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A developer once said:

“Every development project dies three times before it is finally able to be accomplished.”

If that is the typical experience from the perspective of a developer, who diligently does this kind of thing for a living, imagine the experiences encountered by public agencies trying to achieve development projects that are outside of their core business.

Important Lessons About TOD

Pedestrian and Transit Activity in Oakland Neighborhood, Allegheny CountyHigh levels of activity are needed for a successful TOD. This 24-hour, seven-day-a-week user presence has typically been referred to throughout this website as “life activity”. All of the TOD Success Factors and Indicators relate specifically to “life activity” and the density levels to ensure that TOD has round-the-clock users resulting from residents, workers, shoppers, restaurant goers, transit riders, pedestrians and bicyclists.

If a potential TOD site does not already achieve density criteria, in many cases the TOD land use plan will be driven by “life activity” and achieving the appropriate levels of density.

TOD is a complex undertaking that rarely achieves a positive outcome without a strong leader or somebody that “champions” the project over the long term. Many elements have to align at appropriate times to accomplish a TOD. And somebody has to orchestrate all of those elements.

The project champion can promote the TOD to its partners while motivating those agencies to maintain high levels of interest, support and effort. This person can identify funding sources, write grant applications, direct applications through processes and secure funds, which are all critical roles of the champion.

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