One of the things I love about our work at Strategic Economics is that we’re exposed to the range of approaches that local jurisdictions and regional agencies across the country are taking to encourage transit-oriented development in their communities. In some cases, such as our series of case studies for the Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) last year, we get to profile a few of the most innovative programs for our clients. Because the strategies and challenges illustrated in these case studies are relevant to a broad audience, I thought I’d use this blog post as an opportunity to share the report with Strategic Economics’ partners and friends.
The six case studies in the report describe the structure, funding and implementation of regional programs aimed at encouraging TOD. While the case studies focus on regional organizations, the roles of other actors—local jurisdictions, community groups and developers—are highlighted throughout. Four of the programs are led by Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs), one is a joint development program led by a transit agency and one is a regional collaborative of community-based nonprofit and philanthropic organizations. Key themes that emerged across the case studies include the need to advance TOD in a diversity of place types, trade-offs between planning and capital funding, and the importance of ongoing evaluation of program goals.
The programs profiled are:
- Atlanta Regional Commission’s Livable Centers Initiative
- Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s OneBayArea Grant Program (formerly Transportation for Livable Communities)
- Twin Cities Metropolitan Council’s Livable Communities Grants
- Portland Metro’s TOD Program
- LA Metro’s Joint Development Program
- Great Communities Collaborative (San Francisco Bay Area)
The case studies were conducted as part of PSRC’s Growing Transit Communities (GTC) program, funded by a Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development . Over the next 20 years, the Puget Sound region will be investing $15 billion in light rail and other forms of public transit, creating a significant opportunities for TOD in new and existing station areas and other transit hubs. Other work conducted by Strategic Economics for GTC included a TOD market analysis, TOD housing and commercial demand estimates, and recommendations for promoting equitable development around transit.
Link to report on Incentivizing TOD: Case Studies of Regional Programs.