Getting it Done: A Workshop Series on Transit Oriented Districts and Walkable Communities
There’s renewed interest and motivation in the Twin Cities around creating transit-oriented development (TOD) that’s connected to a world-class transit system. As our region competes for federal and state resources to plan and implement an expanded transit system, we do so with a national reputation for regional governance and community-based partnerships. This was evident in the high level of the participation in the recent, four-part workshop series on how to strengthen our capacity to achieve TOD–the challenges and opportunities.
Representatives attended from 16 cities, 5 counties, the Metro Council, state and federal agencies, 19 developers, and 58 advocacy groups and community-based organizations, providing a rich diversity of perspective and expertise. More than 215 people participated, with 35% attending 3– 4 sessions on topics ranging from:
- Infrastructure and the Public Realm,
- Connecting Land Use and Transportation – Overcoming Regulatory Obstacles
- Equitable Development and Community Benefits, and
- Financing of Transit Oriented Development – Building Public /Private Partnerships.
Learning from national experts and reflecting on our local regional context, participants shared their knowledge about what was needed and how to get there. The information shared was a treasure trove of policies, practices and examples of what can be done. By learning from one another, our regional work around TOD gets stronger.
So what comes of it all?
- Findings and recommendations from the series will be shared with city councils, planning commissions, legislative committees, and other key partners.
- A web site that contains all of the presentations, links, and information gathered at the Getting it Done TOD series is available here.
- A shared definition of transit-oriented development (see side bar).
- A collection of local TOD case studies that provide information on what it took to get there (will be available as a presentation and as a PDF).
A transit-oriented development (TOD) is a mixed-use area designed to maximize access to public transport, and often incorporates features to encourage transit ridership. Specifically TOD land use is:
(1) moderate to higher density development;
(2) a mixture of residential, employment, shopping, and civic uses and types;
(3) in walkable proximity to a major transit station; and
(4) oriented principally to transit, pedestrian and bicycle travel from the surrounding area, without excluding automobiles.