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Ten Principles for Successful Development Around Transit

In an enlightening review of successful TODs across the country, the Urban Land Institute (ULI) released a report in 2003 to help municipal officials and planners successfully implement development around transit centers. The report, authored by Robert Dunphy, Deborah Myerson and Michael Pawlukiewicz, identified the following 10 principles that should guide transit-oriented development strategies:

Offices near transit, San Diego, CA

  • Make It Better with a Vision
  • Apply the Power of Partnerships
  • Think Development When Thinking about Transit
  • Get the Parking Right
  • Build a Place, Not a Project
  • Make Retail Development Market Driven, Not Transit Driven
  • Mix Uses, but Not Necessarily in the Same Place
  • Make Buses a Great Idea
  • Encourage Every Price Point to Live around Transit
  • Engage Corporate Attention

This final principle describes a major, but often neglected, factor in determining the success of transit-oriented development projects. According to the ULI report, the corporate sector can play an especially influential role in stimulating development around transit stations. As corporations commit to the principles of transit-oriented development, firms will begin to base location choices on a different set of priorities as detailed below:

Workplace Culture: What’s Out and What’s In

OUT IN
Suburban / exurban campus location Locations close to transit
Corporate campuses Mixed-use developments
Kiss and ride Live, work, play and ride
Location near the chief executive’s
home
Location convenient for workers
Free parking Free transit passes
Driving to lunch Walking to lunch
Errands on the way home Errands at lunchtime
Commuting car Fuel-efficient station car
Quality of the workplace Quality of life

Source: Dunphy, R., D. Myerson and M. Pawlukiewicz. 2003. Ten Principles for Successful Development around Transit. Washington, D.C.: ULI-the Urban Land Institute (ULI).

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