The New Transit Town: Best Practices in Transit-Oriented Development, by Hank Dittmar and Gloria Ohland
Free market enthusiasts argue that the reason developers build single family homes in the ever more distant suburbs is because that's what homebuyers want. Proponents of the automobile contend we shouldn't waste money on transit when so few people use it. But there are major shifts in demographics, consumer preferences and employer location strategies underway that are beginning to transform the landscape. Together with the intractable problem of traffic congestion, these trends are creating a potentially substantial market for walkable, dense, mixed-use development that supports increased transit use, walking and biking. Not only does TOD hold the promise of creating stable and revitalized neighborhoods that reduce environmental impacts, it can also lower transportation costs by as much as 20 percent for families, thereby making housing more affordable.
The New Transit Town is an edited volume of chapters written by transportation, planning and finance experts that explores key challenges to TOD, documents lessons learned from the first generation of projects, and examines a broad spectrum of projects to set standards for the next generation. Bruce Katz of the Brookings Institution Center on Urban and Metropolitan Policy calls it "a thoughtful primer on how to design, zone, finance, build and market the new transit town." Peter Calthorpe says "this book begins to answer challenges with more than assertions . . . This book is an important resource for this critical time." There are chapters on demographics and investment trends, planning and regulations, traffic and parking, finance, a TOD typology, and case studies of Arlington County, Virginia, Dallas, Atlanta, and San Jose and San Diego, California. It is written for all the players in the development process -- planners, developers, transit agencies, lenders, community groups and advocates and for college students.
Hank Dittmar is president and CEO of Reconnecting America, and Gloria Ohland is senior editor. Reconnecting America is a national non-profit organization that seeks to better integrate transportation systems and the communities they serve in order to generate lasting public and private returns, improve economic efficiency, and give consumers greater choice. Reconnecting America has just launched its new Center for Transit-Oriented Development.
For a list of book-signings visit www.reconnectingamerica.org
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Posted January 23, 2004
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University of New Mexico - School of Architecture & Planning
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