Transit-Oriented Development

Photo of a small town

Transit-oriented development (TOD) is the rapidly growing practice of creating compact, mixed-use development around transit centers in cities. Our work starts with planning and vision for connecting transit to all communities, including low-income communities and communities of color.  We ensure that these communities and workers are considered in all steps of the TOD process, including transit line construction, operations and ongoing funding, and the impact of redevelopment spurred by new transit lines and stations. 

Our legal and policy experts have developed strategies and best practices on how to use community benefits agreements and policies to create as many as tens of thousands of quality jobs for local residents.  In the last decade, several of our affiliates have championed community benefits campaigns to ensure that transit-oriented development projects are inclusive, equitable and better serve the needs of all communities. 

Two recent examples come from the West and South. In Denver, the 6.7 Billion FasTracks Project has the potential to create over 76,000 jobs while Atlanta's BeltLine Project will create more than 37,500 permanent jobs and 48,000 construction jobs.

Real opportunities have been created and we are drawing on these wins, providing leadership and guidance to city planners across the country interested in learning how they can effectively develop urban landscapes with the needs of all in mind.  Connecting equity to transit-oriented development can mitigate traffic and pollution, generate demand for transit, catalyze the development of affordable housing, and bring new businesses and quality jobs to communities that need them. Without oversight and community engagement however, we have seen transit development channel public investment into private profits and facilitate rapid and large scale displacement of low-income communities of color. Our community benefits tools, frames and organizing strategies are helping advocates leverage benefits for low-income communities and communities of color.