TOD, or transit-oriented development, means integrated urban places designed to bring people, activities, buildings, and public space together, with easy walking and cycling connection between them and near-excellent transit service to the rest of the city. It means inclusive access for all to local and citywide opportunities and resources by the most efficient and healthful combination of mobility modes, at the lowest financial and environmental cost, and with the highest resilience to disruptive events. Inclusive TOD is a necessary foundation for long-term sustainability, equity, shared prosperity, and civil peace in cities.
A global shift from urban sprawl to inclusive TOD is a most urgent matter. It is, however, more easily conceptualized than executed. Multiple complex and interdependent elements must be aligned and brought together. They range from infrastructure, street, and building planning and design, to codes, regulation reform, and finance. Diverse participants with disparate world views and interests are involved: decision and policy makers from many institutions, professional technicians of various disciplines, developers and investors, future tenants and residents, people attached to car-based suburban lifestyles, people in communities set to be transformed by redevelopment and densification, and grassroots and civic organizations. In this context, a large-scale shift to TOD must begin with the building of a common understanding and a conceptual framework for collaboration.