Developing TOD

Over the last twenty years, anchoring neighborhoods around transit has grown from a starry-eyed environmental idea to its own real estate asset class. As young people, seniors, and smaller households gravitate away from cars and toward transit, we help developers capture this trend as transit-oriented development (TOD).

The market is ripe for inclusive transit-oriented development (TOD). Led by technology and a preference for urban living, young people are choosing walkable communities with multiple transit options. Their baby boomer parents are downsizing. And seniors aging in place on fixed incomes need connected communities where they can walk or take transit to daily activities. We build tools to help developers create communities that serve everybody. We use them to quantify TOD market opportunities, optimize them by suitability and market potential for TOD, and scale parking and other amenities.

  • Our TOD Database aggregates U.S. Census and American Community Survey data around nearly 6,000 existing, planned and proposed transit stations and helps developers measure TOD potential and performance.
  • Our TOD Optimizer uses GIS to sort and prioritize TOD data by their market potential and suitability for development. We’ve used it to prioritize top TOD opportunities in Knoxville, Erie, and elsewhere.
  • Our Right Size Parking tools estimate parking ratios for multi-family residential buildings, helping TOD planners and developers set realistic parking levels and save development costs.
  • Our Housing and Transportation (H+T) Affordability Index models the cost of household transportation at the neighborhood level.

Learn more

Lakeview White Paper

Why 3401 N. Southport? Why now?

Madison Bus Rapid Transit


Program Contact
David Chandler, Director, Economic Development

“TOD can reduce dependence on cars, improve the cost of living, connect workers to opportunity, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We’re working to ensure that households of all incomes and backgrounds can enjoy those benefits, in cities and in suburbs, and in regions large and small.”

Kyle Smith
Principal, KDS Planning and Policy Consulting

Research + Further Reading

Lakeview Transit-Oriented Development: Housing + Transportation Trends

CNT + Lakeview Chamber of Commerce
April 28, 2015

We collaborated with the Lakeview Chamber of Commerce on a report supporting greater transit-oriented development (TOD) activity in the Lakeview neighborhood. The paper found the number of households in the neighborhood on the decline, despite millions of dollars in development activity in the 2000s – perhaps because zoning makes TOD practically impossible in most areas. The report also found that while new TOD development has been proposed in the neighborhood, the lack of parking has been a contentious issue even though the rate of car ownership has fallen 6 percent and nearly one-third of Lakeview households own no car at all. We will continue to work with organizations like the Lakeview Chamber to accelerate TOD throughout the Chicago region.