Transit Oriented Development
A residential or commercial area designed to maximize access to public transport, and often incorporates features to encourage transit ridership. A TOD neighborhood typically has a center with a train station, metro station, tram stop, or bus station, surrounded by relatively high-density development with progressively lower-density development spreading outwards from the center.
Successful transit-oriented development requires a coordinated response to three sets of issues. There must be an appropriate program and market strategy. The physical design must support a vital public realm, and finally the technical requirements of the transit system as well as the governing authorities must be met. These issues, which effect both transit ridership and urban form are not mutually exclusive, rather they are mutually supportive. We have found that in a collaborative and iterative process with transit authority officials, both vitally important policy objectives can be achieved.
Of critical importance however, is the recognition that to make truly transit friendly suburban station areas, these locales must be thought of as town centers with the full complement of activity implied by that term. The “park n-ride” and “kiss n-ride” mentality of the 1960’s to the 1990’s must be augmented by “live n-ride,” work n-ride,” and play n-ride” strategies in which parking and drop-off are important constituents within a larger ensemble of ridership and placemaking possibilities.