Transit Oriented Development Institute
Washington, DC

The Transit Oriented Development and Urban Real Estate Conference coming to DC this October is taking shape rapidly! Located in the very center of one of the fastest growing TODs - NoMa, this major conference is the first in a series of events to be convened by the newly launched Transit Oriented Development Institute, a project of the US High Speed Rail Association.

This timely event brings together leading developers, cutting edge designers, planners, elected officials, building users, and investors to network and share the excitement and best practices of Transit Oriented Development.

The conference will have a special focus on catalyst projects - projects large enough to be transformative and spark a new wave of development that changes an entire area for the better.

TOD is rapidly sweeping the nation with the creation of exciting people places in city after city. The public has embraced the concept across the nation as the most desirable places to live, work, and play. Real estate developers have quickly followed to meet the high demand for quality urban places served by rail systems

Come to Washington DC to learn more and network with the leaders.
Get involved in the hot real estate and community development trend sweeping the nation. Register today and be part of the excitement!  More info
 Transit Oriented Development Conference
Transit Oriented Development Conference

Network with the leaders!

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Transit Oriented Development Conference
TOD Opportunities for 6 Maryland Stations
6 new TOD opportunities announced!

2 New Reports on Cities
Cities Safer by Design CITIES SAFER BY DESIGN

Globally, 1.24 million people are killed in traffic crashes every year. This is expected to keep rising as vehicle fleets grow, to become the 5th largest cause of death by 2030. The majority of these deaths happen in and around urban areas, disproportionately affecting vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and bicyclists.

As global cities look to reduce the threat of traffic deaths and injuries, there is a need for evidence-based solutions proven to improve safety and make
cities livable, efficient and productive.

Cities Safer by Design collects this information into one resource addressing issues such as enhancing urban design to increase walkability, reducing vehicle speeds that threaten all road users, providing high-quality spaces for pedestrians and bicyclists, and improving access to mass transport.  Report

Density drivers, dividends and debates DENSITY: DRIVERS, DIVIDENDS, DEBATES

As population growth continues and the world urbanises, as new cities emerge and older cities are re-populated, we face the challenging question of how to accommodate more people.

For some countries this is dealt with
by creating new cities, or by allowing existing cities to sprawl. But for the
majority who think carefully about how to support population growth, the
preferred choice is well managed and well serviced densification.

This has natural advantages: densifying cities can accommodate population
growth within a contained environmental footprint, they can enjoy better
connectivity, amenities, open spaces, and social interaction, and they
become more productive and spawn innovation. Density is a way to have
better cities and to provide for all the extra people.  Report
"Denver is building 119 miles of light rail and 70 new stations in a decade, creating huge development opportunities to make the region more livable and sustainable." -Reconnecting America
Suburban Office Parks - New Ghost Towns
Washington Post -The American ghost town has assumed different forms: the abandoned gold-rush towns out West, the silent Floridian subdivisions of underwater McMansions. Now, we have fiefdoms of mid-Atlantic office space, on streets named Research Boulevard and Professional Drive, thinning out in the sprawl.

They are hobbled by changing work styles and government shrinkage. People telecommute. People move into the city or into faux-urban areas that are friendlier to pedestrians, that aren't barnacled on a highway.

Younger generations don't want to be stranded in a "Dilbert" cartoon. They want cozy nooks and nap spaces, walkable commutes, the tastes and conveniences of the city. 
Urban offices are where people want to be

There are 71.5 million square feet of vacant office space in the Washington region, much of it piled in office parks. That's enough emptiness to fill the Mall four times over, with just enough left to fill most of the Pentagon, the granddaddy of office buildings.

Another 1 million square feet of office space will flow onto the market over the next seven years, as Marriott International moves out of its Bethesda office park at 10400 Fernwood Rd., which was built in 1978 and is leased until 2022.

"I think, as with many other things, our younger folks are more inclined to be Metro-accessible and more urban," Marriott chief executive Arne Sorenson told The Washington Post in March, after announcing the plans to move.

The office-market artery of Interstate 270 is shriveling, according to a June report prepared for the Montgomery County Planning Department. Last year, federal agencies vacated 7,315 buildings, abandoning 47 million square feet of office and warehouse space, Federal News Radio says. 

All is not lost! Commercial leasing in the Washington area was up 16% in the second quarter, particularly in mid-size buildings that are attracting nonprofits and start-ups, according to financial and professional services firm JLL.

This past quarter, Northern Virginia gained more leases than it lost for the first time since 2013, mostly because of the magnetic powers of Metro's new Silver Line, according to realty company CBRE Group
Washington Post

TOD creates huge new ridership levels

Washington DC is home to the most extensive and best transit oriented development in the nation, and has millions of square feet under construction throughout the district.  More | Story  

Transit Oriented Development

The Transit Oriented Development Institute is a national planning initiative to promote and accelerate the roll-out of walkable, mixed-use communities around rail stations. Working to increase the supply of new TODs and rail systems, the TOD Institute brings together business and political leaders with experts to advance knowlege sharing and project dealmaking.


The Transit Oriented Development Institute is a project of the US High Speed Rail Association, America's leading advocate for the development of a 21st century, national rail system. The Transit Oriented Development Institute promotes increased TOD as well as high quality design standards that deliver the best results to the users, the community, the developers, and the rail systems.  


The Transit Oriented Development Institute is run by a team of experts and leaders in rail, urban design, and real estate development.


In This Issue
Quick Links
WMATA Seeking Developers
Recently, WMATA (DC's metro rail operator)
released an RFP for a six-acre parcel right outside the College Park Metro station, a great opportunity for any developer.

WMATA estimates that the parcel could be developed for 500 to 600 units, an office or hotel with ground-floor retail.

Where currently sits a surface parking lot and bus loop, the six acres has the potential to completely transform the area. "I think it's our new frontier," says College Park director of planning and economic development Terry Schum.

PG County's David Hillman of Southern Management, who started his company there 15 years ago, has turned into one of the largest market rate apartment developers in the state. He believes College Park is where Silver Spring was 10 years ago.

"It's an exciting time to be a developer in that area."

For more info about the RFP, contact WMATA.

More  |  TOD Conference 
TOD Principles
The following 10 principles are general guidelines for planning TOD districts and neighborhoods. Densities, details, and design vary project by project depending on many factors including location, context, availability of redevelopment property, surrounding development, etc. 

These 10 principles are a starting point for further work preparing specific local development plans working with the community. Examples of these plans are located on our 'Reports' page.

1. Put stations in locations with highest ridership potential and development opportunities
 2. Designate 1/2 mile radius around station as higher density, mixed-use, walkable development
 3. Create range of densities with highest at station, tapering down to existing neighborhoods
Design station site for seamless pedestrian connections to surrounding development

 5. Create public plaza directly fronting one or more sides of the station building
 6. Create retail and cafe streets leading to station entrances along main pedestrian connections
 7. Reduce parking at station, site a block or two away, direct pedestrian flow along retail streets
 8. Enhance multi-modal connections, making transfers easy, direct, and comfortable
 9. Incorporate bikeshare, a comprehensive bikeway network, and large ride-in bike parking areas
10. Use station as catalyst for major redevelopment of area and great placemaking around station.

Transit oriented development (TOD) is the exciting fast growing trend in creating vibrant, compact, livable, walkable communities centered around high quality train systems.

TODs can be stand-alone communities, or a series of towns strung along a rail line like pearls on a string. TODs are the integration of community design with rail system planning.

High speed rail is the backbone of a rail-based transportation system. When combined with regional rail, light rail, metro systems, streetcars and trams, a complete and integrated rail network is achieved enabling easy, fast mobility throughout the system.

Coordinating and encouraging compact, mixed-use development around the rail stations completes the system by enabling people to live, work, and play along the system without the need for a car.

Together, these save time, money, energy, and lives - while offering an easier,
healthier, low-stress lifestyle.  More