Transit Oriented Development
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Transit Oriented Development

Making it Happen

John L. Renne, Carey Curtis, Carey Curtis

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eBook - ePub

Transit Oriented Development

Making it Happen

John L. Renne, Carey Curtis, Carey Curtis

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About This Book

Transit Oriented Development: Making it Happen brings together the different stakeholders and disciplines that are involved in the conception and implementation of TOD to provide a comprehensive overview of the realization of this concept in Australia, North America, Asia and Europe. The book identifies the challenges facing TOD and through a series of key international case studies demonstrates ways to overcome and avoid them. The insights gleaned from these encompass policy and regulation, urban design solutions, issues for local governance, the need to work with community and the commercial realities of TOD.

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The Context for Transit Oriented Development

Chapter 1

Luca Bertolini, Carey Curtis and John L. Renne

Focus of the book

In cities around the world, the integration of transport and land use development at railway stations is high on the agenda of state and local governments, be it under the banner of ‘Transit Oriented Development’ (TOD) as in North America and Australia (Cervero, 2004; Dittmar and Ohland, 2004; dunphy et al., 2005), or without, as in the numerous railway station area development projects across Europe, Asia and South America (Bertolini & spit, 1998; Cervero, 1998; van den Berg & Pol, 1998; Bruinsma et al. 2007). The basic philosophy appears the same in all contexts: concentrating urban development around stations in order to support transit use, and developing transit systems to connect existing and planned concentrations of development.
Many of the arguments for pursuing TOD are similar despite the different contexts. TOD facilitates increased accessibility because it provides alternatives to automobile-based land uses. It attempts, at the very least, to create a land use pattern that facilitates transportation choice, which is increasingly important, particularly given today’s complex lifestyles and business practices. Even more compelling are arguments stemming from concerns about the sustainability of current urban mobility trends. Planners and policy makers across the globe are advocating for transit and non-motorized transport based on resource efficiency. A third, less explored, but in our view no less important argument relates to the implications of transport and land use patterns for the quality of urban life. The claim here is that TOD allows, at least potentially, a degree of human interaction in the public domain – or ‘urbanity’ – that is difficult, if not impossible to achieve in much more socially segregated car-dependent urban environments (Bertolini, 2000).
Further discussion of these claims, while important, is, however, not the primary focus of this book. Neither is our focus to further articulate what TOD as a planning and development concept entails. We believe that a healthy literature exists which examines benefits of TOD (see, for instance the overview on, and there is certainly enough literature and examples to refer to as far as articulation of the concept is concerned (e.g. Calthorpe 1993, and the literature cited above). We, rather, want to deal with a third set of issues: the actual strategies that are needed for establishing TOD as a pattern of urban development, or ‘making TOD happen’. The focus of this book is thus not so much on why, or what, but rather on how. This is just as important, but much less debated, more poorly conceptualized, and comprises a more fragmented documentation of the issues. If the trend breaking impact that most TOD endeavours posit is to be achieved, this gap in knowledge urgently needs to be filled. This book is a contribution in this direction.
To expand upon this point, we argue that while an understanding of TOD as a physical concept is important, this alone will be insufficient unless we can show how TOD can be achieved across a range of situations. When attempting to achieving changes in practice these are often met with resistance; barriers are put in the way. There is an increasing interest in such barriers to change, not least because unless we understand these will we not find a way forward. Guy and Marvin (2000) argue that attention must also be “paid to social, economic and technical processes involved in shaping the feasibility of the concept” (p. 10) Both Banister (2005) and van Vliet (2000) remind us that there are many complexities and potentially conflicting interests which limit our ability to turn knowledge into action. Rietveld and stough (2005) note that it is the institutional barriers that are a major impediment to action. Thus, in order to ‘make TOD happen’ these barriers must be overcome. This requires a need to address the ‘rules’ (legislation, policy, practice, roles and responsibilities) and the relationships (between organizations, between players within institutions, and between organizations and the wider community). This book starts to unravel these complexities by looking at the way in which cities around the world have found a way forward. In order to set the scene, below we briefly summarize the transport and land use development challenge of TOD, and from there we move on to introduce in more detail the governance challenge central to this book.

A transport and land use development challenge

Basic characteristics of the transport and land use systems determine the competitive position of transit relative to the car, and thus set the backdrop to the spatial challenge of TOD. There are two basic correlations (Figure 1.1; Bertolini and Le Clercq, 2003). The first is between the speed of a transportation system and the scale at which an urban system works, for instance, expressed in terms of distances between places of residence and places of work. The second basic correlation is that between the capacity and flexibility of a transportation system and the degree of spatial concentration of activities, as for instance, identified by residential and employment densities. The car – a low capacity, high flexibility, and high-speed transportation means – is best fit to high spatial reach/low density urban environments. Transit matches the speed of the car, has higher capacity, but lower flexibility. Non-motorized modes have both high capacity and high flexibility but miss speed and spatial reach. In order to provide a competitive alternative to the car (i.e. both fast and flexible transport) the strengths of transit and slow modes need to be combined. This is one central idea of TOD. However, this transport combination can only be successful in the presence of short distance and/or high-density spatial patterns.
This brief conceptualization points at the fundamental aspects of the transport and land use challenge of TOD. In terms of land use change it is above all a matter of increasing densities and functional mix. In terms of transport change it is a matter of improving the competitiveness of alternatives to the car, by increasing their flexibility (most notably of transit) and their effective, door-to-door speed (especially of non-motorized modes). This need not be so much the case in absolute terms, but relative to the car, implying that also policies aimed at either reducing the flexibility of the car (such as carpool-only lanes or parking restrictions) or its speed (such as speed limits) are favorable. A more general, and crucial, conclusion is that coordination between transport and land use choices and conditions is essential for TOD to be successful. Figure 1.2 schematically visualizes the spatial implications of these conclusions. Figure 1.3 contrasts this strategy with a traditional compact city strategy.
Figure 1.1 Basic transport and land use correlations: TOD pursues a combination of transit and walking and cycling environments

A governance challenge

For all its potentials, the integration of transport and urban development at station areas advocated by TOD is, however, a very complex challenge. Station areas are both nodes and places (Bertolini and Spit, 1998): nodes of networks, and places in the city. Station areas are (or may become) important ‘nodes’ in both transport and non-transport (e.g. lifestyle, business, consumption) networks. On the other hand, station areas also identify a ‘place’, both permanently and temporarily inhabited area of the city, a dense and diverse conglomeration of uses and forms accumulated through time, which may or may not share in the life of the node. Accordingly, a multifarious array of both node- and place-based actors crowd the station precinct redevelopment processes. The state/local government and transportation agency are two examples. Depending on the local context, other actors may have a decisive role. These include different levels of the public administration, different transportation providers and most importantly, market actors: developers, investors, and end-users. Furthermore, and particularly at station locations set in existing areas, local residents and businesses will also have a significant stake. The objectives of this heterogeneous array of actors are often conflicting and at best uncoordinated. Even when there is enough agreement on the goals, existing organizational structures, regulations, professional practices, or public attitudes, may prove insurmountable barriers.
Figure 1.2 Schematic representation of an integrated strategy exploiting the synergy between transport and land use features
Figure 1.3 Left: Compact city policy: ‘build in or next to existing city’ Right: Transit oriented development: ‘build within walking/cycling distance of station’
The cases and analyses in the book have been solicited in order to shed light on these challenges and on possible ways of addressing them by:
• Providing a documentation and review of both established and emerging approaches to TOD implementation in four different continents;
• Organizing and structuring the cases in such a way that taken together they can amount to a state of the art, ready-to-use toolbox for TOD;
• Providing cases written from the ‘insiders’ perspective, in order to better penetrate the workings and the genesis of the approach;
• Focusing on the specific land use and transport choices and conditions that can support each other in establishing a self reinforcing process conducive to TOD;
• Addressing choices and conditions at different scales (single project, corridor, urban region, and state) and in different societal domains (public, private, non-profit);
• Understanding how such choices and conditions develop, what are barriers to their development and how these barriers can be overcome;
• More specifically understanding the role of different public, private and non-profit actors in developing such choices and conditions;
• Understanding how different actors can be enticed into TOD, and conversely how TOD can be made functional to different interests;
• Understanding how specific context characteristics (e.g. socio-economic, institutional, spatial) might affect the TOD development process and its outcome;
• Understanding how differences in context impact on the scope of generalization and transferability of all these lessons.

Structure of the book

The book is divided in 6 parts. The first part includes three chapters that set the context for the rest of the book.
In Chapter 2 Peter Newman shows how developing centres linked to transit is essential for achieving sustainable transport, and how implementing these TODs requires a strategic planning framework as a set of policy tools. Accordingly, he suggests that each city should review its planning and transport strategies to ensure it has: a strategic planning framework that asserts where centres need to occur, in what density and mix; a strategic planning framework that links its centres with a rapid transit base, almost invariably with electric rail; a statutory planning base that requires development to occur at the necessary density and design in each centre, preferably with a specialized development agency; and a public-private funding mechanism that enables the transit and the TOD to be built or refurbished through a linkage between the transit and the centres it will service.
In Chapter 3 Robert Cervero, cites evidence from experiences around the world to show that integration of public transport and land use yields tremendous sustainability benefits. As long as TOD confers both public and private benefits, there is no replacement for public-private partnerships in advancing TOD implementation. Each party brings unique talents, insights, and resources to the table. Of course, public interventions are a necessary ingredient of successful TODs. In this regard, global experiences demonstrate that leadership, combined with forward-looking urban planning and efficient pricing of scarce resources, provides the necessary complement to make TOD a viable and sustainable form of urbanism.
The second part of the book further articulates these general guidelines by discussing the implementation of TOD tools in a variety of urban and national contexts.
In Chapter 4 Carey Curtis examines the way in which the Western Australian state Government has embraced the need to plan for TOD at the regional/metropolitan level. She traces the state’s unique model of regional planning since the 1950s and the way in which the regional strategy has been re-focused around TOD, so replacing the model of dispersed development framed around private car travel. An account of the way in which the new regional planning strategy, Network City, is restructuring the city around TOD principles is given. The chapter discusses the way in which the strategy is being implemented and in so doing highlights the new challenges this presents for planning and transport practices.
In Chapter 5 Ennio Cascetta and Francesca pagliara describe the development of the Regional Metro System (RMS) of Campania, in Italy. The RMS is a far-reaching undertaking focussed on the integration of the existing railway lines into a single network by building some new interconnecting links, new stations and new modal interchange facilities, and by integrating transport development with urban development. The account focuses on the methodology and tools adopted to assess internal and external impacts of the RMS network and to plan and design it. The RMS’s impact forecast is analysed in terms of travel demand (i.e. modal split changes), level of service and externalities (i.e. impacts on non-users). The ongoing projects are presented as are the impressive results achieved between 2001 and 2006. The possible lessons for other contexts are highlighted.
In Chapter 6 Andrew Howe, Geoff Glass and Carey Curtis address the question of how to manage the impacts of creating a new TOD precinct within the existing urban fabric. Subi Centro, a new TOD precinct in Western Australia, is held up as the best ‘living’ example of TOD in Australia. The chapter considers the perceived issues and concerns in the pre-development phase, including impacts on existing retail and community reaction to major changes. An account of the design approach (land use, linkages, parking) and the implementation model (redevelopment authority) is given. The outcomes are measured post implementation, including retail impact, rental growth, travel behaviour, land values, planning codes and trading regulation. The reasons for success are examined.
In Chapter 7, Verena Balz and Joost schrijnen discuss the ‘stedenbaan’, a unique development taking shape in the southern section of the randstad urban agglomeration, in the Netherlands. The construction of a new high-speed rail link to paris released extra capacity on the existing railway network. The stedenbaan plan uses that capacity for a high-frequency regional train service. The number of stations will be increased and housing and offices will be built in and around the stations. The plan aims at radically breaking with current mobility and urban development trends. The idea is that the stedenbaan services will be so frequent that users will no longer need to worry about departure times. As a result of this, and by locating housing, work and facilities in higher densities at and around station locations, many more people are expected to use public transport as an alternative for the car. The chapter discusses how the stedenbaan concept emerged and is being further articulated, and how the challenges of implementation are being addressed.
In Chapter 8 Perry Pei-Ju Yang and Seng How Lew explore some of the success factors behind the exemplary TOD case of Singapore. Singapore is world famous for its efficient public transportation system and its integration of land use planning, urban design and housing development. The urban growth pattern of Singapore has been highly influenced by a unique mode of planning and development of new towns, which focuses on the public transit system. The chapter investigates Singapore’s urban planning policy, the spatial and mobility consequences of urban density distribution, urban design and new town planning driven by TOD princi...

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