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CTOD Guidebook Explores Importance of Planning for TOD at Regional Scale

The Center for Transit-Oriented Development today released “TOD 204: Planning for TOD at the Regional Scale,” the sixth in the Federal Transit Administration-sponsored series of reports explaining best practices of transit-oriented development.

This guidebook, which includes case studies from around the country, focuses on regional planning for TOD, including the general framework and benefits, and eight strategies for successful regional TOD planning.

“TOD helps communities of all sizes make the most of their transit investments,” said FTA Deputy Administrator Therese McMillan. “By improving connections to jobs and helping communities make targeted public investments, regional planning for TOD supports strong local and regional economies – something we know to be a current priority in many places.”

Building successful TOD requires thinking beyond the individual station and understanding the role each neighborhood and station area plays in the regional network of transit-oriented places, the guidebook notes. It also requires an understanding of the real estate market, major employment centers, and travel patterns in the region. Regional planning for successful TOD depends on the coordination of existing plans for growth, transit, housing and jobs, as well as programs and policies at all levels of government.

“People often think about TOD at the site- or station-area scale, but it is critical that we plan for TOD with the bigger picture in mind. This booklet is designed to give elected leaders, planners, citizens and community development practitioners the strategies and case studies they need to initiate a successful regional TOD planning process,” said Sam Zimbabwe, director of the Center for Transit-Oriented Development.

One of the TOD planning efforts discussed in the booklet is taking place in greater New Orleans and Baton Rouge, where a coalition of public and private sector organizations called CONNECT has formed in order to advocate for better transit and TOD planning in the region.

Rachel Diresto, Executive Vice President of the Center for Planning Excellence and coordinator of the CONNECT Coalition, stated, “When it comes to building a quality regional transit network and strong, transit-oriented neighborhoods, we recognize that no one city or parish can do it alone. Coordinating the efforts of all the agencies and communities groups who need to work together is difficult, and we need to understand what strategies have worked in other regions that have undertaken similar efforts.”

Read the introduction and download the full report

Learn more about What is TOD?