Transit Oriented Development (TOD) is an intentional mixing of land use and transit through the creation of compact, walkable, mixed-use communities within walking distance of a transit stop or station.
The goal of a TOD is to bring together people, jobs, and services designed in such a way to make it efficient, safe, and convenient to travel on foot or by bicycle, transit, or car. TOD is an opportunity for Austin to carefully coordinate transit and development for the benefit of the entire City. As Austin looks ahead over the next 20 years with the help of its comprehensive plan, “Imagine Austin”, Transit Oriented Development is one tool for growing as a compact and connected city and developing as an affordable and healthy community. The City of Austin is committed to creating transit-supportive communities by optimizing land use around high quality transit.
The following principles provide an understanding of the essential elements and characteristics of Transit Oriented Development (TOD). They serve as the foundation for the Station Area Planning process and implementation:
- Create compact development with sufficient density to support transit ridership located within easy walking distance of transit stops.
- Promote development strategies that focus on accommodating people on foot without excluding people traveling by vehicle.
- Encourage active and livable places that serve our daily needs and provide people with a sense of belonging and ownership within their community.
- Include engaging, high quality public spaces, such as small parks or plazas, as organizing features and gathering places for the neighborhood.
- Encourage a variety of housing choices near transit facilities to accommodate a wide range of ages and incomes.
- Incorporate retail into development, if viable at a particular location, ideally drawing customers from within the TOD and from major streets.
- Ensure compatibility and connectivity with surrounding neighborhoods.
- Introduce creative parking strategies to allow the accommodation of vehicles without dividing a site such that parking is the dominating design factor.
- Strive to make TODs realistic yet economically viable and valuable from a diversity of perspectives (city, transit agency, developer, resident, employer).
- Recognize that all TODs are not the same; each development is located within its own unique context and serves a specific purpose in the larger context.