-Emphasizing a walkable design with pedestrians at the center of efforts
-Well-connected streets with mixed land use patterns (including office, residential, and retail spaces)
-Easily accessible and more compact public transit stations
-Reduced parking space availability in certain areas to discourage vehicle use
-Permitting only certain vehicle types (ex: low-emitting vehicles) to use certain roads
How it Helps
TOD has the potential to improve housing equity by providing more housing options and reduce transportation costs by eliminating the need to own a personal vehicle. Therefore, these individuals will have a greater share of their household income designated toward other necessary expenses.
The 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), or the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, includes a $68.8 million Pilot Program for Transit Oriented Development. Eligible state or local governmental authorities can apply for this grant program to improve transit access for pedestrians and bicyclists, enable more mixed-use development, and identify other infrastructure needs.
One potential downside of TOD is that it can lead to gentrification in historically lower-income urban areas by raising property values.8 This can drive residents out of these neighborhoods and farther away from the benefits of TOD such as access to transit options and safe, walkable infrastructure. Therefore, these concerns should be kept in mind when implementing TOD to ensure that these communities are invested in and revitalized.
1) Arlington County, Virginia Investments in TOD
The Rosslyn-Ballston corridor in Arlington County, Virginia is well-known for its investments in transit-oriented development, with nearly 40% of trips in this area made by public transit, walking, or biking.
2) Chicago, Illinois TOD Policy
Chicago implemented a TOD policy in 2013 to increase transit use and more walkable communities in order to reduce traffic congestion and protect public health. Chicago has evolved its TOD policy to extend public transit in previously excluded neighborhoods.
3) Houston, Texas Proposed TOD Ordinance
The City of Houston’s Planning and Development Department presented a ‘Proposed Walkable Places and Transit-Oriented Development Ordinances’ with the goals of integrating pedestrians with the environment, having a mix of land uses, implementing a multi-modal street design, among others.
4) Superblocks in Barcelona
The city of Barcelona developed a ‘Superblock’ urban design concept, and within each superblock contains green streets that are closed to most vehicular traffic. Therefore, walking and biking are the primary forms of transport, and the areas have experienced improved air quality, less noise pollution, and greater rates of physical activity. Although there was some pushback from the community over implementing these designs, the city council has focused on fostering equality, and the community has since welcomed the positive changes that superblocks have brought.