the role of the rail operator as master planner of station‐area development and the process introduced to share risks and rewards among public and private stakeholders.

"Through good quality urban design and attention to the needs of pedestrians, concentrating growth around stations can not only help finance capital infrastructure but can also contribute to place‐making and community enhancement," the authors said.

Hong Kong, the authors note, is one of the few places in the world where public transport makes a profit. This is due in large part, the authors explain, to the integrated “rail‐property” development model.

"R+P is more than an end‐product of 'brick and mortar' atop subway stations; rather, it is a carefully conceived process for planning, supervising, implementing, and managing station‐area development and tapping into the land‐price appreciation that results," the authors explain.