Want to bring transit-oriented development to your city? There’s a toolkit for that!

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Let’s say you are a transport specialist or an urban planner who wants to implement a transit-oriented development plan, because you know that TOD, as a planning and design strategy, can help transform your city.

TOD, as an urban development approach, concentrates high-density development and economic clusters around rapid transit stations. Concentrating housing and activities such as jobs, within a 5 to 10-minute walking distance from these stations encourages more people to take public transport and reduces the need for motorized trips. In addition, if done well, TOD enhances universal accessibility and the quality of public space while offering green and efficient urban mobility options.

Although these all sound attractive for you to implement your plan, you need to convince others, including the city officials you are working with. How do you do that?

A new World Bank toolkit on TOD was recently introduced to delegates from 13 different countries (Argentina, Bangladesh, China, Cote d’Ivoire, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Madagascar, Morocco, Peru, Romania, and Saudi Arabia) at a Technical Deep Dive meeting in Japan. The event was organized by the Tokyo Development Learning Center (TDLC) as well as the TOD and Urbanscapes communities of the World Bank.

Based on the analysis of different scenarios and lessons learned from over 35 engagements around the world, the toolkit aims to equip practitioners with tools and resources to implement TOD. It combines quick overviews, good practices with design, and financial case studies. Additionally, it includes new tools and checklists to assist the implementation process.

The toolkit provides guidance and tips on the entire TOD process in five steps:
  1. Assessment of the environment
  2. Elements required to enable the TOD to happen
  3. Planning and design
  4. Financing
  5. Tasks to implement TOD plans including institutional framework and supportive policies
These altogether build a framework for your conversations with city officials and other planning agencies. The whole idea is to help both technical experts and city governments accelerate the implementation. Therefore, it comes along with several practical products for different use cases, such as:
  • Analytical tools to make evaluations
  • Communication tools including games that allow you to interact with users and different stakeholders
  • How-to-guides that explain to city officials what each step of TOD entails
  • External resources illustrating good practices
  • Sample terms of reference to procure external services
The whole TOD process can seem complex and lengthy. By dividing the process into clear steps, the toolkit can help you create the initial momentum within the broader TOD plan to guide and excite people through the process. Additionally, different end-users can selectively focus on a specific module of the tool, depending on their needs and stage of development. Such flexibility has been factored into the design of the TOD toolkit.

TOD will continue to be a key topic and planning concept for cities as populations and economies grow in this rapidly urbanizing world. We hope this toolkit can contribute to the inclusive, resilient, and sustainable urban transformation that the transport specialists and urban planners aim to achieve for citizens.


Gerald Ollivier

Lead Transport Specialist, India

Wanli Fang

Senior Urban Development Specialist

Gunes Basat

Knowledge Management Consultant

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