When Transit-Oriented Development Is Missing the ‘Transit’

Cities, residents, and developers have a renewed interest in building more housing near transit stations—when they actually provide safe, reliable transit.

Read Time: 2 minutes

September 21, 2022, 7:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


An article by Yvonne Abraham in the Boston Globe questions whether the beleaguered Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) can fix the region’s transit system before developers and residents lose interest in transit-oriented development (TOD), which ostensibly puts people closer to reliable transportation, jobs, and urban amenities, even as developers around the country embrace TOD (often nudged by government incentives to do so).

“In the 1920s, 91 percent of apartment and condo development in Greater Boston took place within a 10-minute walk of a subway, streetcar, or commuter rail stop, according to data from real estate and transportation consulting firm Respoke LLC.” After falling to 16 percent at the height of autocentric development, today, close to 60 percent of multifamily development in the Boston area is now within a 10-minute walk of transit. But do the MBTA’s consistent service disruptions and shutdowns threaten to devalue transit-oriented development?

Not likely, the article concludes. Abraham points out that much of Boston’s growing economy relies on life sciences and other industries dependent on in-person work. Housing and transit advocates are hopeful that the long-delayed repairs will make the T more effective and safe, and developers continue to invest in properties near transit stations. “It may be annoying today, but the Orange Line shutdown might make Boston a better place to live after decades of neglected repair.” But if that doesn't happen quickly, more residents will be forced back into personal vehicles.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022 in Boston Globe

Hyperloop

The Hyperloop’s Prospects Dim

The media is coming around to the idea that the hyperloop is not a near-term solution for the country’s transportation woes. It’s too little, too obvious, too late.

September 27, 2022 - James Brasuell

Suburban Homes

Where Housing Costs Are Falling Fastest

Although median home prices remain close to record highs in many cities, some of the country’s priciest metro areas are seeing home prices plummet.

September 23, 2022 - Bloomberg

Miami and Key Biscayne

The Great American Exodus: A Conservative's Perspective

During his keynote speech on September 11 at the National Conservatism Conference in Miami, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis describes the demographic shifts in America since he became governor in 2019 in what he calls the 'Great American Exodus.'

September 27, 2022 - The Wall Street Journal

Man with leather messenger bag riding CitiBike bike on New York street

The Resilience of Bikeshare

The inherent simplicity of bikes makes shared mobility systems a crucial transportation option during natural disasters.

36 minutes ago - Bloomberg CityLab

A map of the northwest corner of Oregon, focusing on the city of Hillsboro.

Cities Plan to Sue Over Oregon’s Parking Reforms

Nine of the 52 cities impacted by the state of Oregon’s parking requirements changes, approved earlier this year, plan to sue to stop the reforms.

1 hour ago - The Oregonian

Quarry House nestled among trees in Park City, Utah

Winners of the 2022 American Society of Landscape Architects

The Society’s annual awards highlight projects focused on reconnecting communities to the landscape and creating healthy community spaces.

2 hours ago - American Society Of Landscape Architects

New Case Study Posted on HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

The World’s Leading Event for Cities

Smart City Expo World Congress

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.