"[P]lanners have invested decades of considerable work in the pursuit of transit-oriented development (TOD), under the presumption that clustering new housing, offices, and retail will result in rising transit use and, in turn, reduce pollution, cut down on congestion, and improve quality of life," writes Yonah Freemark. Yet, he continues, "what has been missing has been a tool that offers empirical insight into the benefits of specific development interventions in terms of their effect on growing transit use."
"To fill the gap, a new tool for measuring TOD quality has recently been introduced by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP). It holds potential value in terms of defining the appropriate measures for creating effective TOD, but it needs further development to be useful in aiding the creation of best-practice development designs."
Freemark tests the tool's effectiveness by applying it to three large TOD projects; and offers some insights into its potential benefits and current failings.