Spring 2022

Transit Oriented Development (TOD) integrates transit and land use through creation of an urban form featured with moderate to high densities, mixed land uses, and pedestrian/cyclist friendly environmental design around transit stations. TOD has gained worldwide popularity because of the potential it offers to tackle with many problems related to car-oriented sprawl. Locally, the City of Austin adopted its TOD ordinance in May 19, 2005, years before the region’s first rail transit line, the Capital MetroRail (Red Line) began its passenger services in March 20, 2010. Along the 32-mile Red Line corridor, four TOD plans have been completed and adopted for the station areas of Lamar/Justin Lane, MLK Jr. Blvd, Plaza Saltillo, and Leander. On November 3, 2020, Austin voters approved funding of $7.1 billion for initial investments in Project Connect, a comprehensive transit plan for the Austin area. The plan includes multiple MetroRail lines and bus rapid transit lines. These new transit services will offer new TOD opportunities. Why is TOD being advocated so widely? What are the essential elements of TOD? How should TOD be planned, designed, and evaluated? What factors affect the successful implementation of TOD plans? Where are those best-practice TODs in the nation and around the world? This course is designed to answer the above questions.
The learning objectives are:

  1. Clarify TOD definition, typology, and other conceptual issues;
  2. Understand and analyze TOD’s potential benefits in terms of transit ridership, property value gains, congestion relief, pollution reduction, community place making, and other aspects of transportation and urban policy;
  3. Practice TOD design as it relates to land use functions, pedestrian access, parking, and neighborhood design in the station area;
  4. Identify barriers and strategies to implement TOD (institutional, financial, regulatory, etc.); and
  5. Promote the best practice of TOD in the U.S. and abroad.