Reconnecting America People * Places * Possibility

Implementation Strategies For Transit-Oriented Development

Five 'New Urbanism 202' presentations from June CNU17 convention

The nation's leading forum dedicated to advancing urbanism and promoting alternatives to sprawl was held in Denver this June and among the presentations at the Congress for New Urbanism's annual convention was a New Urbanism 202 seminar entitled "Implementation Strategies For Transit-Oriented Development."

Participating in the program were Shelley Poticha, president and CEO or Reconnecting America; GB Arrington, vice president PB PlaceMaking; Catherine Cox Blair, program director with Reconnecting America; Nadine Fogarty, principal, Strategic Economics; and Art Lomenick, managing director Trammell Crow and member of the Reconnecting America board.

As the CNU17 program explained, "Though the real estate market in the US has come to a virtual standstill, one market that remains viable is Transit-Oriented Development (TOD). In fact, evidence is emerging that housing and mixed-use development within walking distance of high quality transit service has retained its value during the downturn and is expected to remain solid. Whether you call it "walkable urbanism" or TOD, the diversity, flexibility, affordablity and location efficiency of these places is likely to help them remain attractive and priority locations for public investment."

The session discussed cutting-edge research and techniques for linking transit and development, including presentations on market analysis, value creation and value capture, working with transit agencies, structuring public-private partnerships and building great places.

Poticha's presentation provided overacrhing comments about how transit-oriented development is defined and what you look for when seeking high-quality development.

Arrington created the TOD program in Portland, OR, years ago. He has now had the benefit of doing this work all over the United States and all over the world. As Poticha explains in her introduction, "His expertise covers an awful lot of territory."

Cox Blair' spoke about the public-sector role in transit-oriented development. Five, 10 years ago city planners thought just drafting a plan around a station was all that was needed. But that notion of public-sector's role is changing very quickly. Cox Blair has been exploring how to define what is the best innovative role for public-sector players.

Fogarty talked about some of the more detailed work that she's done to look at the challenges of transit-oriented development, looking into how we bridge from what we would like to see in transit-oriented development to what the market will support. She also discussed value-capture tools and how they've been deployed in different kinds of settings.

Lomenick is a developer whom Poticha said has probably done more mixed-use, walkable, transit-connecting development than any builder in the United States. He was a pioneer with some of the first attempts in the last 15 years to create mixed-use development. His talk addressed the execution challenges of doing this type of work and the developer's role in forging partnerships with local jurisdictions.