Transit-oriented development is in

I’ve mentioned transit-oriented development (TOD) a few times, and felt it deserved its own entry. The term was popularized by the renowned town-planning firm, Calthorpe Associates, and now represented by an organization, the Center for Transit-Oriented Development. It’s also makes for one heck of a business plan for an investor.

Here’s a cooltown point-of-view of Ten Common Sense Rules for TOD by Bruce Liedstrand of Liedstrand Associate, another highly respected TOD planning firm:

1. Urban Form. TODs are urban in form since a lot of density is needed to make it work.
2. Urban Uses. The retail and office uses should be tailored to transit riders and TOD residents. Not a problem with a beta community.
3. Urban Intensity. TODs need places that attract people there by day and night to warrant enough people traffic to support the transit.
4. Mixed-Use. Transit riders prefer the option of doing everything else by foot as well, so that means having living, working, playing and shopping on site.
5. Retail Location. Retail is high maintenance – it needs to accommodate people driving in as well, unless you’re Manhattan.
6. Reverse the normal parking rules. Use maximum rather than minimum parking ratios, as too much parking undermines rule #1.
7. Walkability. TOD riders are pedestrians, so TODs should be pedestrian-oriented.
8. Transit Connectivity. The transit station should lead to where you really want to go. Kinda obvious though.
9. Neighborhood Connectivity. In relation to rule #1 and #7, surrounding neighborhoods should all have pedestrian-oriented access to the station.
10. Value Capture. Added tax revenue from a greater number of property tax payers (thanks to rule #1 again) should be used to improve the transit system.