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Fall 2011 - 61262 - PA388K - Advanced Topics in Public Policy

Transit-Oriented Development

Instructor(s): Zhang, Ming
Unique Number: 61262
Day & Time: Th 2:00 - 5:00 pm
Room: SUT 2.110
Waitlist Information:For LBJ Students: UT Waitlist Information
Course Overview

Topics for these policy seminars have included environmental and natural resources policy, health-service delivery policy, social welfare policy, transportation policy, science and technology policy, international affairs, national security, urban and regional growth policy, and political campaigns.


Section Description

On November 2, 2004, voters in Austin, Texas gave the green light to the region's 32-mile commuter rail plan. This is part of Austin's All-Systems-Go Long-Range transit plan. On March 22, 2010, the commuter rail started passenger services while other rail and express bus lines are being put on drawing tables. In light of the growing demand for mass transit, transit-oriented development (TOD) as an integrated land use-transportation development strategy has gained momentum in Austin. In May 19, 2005, the City of Austin adopted the TOD ordinance, providing practical guidance to implement TOD along the proposed rail line. The Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) has expanded the TOD idea to an Activity Centers growth concept in developing its 2035 long range transportation plan.  

What are the essential elements of TOD? What potential benefits will TOD generate? What are the guiding principles for planning and designing TOD? How can we make TOD happen through financial, regulatory, and other tools? 

The purpose of this course is to provide an opportunity for the course participants to conduct a focal study of TOD by reviewing literature and best practice of TOD in the world and by investigating issues pertaining to TOD planning and design, land use development and regulation, value capture, and others. This is a research oriented seminar course. The learning objectives are:

  • Clarify TOD definition, typology, and other conceptual issues; 
  • Understand TOD implications in terms of transit ridership, property values, congestion relief, pollution reduction, community place making, and other aspects of transportation and urban policy; 
  • Practice TOD design as it relates to land use functions, pedestrian access, parking, and neighborhood design in the station area; 
  • Identify barriers and strategies to implement TOD (institutional, financial, regulatory, etc.)
  • Know the best practice of TOD in the U.S. and abroad 


  • Calthorpe, Peter, 1993. The Next American Metropolis: Ecology, Community, and the American Dream. New York: Princeton Architectural Press. (PC) (Required)
  • Dittmar, Hank and Ohland, Gloria, 2003, The New Transit Town: Best Practices in Transit Oriented Development, Washington, D.C.: Island press. (DO) (Recommended)
  • Dunphy, Robert, et al. 2004. Developing Around Transit: Strategies and solutions that work. Urban Land Institute. (DC) (Recommended)
  • Cervero, Robert, 2004. Transit-Oriented Development in the United States: Experiences, Challenges, and Prospects. TCHRP Report 102, Transportation Research Board, Washington, D.C. (RC) (optional, free e-copy available online)
  • Supplementary materials will be provided in electronic files. 

Prerequisite: Basic statistics