Transit Oriented Development Institute
Washington, DC

The recent groundbreaking TOD conference was a huge success! Great comments continue to flood in. Attendees from across America and around DC attended to learn and share TOD best practices, new financing options, and to see projects up close...

"An awesome conference!"

                  "What a great gathering of leaders"

"I got ideas to improve my projects back home"

          "Seeing projects in person was excellent!"

"DC leads the way for TOD in America"

          "The best conference I've ever attended!"
Transit Oriented Development Conference

The Transit Oriented Development and Urban Real Estate Conference generated a lot of excitement about TOD and its ability to create great places. TOD was a niche market until recently - but now is rapidly becoming THE market according to real estate expert Chris Leinberger. There's a huge unmet demand for walkable urban places, which is why so many national developers have completely switched to building what the market wants.  
TOD is becoming THE market_
Chris Leinberger explains the huge trend toward TOD

The TOD trend will continue to grow for decades! Conference attendees were presented with a wealth of information about the trends that are pushing real estate developers, investors, millennials and baby boomers alike to seek out transit oriented development places. The numbers are quite compelling. 
Learning the secrets of creating great places_
Attendees learn the secrets of placemaking from Gabe Klein and John Torti

Eric Shaw, Director of the DC Office of Planning, made the case for TOD by highlighting the desirability of transit access for both employers and residents, noting that transit connectivity has been driving the majority of recent development in the DC metropolitan area.
Eric Shaw discusses TOD livability aspects of Washington, DC

As Shaw pointed out in his presentation, between 2010-2012, 91% of office space, 66% of retail space, and 80% of new housing development has been located within a mile of a metro stop. Clearly, the allure of walkable, mixed-used, and transit accessible urban places has grabbed the attention of regional developers - and investment dollars are quick to follow. 
Brand new TODs in Washington, DC

Lynn Richards, President and CEO of the Congress for New Urbanism, explained underlying trends that are rapidly accelerating the roll-out of TOD. In addition to population growth, the demographic makeup of the U.S. is shifting dramaticaly.
Attendees learned the secrets of creating lively, vibrant places

Burgeoning elder and millennial populations are realizing the benefits of transit oriented development, and both groups are leaving their cars behind in large numbers for walkable, vibrant communities to live, work and play.  
Chris Leinberger leads a tour of the booming new neighborhood of NoMa

The trend of ditching the car to move downtown has been backed up by dozens of polls, consistently reflecting roughly half of the population would prefer to live in smaller homes located in transit connected neighborhoods.

Great walkable urbanism connected to a rail line alleviates the daily need for a car, and with high fuel, maintenance, and parking costs, plus congested roads everywhere, many are choosing to get rid of cars in large numbers. 
James Corless of Transportation for America outlines sweeping shifts

Lynn Richards also made it clear that the shift toward more transit oriented development is not simply demand-driven, nor is it exclusive to urban areas.

Rather, these strong market forces demanding TOD must be synchronized with the abundant supply of land that is ripe for development or redevelopment - hence, the up-and-coming real estate trend towards suburban transformations - many of which were discussed and visited during the TOD conference.

Attendees got to see NoMa TOD up close and in person

The room was buzzing with energy throughout the two days of discussions and networking, covering topics such as: components of TOD and project typologies, best practices across America, a breakdown of DC metropolitan area TODs, placemaking and design standards, marketing the TOD lifestyle, federal, state, and corporate roles in TOD, and sources of equity funding. 
Attendees enjoy networking opportunities

More images and videos are coming!

Watch for our next TOD conference in Los Angeles this coming spring.
TOD Conference Press Coverage

City Fix Blog - 4 Takeaways from the TOD Conference

City Version 3 - Metro needs more development at rail stations

Projects of Regional Significance
Washington DC leads the nation with TOD!

Pike and Rose, strip center to urbanism!

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  

Corporations are moving downtown, where the people want to be!

"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
Denver building the future

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 to advance knowledge sharing and project deal-making.


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 and high 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
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.

Key to laying the foundation for Transit Oriented Development, high quality rail systems encourage the development of compact, mixed-use, walkable communities. High speed rail is the backbone of a rail-based transportation system. When combined with regional rail, light rail, metro systems, and streetcars and trams, a complete and integrated rail network is achieved enabling easy, fast mobility throughout the system.

The rail network becomes the organizing framework for a series of TOD developments into the creation of entire neighborhoods surrounding the rail stations. A series of TOD neighborhoods emerge laid out like pearls along a string. These add up entire networks of walkable communities creating a highly livable, 21st century lifestyle for all.

By making the station and its surrounding development well integrated and pedestrian and bicycle friendly, the 'last mile' connections to local destinations are made easy. Walking and biking to the station becomes a major mode of choice by many.

Ideally, the rail station is located in the middle of downtown or town centers where many destinations are within a short walk or bike ride away. Walkable communities support rail systems by providing high ridership throughout the day, week, and weekend.

Sophisticated new city bike share programs serve the last mile best by making fast door-to-door connections easy with the ability to ride and drop off the bike almost anywhere.  More