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Growing Station Areas: The Variety and Potential of Transit Oriented Development in Metro Boston

The June 2012 report "Growing Station Areas: The Variety and Potential of Transit Oriented Development in Metro Boston" has been added to the Resource Center's best practices database.

As Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) explains, transit-oriented development (TOD) is a strategy for developing residential and commercial areas in places that are already accessible by public transit. To achieve sustainable and equitable transit-oriented development in the Metropolitan Boston area requires varied strategies, and defining those strategies requires a detailed understanding of factors such as land use, demographics, and development plans of existing station areas.

MAPC, which is the regional planning agency serving the 101 cities and towns of Metropolitan Boston, conducted an analysis to define the need for different financing tools or prioritization of investments in the Metro Boston region. The analysis was conducted for the Sustainable Communities TOD Finance Advisory Committee with assistance from the Dukakis Center at Northeastern University.

That analysis found the transit station area typology can help advance equitable and sustainable TOD in a variety of ways:

  • Housing, economic development, and infrastructure programs can use the typology to establish funding criteria that reflect both local conditions as well as regional TOD goals.
  • Analysis of TOD financing needs and the design of potential new TOD finance products can acknowledge the distinct station area types and the different finance/market conditions that exist in each one.
  • Technical assistance from MAPC and other partners can be targeted to station areas with strong potential for TOD but few developments in the pipeline.
  • Municipalities and stakeholders can use the analysis to evaluate specific development proposals against the range of densities and project attributes appropriate for the station area type.
  • The MBTA can use the analysis of TOD potential to plan for capacity expansion or to evaluate the potential development impacts of service changes.

Read the executive summary and download the report

    Growing Station Areas
    The Variety and Potential of Transit Oriented Development in Metro BostonGrowing Station Areas
    The Variety and Potential of Transit Oriented Development in Metro Boston