In December, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced a new initiative to help communities across the country advance transit-oriented development (TOD) projects to grow their economies, achieve their social equity goals, and improve quality of life for everyone.
That effort, the TOD Technical Assistance Initiative, provides on-the-ground and online technical assistance to communities working on—or planning to work on—TOD projects across the country. The initiative is designed to help elected officials, municipal staff, advocates, developers, transportation professionals, and urban planners discover new ideas, connect with one another and, ultimately, build great projects.
As part of the initiative, yesterday we launch TODresources.org, an online hub for national information and ideas that will help users develop outstanding TOD projects. The new site includes a dynamic database of leading research on TOD[external link], information about funding and financing options[external link] for TOD projects, and opportunities for TOD professionals to connect with one another. Anyone interested in TOD can join the project’s mailing list[external link] to get news about new resources and opportunities.
The TOD Technical Assistance Initiative is a project of FTA administered by national non-profit Smart Growth America. In addition to the new website, the project includes on-site technical assistance for communities. In April 2016, nine communities were selected for the inaugural round of this assistance[external link]. The project also includes a collaborative network of TOD professionals, which is open by invitation only.
TOD near Uptown Station in Normal, Illinois, recipient of a 2010 DOT TIGER grant
The TOD Technical Assistance Initiative is one of the ways the U.S. Department of Transportation supports the efforts of communities across the country to build compact, mixed-use, equitable development around transit stations and foster sustainable economic development related to planned transportation projects. When done well, TOD can create convenient, affordable places to live and work for people from all walks of life. This new website and our broader work is designed to help the people building those projects learn how to make that happen.
Geoff Anderson is the President and CEO of Smart Growth America, a national non-profit dedicated to researching, advocating for, and leading coalitions to bring better development to more communities nationwide.