News & Events

Emily Badger on The Geometry of Transit-Friendly Neighborhoods

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

An excerpt:

"Transit-oriented development" sounds like a tidy solution to myriad urban ills. If cities enabled more people to live and work within strolling distance of a train or bus stop, families could save money on gas, residents without cars could more easily get to work, neighborhoods could cut down on congestion and pollution, and economic development might ensue. As a general theory, it simply makes sense for cities to invest in the nodes that connect us to each other and the places where we need to go.

That said, every rail stop isn’t equally primed for a new apartment complex and a Whole Foods. And it can be hard to finger why. There’s little sense, for instance, in pushing transit-oriented development in a community where every household already owns two cars. Nor does it make sense in the center of a neighborhood sliced by highways and mega blocks where residents are unlikely to walk to the train.

The question of where to invest in transit-oriented development is a complicated one. We recently stumbled across a smart way of visualizing the answer – with “typology radar graphs!” – from the Center for Transit-Oriented Development.
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Via Atlantic Cites, here. Atlantic Cities has a ton of great resources relating to the economics and cleaner, better transit systems and their positive impact on the growth and health of urban spaces. Click through above for the full story and links.