What Is Transit-Oriented Development?

Association of Construction and Development
June 12, 2012 — 1,120 views  

Many planning officials have emphasized transit-oriented development (TOD) as part of their efforts to combat problems related to climate change and peak oil. With TOD, you could help others reduce their dependence on fossil fuels.

TOD defined

TOD gives you the opportunity to create livable, easy-to-navigate communities. It has become a popular trend in many cities and towns, as TOD allows local governments to lower their reliance on fossil fuels by utilizing high-quality train systems.

According to the Center for Transit-Oriented Development, this involves a communal effort to be successful. Local neighborhoods that focus on creating a combination of housing, offices, retailers and commercial developments around a stretch of area near public transportation could reap many benefits from TOD.

The solution could prove to be a cost-effective, eco-friendly option for communities. It may help reduce people's reliance on driving, which could lower the amount of traffic in an area. This reduces the amount of air pollution and greenhouse gases, and may also make it easier for local residents to bike or walk. Additionally, those who invest in bicycles, roller blades or alternative transportation may enjoy health benefits associated with an active lifestyle.

Selecting a bus or train over driving a car daily could provide substantial savings for people, and may help the environment by reducing your daily amount of fuel. You'll be able to get where you need to go in a timely fashion thanks to public transportation, which is often significantly less expensive than driving every day.

How to effectively use TOD

It might take significant time and effort to effectively promote TOD. Regional planning is the first step toward making the concept a reality.

With regional planning, a community can effectively control local development. Evaluating short- and long-term goals provides a great starting point, to determine what you'd like to accomplish and figure out the best courses of action to get there.

Next, review the technology available to help you achieve effective TOD. Communities may have only a limited amount of accessible space, and technology solutions could help maximize this area. This could help evaluate factors such as the necessity for environmental assessments and the amount of funding when implementing the plan.

A locally preferred alternative (LPA) is typically accepted by a city council or similar political body, and serves as a backup strategy to a TOD. Not every TOD will go according to plan, so having a second option in place could help prevent your initial efforts from being wasted.

Finally, begin implementing the final design and construction of your TOD. After completion, your neighborhoods can enjoy the advantages of being part of a cost-saving, energy-efficient community. 

Association of Construction and Development