Transit-oriented development (TOD) integrates public transit with land use and development to promote walkable, and vibrant neighborhoods that reduce reliance on private vehicles and enhance the use of public transportation. TOD locates residential, commercial, and community uses in close proximity to each other and to transit stations or hubs, making it more convenient and attractive for people to walk, bike, or use public transportation instead of relying on cars. There are several types of TOD that serve a variety purposes:
- Destination TOD: These projects create vibrant urban spaces that attract residents and visitors as local or regional destinations. They typically feature mixed-use retail centers, entertainment venues, cultural attractions, or recreational facilities. By drawing outside visitors, these TODs encourage the use of public transit to reach the destination.
- Transit-Hub TOD: This type of TOD focuses on the functionality and operations of transit stations or hubs where multiple transportation lines converge, such as train or bus stations. Commercial and public spaces in these TODs cater to the needs of transit users, providing convenient services and amenities. They include retail stores, restaurants, cafes, convenience stores, and services that serve commuters and pedestrians. Well-executed developments create a bustling and pedestrian-friendly environment around transit hubs, incentivizing public transit use by facilitating access to daily amenities.
- Neighborhood Services TOD: Neighborhood Services TODs provide essential amenities and services within walking distance of residential areas or integrated communities. Community and retail spaces cater to the daily needs of residents, enabling them to access goods and services without relying on private vehicles. They typically include grocery stores, pharmacies, small-scale retail shops, restaurants, healthcare facilities, and other community-oriented services.
- Employment-Oriented TOD: This type of TOD focuses on creating spaces that meet the needs of the neighborhood’s workforce. It includes office buildings, co-working spaces, business centers, and support services such as restaurants, cafes, and convenience stores. The goal is to provide amenities and services that support nearby workers and encourage public transit commuting. By locating job opportunities near transit hubs or along transit lines, this type of TOD aims to reduce traffic congestion and the need for commuter parking.
- Mixed-Use TOD: Mixed-use TOD combines various land uses, including commercial, retail, and residential, often incorporating elements of destination-oriented, transit-hub oriented, and/or neighborhood services-oriented TOD. These developments create vibrant and diverse environments where people can live, work, shop, and enjoy recreational activities within a walkable, pedestrian-oriented area. They include a range of retail spaces, from small local shops to larger anchor stores or entertainment venues, fostering a sense of community by offering services and amenities within walking distance.
- Innovation-Oriented TOD: Innovation-oriented TODs create environments conducive to research, development, and innovation, especially around universities. These developments feature commercial and retail spaces tailored to technology-based industries, research institutions, startups, and incubators. The goal is to foster a collaborative ecosystem that supports knowledge-based industries and attracts a talented workforce. Innovation-oriented TOD can include office spaces, co-working areas, research facilities, educational institutions, and retail spaces tailored to students, entrepreneurs, researchers, and office workers.
- Cultural-Oriented TOD: Cultural-oriented TOD emphasizes arts, culture, and creativity in the neighborhood. These projects often include commercial spaces that support cultural institutions, art galleries, performance venues, and creative industries. Public investment drives the creation of a vibrant cultural scene that attracts residents, visitors, and artists, enhancing the cultural richness of the community. Cultural-oriented TOD can also include retail spaces offering unique products related to art, crafts, or cultural experiences.
In practice, TODs often incorporate elements from multiple development types to create a diverse and vibrant environment that supports public transit use, enhances the quality of life, and reduces dependence on private vehicles. While a specific TOD project may include multiple elements, it is essential to prioritize the primary goals of TOD to create a cohesive and successful project theme that aligns with community goals and achieves a reliable financial return.
Innovate P3 collaborates with public agencies and design teams to deliver TOD projects more effectively and with less risk compared to traditional public-private partnership (P3) development approaches.