Transit Oriented Development (TOD)

One of the original and most popular definitions of the transit oriented concept came from Peter Calthorpe, an architect and proclaimed urbanist. According to Calthorpe TODs are: Mixed use communities within an average 2,000 foot walking distance of a transit stop and a core commercial area. TODs mix residential, retail, office, open space and public uses in a walkable environment, making it convenient for residents and employees to travel by transit, bicycle, foot or car. 

TOD integrates land use and transport planning and aims to develop planned sustainable urban growth centers, having walkable and livable communes with high density mixed land use. Citizens have access to open green and public spaces and at the same time transit facilities are efficiently utilized. 

TOD increases the accessibility of the transit stations by creating pedestrian and NonMotorised Transport (NMT) friendly infrastructure that benefits large number of people, thereby increasing the ridership of the transit facility and improving the economic and financial viability of the system. Since the transit corridor has mixed land use, where the transit stations are either origin (housing) or destination (work), the corridor experiencing peak hour traffic in both directions would optimize the use of the transit system. 

Transit oriented development is generally considered to be mixed use development near and oriented to, public transport facilities. Common TOD traits include urban compactness, pedestrian and cycle friendly environments, public and civic spaces near stations, and stations as community hubs. Typically, a multimodal TOD neighbourhood is built around a public transport station or stop (e.g. train station, metro station, tram stop, BRT stop (Bus Rapid Transit), bus stop or even ferry stop), surrounded by relatively high density development with progressively lower density development spreading outward from the centre. TODs are generally located within a radius of 400 to 800m from the transit stop. This is considered to be an acceptable walking distance at the start or end of a journey by transit. In some parts of the world, the TOD approach reaches further than single locations towards a network or corridor approach, which aims at realigning entire urban regions around rail transport and away from the car.

Transit oriented development

Different Types of Transit Oriented Development

1) Single node TOD

This type consists of a single neighbourhood based around heavy rail stations. Its location can be urban or suburban. The development takes place in a circular pattern cantered on a train station. The radius varies from 0.5 km in the US (to allow for pedestrian access) to 2-3 km in the Netherlands (where bicycle access is more common). 

Single node TOD

2) Multi node TOD

This type is similar to the single node TOD but it reaches further than a single location to create a regional network of nodes around heavy rail stations. The nodes can be circular or semicircular. The location of TOD nodes follows a typical “beads in a string” pattern. This type of TOD aims at realigning entire urban regions around rail transport and away from the car. 
Multi node TOD

3) Corridor TOD

This type is encountered in urban areas, and is based around light rail or Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) stops (which are more frequent than heavy rail stops). The development pattern is linear or ribbon like along the transit line because the nodes (e.g., around tram stops) are near each other. TOD corridors are applicable to existing urban areas or planned urban extensions. 

Corridor TOD

In addition, the transportation hub should be located in the heart of the neighbourhood, within a 400m or 10 minute walk from residents. This central location reflects the importance of transit in the community and in the region as a whole. TOD comprises a mix of commercial, residential and institutional developments built to support a transportation hub and to encourage non motor vehicle mobility options, such as biking and walking, within the community. A TOD area could encompass a radius of as little as 0.5 miles or as much as 1 mile from a transit station. 


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