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John Hennessy III,

Transit-Oriented Development Strategic Plan

Posted by Content Coordinator on Monday, April 18th, 2011


I. Introduction

The Portland region has a successful history at achieving transit-oriented development and compact growth. It continues to outperform many of its peer regions when it comes to connecting jobs to transit, promoting alternative modes of transportation beyond the car, and promoting successful new compact development.

But, there is room for improvement throughout the region as a whole. Many areas outside of central Portland have not been able to generate momentum for infill and higher-density development and the creation of more walkable, livable neighborhoods. New development near transit and amenity-rich walkable communities remain priced out of reach for many households. Thus, the combined cost of housing and transportation burdens many families, and particularly low-and moderate-income families. Vehicle miles of travel (VMT) and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from transportation continue to be key environmental challenges in the region. The Metro TOD Program fills a critical gap in addressing these challenges, but it will never be the only responsible entity promoting this type of regional transformation.

This Strategic Plan is designed to guide future investments by the Metro TOD Program, in order to ensure the program maximizes the opportunities for catalyzing transit-oriented development throughout the region and effectively leverages additional resources to comprehensively advance TOD in all station areas and frequent bus corridors.

This plan contains the following components:
•  An evaluation of regional existing conditions influencing the ability of TOD as a strategy to achieve Metro’s 2040 Growth Concept goals.
•  A typology framework that classifies station areas and corridors based on their “TOD readiness.”
•  Guidelines for phasing of TOD Program activities based on this typology.
•  Discussion of potential future activities for the program, and funding strategies to support them.

About the TOD Program

Metro’s Transit-Oriented Development Program serves a unique and critical implementation-based role that is unmatched in other regions around the country. The TOD Program is designed to provide incentives, primarily in the form of modest funding grants, to private developers to build higher-density, mixed-use projects located near transit. The program is structured to encourage projects that “push the envelope” in terms of density or building type, acknowledging
that these projects are often more expensive to build or carry additional risk. The Program’s strategies for maximizing TOD potential include:
•  Contributing to local identity through multi-year investments in catalyst projects and place-making elements.
•  Creating market comparables for higher-density mixed-use development near transit and in centers.
•  Cultivating developers with expertise in higher-density and mixed-use development in suburban settings.
•  Building community acceptance of urban style building types in suburban communities.



Download full version (PDF): Transit-Oriented Development Strategic Plan
About the Center for Transit-Oriented Development
“The Center for Transit-Oriented Development is the only national nonprofit effort dedicated to providing best practices, research and tools to support market-based transit-oriented development. The Center for TOD is a joint venture with Reconnecting America, the nonprofit Center for Neighborhood Technology, an urban policy and GIS center based in Chicago; and Strategic Economics, an urban economics firm in Berkeley.”

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