Throughout the world, countries are seeking pragmatic solutions to increase the efficiency of their energy systems through the use of smarter energy distribution and the advancement of technology. The drivers for change vary from mandates to economics to environmental conditions. Within the United States, utilities are being required to integrate more renewables and increase the efficiency of the demand-side user.
Demand-side reductions and renewables are important investments for the overall system, but often times these foci result in a missed opportunity. Each day, millions of Btus1 of thermal and electric energy potential are lost through wasted heat or stranded energy. Waste heat occurs when a process creates thermal energy as a by-product that must be disposed of using cooling water from rivers or other bodies of water, through cooling towers or otherwise exhausted to the atmosphere. Most often this heat is produced by industrial processes or electricity…
Transit-oriented development (TOD) – typically defined as compact, mixed-use development within walking distance of a transit station – has emerged in recent years as a key strategy for fostering quality neighborhoods and reducing auto dependence. Despite the emphasis on TOD in many policy discussions, however, only limited information is available to help communities understand the likely development impacts of new transit investments. This report builds on a 2010 study by the Center for Transit-Oriented Development (CTOD), Rails to Real Estate: Development Patterns along Three Recently Constructed Rail Lines, to examine the opportunities and challenges involved in promoting TOD in different types of neighborhoods, and the strategies that may be appropriate to catalyze TOD depending on the neighborhood context. By examining development patterns and public investment strategies through the lens of “development context” or “neighborhood type,” this report…
This paper introduces ABODE, an agent-based model for Origin-Destination (OD) demand estimation, that can serve as a work trip distribution model. The model takes residential locations of workers and the locations of employers as exogenous and deals specifically with the interactions between firms and workers in creating a job-worker match and the commute outcomes. It is meant to illustrate that by explicitly modeling the search and hiring process, origins and destinations (ODs) can be linked at a disaggregate level that is reasonably true to the actual process. The model is tested on a toy-city as well as using data from the Twin Cities area. The toy-city model illustrates that the model predicts reasonable commute outcomes, with agents selecting the closest work place when wage and skill differentiation is absent in the labor market. The introduction of wage dispersion and skill differentiation increases the average home to work distances considerably. Using data from Twin…
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…
Why This Book?
Transit-oriented development can be used as a tool to support family-friendly communities and high-quality education. Transit-oriented development (TOD) is a mix of housing, retail and/or commercial development, and amenities in a walkable neighborhood with high-quality public transportation. Interest in TOD has grown across the country to achieve multiple goals, including:
Reduced automobile trips and greenhouse gas emissions;
Increased transit ridership and transit agency revenues;
The potential for increased and/or sustained property values near transit;
Improved access to jobs for households of all incomes;
Reduced infrastructure costs, compared to what is required to support sprawling growth;
Reduced transportation costs for residents;
Improved public health due to increased walking and biking;
Creation of a sense of community and place.
Recent TOD projects have often catered more to young professionals, empty nesters or other households without children, as these…
Historically, many regional transit systems were designed in a “hub and spoke” pattern, focusing on moving residents from relatively low-density residential communities to a single high-density employment center – typically the region’s historic central business district (CBD). In general, these systems have worked well for those workers with jobs in central cities. The effectiveness of this kind of system hinges directly on the density of the jobs co-located in close proximity to each other and within a short distance of transit stations.
Although CBDs and downtowns remain important regional employment locations, American cities have experienced significant decentralization over the last 60 years, as job centers have shifted from urban downtowns to suburban communities. This “employment sprawl” has helped to generate much of the traffic congestion experienced across regions today, contributing to over 100 billion dollars in lost time and fuel every…
The worsening financial state of the federal, state, and local governments is a frequent subject in media and political circles. As discretionary expenditures, transportation programs likely face significant changes if they are to cope with spending cuts across all levels of government. These changes would require not only reprioritizing the use of scarce funds, cutting ineffective programs, and improving the performance of remaining programs, but also encouraging states and local partners to find other sources of funding for transportation.
Measuring accessibility is an essential tool in such a makeover because it reveals the benefits of a transportation system. Accessibility is the ease of reaching valued destinations, such as jobs, shops, schools, entertainment, and recreation. As such, accessibility creates value. Capturing some of this value would allow state and local governments to invest in the operations, maintenance, and in some cases expansion of their…
In the aftermath of the Great Recession, America needs to move toward a more productive next economy that will be increasingly export-oriented, lower-carbon, and innovation-driven—as well as opportunity rich. At the same time, leading U.S. metropolitan areas—which drive the national economy—are mounting increasingly strategic, locally developed, and sophisticated initiatives to move in that direction themselves. And so the nation needs to take a new approach to economic development. Federal, state, and philanthropic actors all need to approach metros not as problems requiring programmatic handouts but as compelling investment opportunities for driving national prosperity. In keeping with that, the “metropolitan business planning” concept described in this brief proposes one approach for reorienting such interactions.
Metropolitan business planning adapts the discipline of private-sector business planning to the task of revitalizing regional development. …
This report documents real estate development patterns along three recently constructed light rail transit lines in the United States. This topic is important for local planning practitioners, transit agencies, community members and other stakeholders in their efforts to plan for new transit investments and foster transit-oriented development (TOD). Setting realistic expectations about the scale, timing and location of private investment along new transit lines is especially critical where new development is expected to help pay for needed transit improvements, neighborhood amenities, or other community benefits.
The three transit lines examined in this report are the Hiawatha Line in the Minneapolis-St. Paul region, the Southeast Corridor in the Denver region, and the Blue Line in the Charlotte region. The report examines residential and commercial development that occurred within a half-mile of stations along the three lines. Development is evaluated in the…