Scope and Purpose
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ScopeThis website is designed to provide current information (pro and con) about Transit-Focused Development (TFD) projects to people working to build and rebuild cities and to help them communicate more easily with each other. Much of the content is devoted to descriptions and critiques of TFD examples from North American cities, but examples from cities in other parts of the world are also included.
In addition, information is provided about closely related topics. Examples are urban sprawl, innovative transit technologies, congestion mitigation and air quality improvement needs, trends in urban housing preferences and costs, travel behavior (commuting and non-work trips) as it affects and is affected by choice of housing location, design of intermodal transfer facilities, trends in retailing and consumer shopping behavior, real estate developer incentives and preferences and rail transit operations. Information about these and other topics are presented on various "issues" pages at this website.
Emphasis is given to information resources available on the Web and to publications that are available on-line. However, references to the printed literature are also provided. Most of these printed materials can be found in large libraries or through the interlibrary loan services of smaller libraries.
PurposeThe purpose of this website is assist people working in various fields (e.g. architecture, urban planning, civil engineering, real estate financing and development, transit planning and operations analysts) that are involved in the design and building (or rebuilding) of cities. It is a public interest website and it relies on the contributions of people observing and working in the field for much of its content. It is hoped that it will advance TFD efforts by making easily available the knowledge and experience (good and bad) of persons involved in this field from around the world. Its quality, accuracy and timeliness will be largely determined by the willingness of these people to share their experiences, materials and news with others by making periodic contributions to the site.
The term Transit-Focused Development (TFD) is used in preference to three other terms that are common in this field: Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) and Transit Villages (TV) and Urban Oases. The terms TOD and TV both refer to rather small, pedestrian-oriented developments that place most of the housing within a 1/2 mile walk of a transit station. Architect Peter Calthorpe's name is most closely associated with the TOD term while Professor Robert Cervero has used the TV term most extensively. The Urban Oasis is the subject of a book by architect Roxanne Warren. It is similar to the TOD and TV concepts except that it features higher densities and is offset from a transit station but linked to it with an automated peoplemover of some type.
The term TFD seems to fit the concept of an expanded effort to greatly enhance transit accessibility to destinations within 2-3 miles of a transit station and thus fits our objectives more closely. However, the reader will find that all three terms are used frequently (and somewhat loosely) and this produces some confusion. We will interpret the TFD term as including TODs, TVs and Urban Oases as components of a more spatially-extensive concept.
This site has been stimulated primarily by the 1997 publication authored by Douglas Porter entitled Transit-Focused Development, Transit Cooperative Research Program Synthesis #20, and uses parts of its content as its starting baseline. Attempts to update and expand the content of this report will be made more or less continuously.
It is clear that the concept of TFD is quite controversial at this time. To this end, a debate page is included that will provide for both pro and con arguments about the utility and worthiness of various TFD concepts and projects. The webmaster admits to being somewhat biased in favor of TFD, but certainly welcomes well-reasoned con arguments and will include them, probably with some editorial comment, on the debate page.
The webmaster for this site is Professor Emeritus Jerry Schneider. He has taught and conducted research on the topics included at this website at the University of Washington in Seattle for some 30 years. News and materials along with comments and suggestions should be sent to him.
Last modified: April 20, 2002