More on TODs from all over the world
THE PORTLAND PROJECT, USA CURITIBA IN BRAZIL COPENHAGEN IN NETHERLANDS HONG KONG
One project that comes closest to the Karkardooma project is the Portland Redevelopment Project in the US. This is a public-private partnership that used transit to leverage large-scale redevelopment in Portland’s Pearl District, a neighbourhood built along a streetcar line. The streetcar was built to connect two large parcels of vacant industrial land north and south of downtown.
This private investment – an estimated $3.5 billion in 2008 – helped the city meet several public goals and objectives, including accommodating a significant number of new housing units within the city’s urban growth boundary. The result was 10,000 units of housing, one quarter of which was affordable; 4.6 million square feet of commer¬cial space within two blocks of the streetcar; Portland’s 20-year housing goal was met in just seven years on one-tenth the projected land. The Portland streetcar proved to be a public investment that attracted private investment and helped the city meet many public goals, including affordable housing, very high-quality streetscapes and parks and plazas. By coupling the development of a pedestrian friendly community with an efficient low-emissions Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system and lower car parking availability, Curitiba, the capital of the Paraná state of Brazil, has successfully reduced the overall travel of its residents. The success of its BRT is all about planning urban development and transport together. The city’s public transport consists of elements such as a network of feeder lines, links between transport and the road system, links between transport and land use and the BRT corridors. As many as 80% of the city’s population uses the BRT to travel to work. Studies have found that due to this the city uses 30% less fuel per capita resulting in reduced air pollution. Also, residents spend only about 10% of their income on travel. Other features of the BRT system include fare collection before boarding, fast passenger deboarding. The land close to the transit arteries is set aside as a high density area and very limited parking is available in the downtown area. The city boasts had TOD as far back as 1947 (it was not known as such though) when a policy known as the Finger Plan went into effect. The plan called for development to stretch out in five “fingers,” in parallel with commuter lines issuing from a central core, with green spaces between the extended digits. Subsequently, in the 1990s, the city planned and created the Ørestad district, which has a development plan around municipal light rail. The northern suburbs form the little finger of the plan and are traditionally the wealthiest. The northnorthwestern part of the suburbs forms the ring finger. The area largely consists of middle income houses. The northwestern suburbs form the middle finger and consist of mid-income units and low-rise public housing. The western suburbs form the index finger and comprise of inhabitants with the lowest per capita income. The southwest suburbs form the thumb under the plan. The development of the Ørestad area is part of the sixth finger plan. Hong Kong’s principal rail operator is the MTR Corporation (MTRC) that has adopted the “Rail + Property” development approach. MTRC’s active involvement in property development is what distinguishes it from other public transport organisations worldwide. Another interesting feature is that MTRC does not receive any cash subsidies from the Hong Kong government to build railway infrastructure; instead it receives an in kind contribution in the form of a land grant that gives the company exclusive development rights for land above and adjacent to its stations.
These grants relieve MTRC from purchasing land on the open market. What this means is that it buys the land adjacent to all future rail lines from the government at pre development prices and once the link is constructed and the land developed along it, it uses the increased value of the land to fund rail operations and further expansion plans.
The system witnesses a ridership of around 4.5 riders daily.