Transit-oriented development, or TOD, is compact, walkable, typically mixed-use development near a rail stop, bus station, or other transit facility. FRESC supports TOD because of the environmental benefits of more individuals living and working closer to transit, which reduces vehicle miles traveled and therefore greenhouse gasses and dependence on oil. TOD also creates more economic stimulus and jobs than sprawling development patterns. TOD, however, like other major development, can either promote or undermine equity and economic sustainability depending on whether the priorities of low and moderate income communities are central to the planning, and based on whether there is a good balance between the quality of the jobs and the cost of the housing created. FRESC works to promote more equitable TOD through a variety of strategies, including the Campaign for Responsible Development, community organizing, and policy advocacy.
Joint development is private development on a parcel of land sold or leased by a transit agency, and it represents one of the best opportunities for creating more equitable TOD that includes mixed-income housing. FRESC and Enterprise Community Partners conducted a nationwide survey of joint development best practices by transit agencies, which paved the way for legislation and policy to support affordable housing on transit properties in Colorado.
In 2010, FRESC was active in the coalition that passed legislation giving RTD the authority to include residential housing on its property for the first time. Working with the RTD Board and Enterprise Community Partners, FRESC also helped to develop a new affordable housing policy that the RTD Board adopted in September of 2010.
Equitable Transit and TOD Toolkit and Resources for Advocates
Tools and Suggestions for Community Engagement in Transit or TOD
Great Communities Collaborative Toolkit (San Francisco Bay Area), Resources to help those advocating for transit station development, to help make sure these plans will result in neighborhoods of affordable homes, shops, accessible job centers, and community services.
Red Line Community Compact (Baltimore), Set of goals and principles intended to ensure the Red Line Project will generate jobs, present economic opportunities and offer housing choices, while enhancing our unique urban environment, neighborhoods and historic districts.
Resident Advisory Committee Principles (FRESC, Denver) [Scroll to bottom and link on South Lincoln or Sun Valley RAC Identified Issues to download the documents.] At two West Denver Transit-Oriented Development sites, FRESC, worked with residents, community-based organizations, the City of Denver and Denver Housing Authority to establish a separate public planning process (The Resident Advisory Committee) that included and focused on the concerns of public housing and other low-income residents. Residents identified issues and established recommendations for any future redevelopment that included important social and economic issues.