Urban Design, Transportation, Environment and Urban Growth: Transit-Supportive Urban Design Impacts on Suburban Land Use and Transportation

Principal Investigator(s):

Carol Swenson, Former Research Fellow, Metropolitan Design Center


Project summary:

This project comprised the development and utilization of enhancements to the regional transportation model to measure the individual and accumulative impacts of transit-supportive urban design strategies. The final project report has three main sections: 1) urban design analysis of four transit-supportive development proposals; 2) development of model enhancements in the form of a subarea model; and 3) use of the subarea model to analyze a subregional transit-supportive growth scenario.

The urban design analysis demonstrated that transit-supportive development principles are adaptable to suburban settings and that use of the principles does improve land use mixes and walkability. It also confirmed that guidelines for transit-supportive development can be used to create a network of suburban sites that meets city and regional goals.

The subarea transportation model proved sufficiently sensitive to detect changes in tripmaking patterns at the site and subregional scales. Two types of tripmaking contributed to these changes: short-distance trips between transit-supportive developments and walk or bicycle trips within developments.

Results from the subregional analyses most clearly demonstrated the benefits of transit-supportive development strategies. At the subregional scale, the model tracked travel interactions between transit supportive development sites, which revealed the accumulative benefits. If the entire region were modeled accordingly, it is expected that benefit indicators would show even greater improvements.

Project details: