Future vision: Transit Oriented Development

Transit oriented development (TOD) is a planning concept that promotes the creation of a network of well-designed, human-scale urban communities focused around transit stations. General Manager for Property Development, George Rolfe, looks at where this trend is headed:

“While there are various definitions in use, transit oriented developments usually have the following characteristics;
• A rapid and frequent transit service;
• High accessibility to the transit station;
• A mix of residential, retail, commercial and community uses;
• High quality public spaces and streets, which are pedestrian and cyclist friendly
• Medium to high density development within 800 metres of the transit station (i.e. the TOD precinct); and
• Reduced rates of private car parking.

The number of TODs is growing in Australia, as evidenced by the renewed focus on value capture across the Melbourne and Sydney Metro projects. Creating developments over or next to transit hubs reduces the requirement on cars for mobility and ultimately makes for a great mixed-use community with reduced carbon footprint. These developments can vary in scale from the large E-Gate, Melbourne and Central Station, Sydney developments down to smaller opportunities on suburban stations, such as the Level Crossing Removal Authority developments in Melbourne.

Whilst TODs are business as usual in cities like London, Paris, Singapore and Hong Kong, we are only just seeing these opportunities arise in Australia. Post procurement of the Sydney and Melbourne Metro projects, we are forecasting a number of new opportunities on suburban networks across the country. These opportunities will involve efficient use of stabling yards and sidings, re-using commuter carparks and potentially bridging across tracks adjacent to stations to provide additional development land.  For TODs to be successful, governments, transport authorities and operators need alignment in their requirements. They also need to be involved in early planning and delivery of key items such as signalling and track or road shutdowns, working with specialist delivery partners, such as ourselves.

As John Holland becomes a leading property developer in Australia, we will continue to focus on TOD’s in their various forms, leveraging our market leading rail, infrastructure and building capabilities to unlock development land, in high growth CBD and CBD fringe locations.”