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…
The infrastructure needs of the Orange Line transit system are well-documented. But who lives and works in the corridor, and how is the current mix of land uses projected to change? This report provides a baseline understanding of the demographic, economic, transportation, and land use characteristics of the corridor; a schedule of planned and projected corridor development activity over two time horizons: 8 years and 8-15 years; highlights quality TOD projects already completed or underway in the corridor; and recommends five action items to ensure that the corridor receives the continued attention and investment that it deserves as one of the region’s most heavily used and diverse transit corridors.
What are the characteristics of the corridor in the context of the region?
One quarter of the region’s households live near the Orange Line. Approximately 709,900 residents reside within a half mile of an Orange Line station, representing 23 percent of the…
Transit oriented development has been a large part of Boston’s growth since the earliest horse-drawn railways. In fact, we live in a uniquely transit-oriented region, where 25% of housing units and 37% of employment is within a half-mile of a rapid transit or commuter rail station. Now Metro Boston is experiencing a new wave of growth near transit, with hundreds of residential and commercial developments underway and more on the horizon. Cities and towns are creating station area plans and updated zoning to unlock development potential; the MBTA is accepting proposals for major developments on prime T-owned parcels; state agencies are using transit proximity as a criteria for prioritizing infrastructure or housing resources; and the development community is finding a strong market for residential and commercial space near the T.
There are good reasons for this burgeoning interest in Transit Oriented Development (TOD.) New growth near transit stations can help…
Suburban multifamily housing is an often overlooked housing typology that is the fastest growing housing market in the country and holds strong potential for achieving smart growth goals in suburbia. This housing type is ubiquitous throughout all regions in the nation, is a widespread example of density in suburbia, and is typically located next to commercial uses. The proximity between suburban multifamily housing and commercial uses creates the potential for nodes of concentrated activity, mixed use, and the possibility of substantial non-auto transport in suburbia. While this potential exists, the design of this housing type often follows an enclaved pattern of development, negating any synergy, minimizing the possibility of non-auto transport, and denying any potential for sustainable development.
Through case studies of suburban multifamily development in Oregon, Arizona, Florida, and Massachusetts, this report looks at the specific ways in which regulation,…
A livable community has affordable and appropriate housing, supportive features and services, and adequate mobility options for people, regardless of age or ability. As communities address the general shortage of affordable housing, preserving affordable housing in transit-oriented developments (TODs) is one of the challenges that communities can address to increase their livability.
TODs are compact, walkable, mixed-use communities that are developed around high-quality public transportation. Residents often prize these places for the advantages created by the proximity to transportation and other amenities. One consequence of this desirability is that it can increase land and property values, exacerbating housing affordability challenges.
As policymakers try to extend the benefits of TODs to affordable housing locations, they must ensure that those benefits are available to people of low and moderate incomes and to those with different mobility…
These case studies, funded through the support of the Surdna Foundation, present transit-oriented development (TOD) examples from diverse, low-income neighborhoods around transit, all built within the last 10 years. The goal of this survey is to provide examples that can help spur development around Philadelphia’s underutilized transit resources in similar types of neighborhoods. To that end, the examples in these case studies all overcame barriers to implementation using innovative, but replicable approaches. These examples are intended to allow the Philadelphia Neighborhood Development Collaborative and others to advocate for more involvement by the public sector, test some of the same mechanisms for financing and land assembly, and provide examples of successful TOD to developers and community members.
The FTA and HUD funded this report to examine the effectiveness of regional strategies to ensure there is mixed-income housing near transit. Advancing the state of the practice of linking mixed-income housing to transit investments requires greater creativity and commitment by all levels of government. This report examines five case study regions: Boston, Charlotte, Denver, Minneapolis, and Portland, Oregon. Given the growing demand for housing near transit and limited number of developable sites, the report finds that cities and regions need to be proactive in order to accommodate income diversity in TOD.
Transit oriented development is a dynamic approach to building pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use communities around transit stations and connecting neighborhoods to their regions. The opportunities of transit oriented development can benefit everyone, if planned with that intention. With a concerted effort, these developments can secure affordable housing for all income ranges, ensure improved environmental quality, and link people and their neighborhoods to economic growth throughout the region. Equitable transit oriented development can ensure that the Commonwealth maintains its status as one of the world's premiere destinations to live, work, and play. Conversely, continuing development that provides primarily high-cost housing and long commutes threatens that status.
Action for Regional Equity (Action!), a coalition of the state's leading housing, transportation, and environmental advocates, has developed six steps to guide transit oriented development in the…