A TOD index integrating development potential, economic vibrancy, and socio-economic factors for encouraging polycentric cities

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Architecture Department

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Carmela Cucuzzella, Jordan Owen, Sherif Goubran, Thomas Walker

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Research Article

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Publication Date

Winter 12-1-2022




There has been a significant amount of research on the methods that city planners can use to identify and pursue opportunities for Transit-Oriented Development (TOD). This research has been primarily centred on population density, walkability, land-use diversity, and available parking around potential transit nodes, all of which are often aggregated into a single TOD Index. However, a major attribute omitted in these index calculations is development potential. To efficiently assess the benefits of TOD for a given area, city planners must focus on whether there are development opportunities around transit nodes that could encourage polycentric development. We propose a TOD Index that focuses on integrating socio-environmental characteristics, economic vibrancy, and development potential for TOD projects around transit systems. The index comprises three layers, that, in tandem, will enable the potential maximization of transit use: (1) socio-environmental characteristics, (2) economic vibrancy, and (3) development potential. We use the city of Montreal to demonstrate how the new index works and how it can be adapted to other cities.

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