Transit Oriented Development Challenges and Opportunities

Project Description

Transit Oriented Development (TOD) is an important tool for climate mitigation, as well as climate resilience. TODs are mixed-use, compact, walkable developments built in locations that are served by high quality transit systems. With dense concentrations of people and services, TODs provide towns with the potential to steer development away from areas that might be at risk for flooding or that are in similarly hazardous or environmentally sensitive areas. Furthermore, because of their compact size, TODs can lead to less runoff per capita and thus less flooding. TODs can also be used as an effective approach to accommodate more diversity in the types and price points of housing provided and to increase the stock of affordable housing.

The purpose of this project is to evaluate the potential for TODs as a key component for long term climate resilience along the New Haven – Greenwich corridor by doing an evaluation of the challenges and opportunities for the creation of TODs. The ability of towns and developers to fully leverage this valuable infrastructure that is provided by the state is vital to the long term economic, social and environmental resilience of the state of Connecticut; and will be key to the development of climate adaptation strategies in the Resilient Connecticut project area.

Project Timeline: August 2020 - August 2021

Project Outcomes

The project team will identify policy recommendations that could jump start the discussion about the need for TODs as part of an effective plan for a resilient region, and to suggest changes in policy, zoning and planning that might make it easier to create TODs; and incorporate them into adaptation planning. Specific outcomes of the project include:

  1. Creation of a detailed geodatabase with data on current land use and ownership of land around the transit stations, hazard mapping including those areas prone to flooding, and details about the size, use, and configuration of the existing transit service.
  2. Assessment of obstacles and potential, through critical evaluation of the existing grey literature on TODs, structured interviews with government leaders, transit providers, and citizen activists (in such areas as transit, resiliency and affordable housing), as well as a review of applicable zoning and financial regulations and polices at the state, regional and local level.
  3. Recommendations that are informed by best practices nationwide that addresses, in particularly, the issues and concerns that were have identified in Task 1 and 2.

Published Journal Article

Project Fact Sheet

June 2021 Webinar Materials - View slides and recording (original air date June 23, 2021)

Final Report

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Resilient CT Z of shared risk

Project Team

Dr. Norman Garrick, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, UCONN

Dr. Carol Atkinson-Palombo, Associate Professor of Geography, UCONN

Rosalie Singerman Ray, Post-Doctoral Fellow in Transportation Technology and Society Research Group, UConn