Cities and regions from coast to coast are pursuing transit-oriented development (TOD) strategies as a way to achieve many goals, including increased economic competitiveness through improved quality of life, reduced congestion, lower transportation costs for households, improved air quality, reduced costs for providing city services, and growth management. The concept of TOD is becoming more popular as the number of regions planning light rail, bus rapid transit, and other fixed-guideway transit investments expands.
The federal government, through various transportation acts, such as the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA), the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21), and, more recently, the Safe, Affordable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act—A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), has reinforced the need for integration of land use and transportation and the provision of public transit. Other federal programs, such as the Livable Communities Program and the New Starts Program, have provided additional impetus to public transit. At the state and regional level, the past three decades have seen increased provision of public transit. However, the public transit systems typically require significant operating and capital subsidies—75 percent of transit funding is provided by local and state governments.1 With all levels of government under significant fiscal stress, new transit funding mechanisms are welcome. Value capture (VC) is once…
Over the next 25 years, the San Francisco Bay Area is projected to grow by an estimated 22 percent—adding around 1.6 million new residents. Land use and development professionals are engaged in a dialogue around how the region can accommodate this growth in a way that maintains the extraordinary quality-of-life that attracts people to live and work in the region. With an eye toward demographic shifts like an aging population and an increasing number of smaller and non-family households, planners and developers recognize the growing demand for homes and jobs in walkable, urban environments.
High land and housing costs in the core areas of the region, however, create continued development pressure in the outskirts of the region, leading to commute-times and household transportation costs that are among the highest in the nation. The high cost of housing and transportation is particularly felt by the region’s moderate- and lower-income families, who in some cities spend as…
Local and state governments use various tools to encourage development in economically challenged areas. Tax-increment financing (TIF) has been a leading tool used for this purpose. TIF allows cities and towns to borrow against an area’s future tax revenues in order to invest in immediate projects or encourage present development. When used properly and sparingly, TIF can promote enduring growth and stronger communities. When used improperly, however, TIF can waste taxpayer resources or channel money to politically favored special interests.
To protect the public interst, governments should impose strong safeguards that ensure that TIF projectsare implemented through a transparent, accountable process with clear and compelling goals.
Governments must use care in choosing when to use tax-increment financing. The public can benefit from subsidies that bring lasting economic development to declining or stagnant areas. However, tax-increment financing can be wasted on…
Reconnecting America today released four training modules created for and funded by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) that illustrate various principles of creating and maintaining sustainable communities. The modules created by Reconnecting America’s LINK (Leadership¸ Innovation, Networks, Knowledge) Team were presented at three APTA conferences with the goal of educating practitioners, public transit agencies, elected officials and other decision-makers.
The City and County of Honolulu (City) has initiated preparation of the Kalihi Neighborhood Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Plan for three stations along the planned new elevated transit line in Honolulu - Middle Street, Kalihi, and Kapalama. The purpose of the overall assignment is to promote transit oriented land uses and improve neighborhood quality and character of the areas around the transit stations.
The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco held conference entitlted Capital Solutions for Equitable Transit-Oriented Development. The purpose of this conference was to examine the practical realities of financing equitable transit-oriented development (TOD) projects and presenting best practices for equitable TOD financing to the Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) sector.
This report examines specific, actionable non-statutory changes that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development—and partner agencies—could adopt to better facilitate and encourage the development and preservation of affordable and workforce housing in location-efficient areas. These are areas near transit, employment centers, or other essential services that allow families to reduce the number and extent of necessary car trips. Transit as defined in this report encompasses reliable bus, bus rapid transit, street car, light and heavy rail commuter service and subway. Transit-oriented development (TOD) refers to new residential, commercial, and mixed-use development and the preservation, renovation, or rehabilitation of real estate within walking distance of these modes of transportation.
We gathered the challenges and policy options included in this report in the summer of 2010 from practitioners and thought leaders from around the country, including…