Transit Oriented Development – Need of the Hour

As the world population is sprawling, every urban city is growing profusely; and along with are growing the issues of traffic congestion, public transportation and increasing pollution content. Most of the metro cities in India go through the same situation; facing long travelling distances and suffering an enormous time commuting from one place to another resulting in huge national lose.

With every sprouting metropolitan going through the same scenario; TOD is that silver line which can substantially reduce travel time and encourage people to use public transport.  Through this, anew urban map needs to be designed with workplaces being positioned near residences and public amenities placed within walking distances. This design distribution with an enhanced public transport network helps to reduce significant travel time for the masses and promotes public transport usage. With low carbon emissions and subsiding pollution; higher density of population with proper, planned massing; mixed land usage creating homogenous neighborhoods and sustainably compact development plan; it is needless to say that Transit Oriented Development is the need of the hour and therefore it is being hailed as a key initiative among the emerging and developed economies.

Cities like Montreal, San Francisco, Vancouver, Toronto, Paris and Hong Kong have largely benefitted from this kind of urban development. A densely populated city like Hong Kong has minimum car ownership ratio and public transport is preferred there 90 percent times. Earlier in Hong Kong no railway was built until an area was well developed. However, only some time back they have adopted the TOD model in areas like Union Square, and Olympian City. These are areas where a railway line has been built with the residential development being right above or nearby.

Addressing the growing pollution issue, traffic congestion and scarce housing options for the middle or low income groups in Delhi; the Ministry of Urban Development has given a ‘go’ to the Transit Oriented Development Policy for the Indian capital. About 20% of Delhi’s entire area will fall under the influence zone of Transit Oriented Development and 45% of this developed land will be earmarked for affordable housing opportunities. The area for Transit Oriented Development will extend up to 500 meters on both sides of the MRTS corridors or stations. However, some localities that will be covered under the non-influence zone, include Lutyens bungalow zone, Civil Lines bungalow area, Monument regulated zone, Zone ‘O’ (lying around river Yamuna) and the low density residential areas.

Transit Oriented Development boasts of a great city planning initiative requiring participation from all bodies like central and state government, private and public sector, collected unanimously. This design philosophy may prove to be an ideal design model for other cities to follow, as it has the significant potential to change the national capital’s landscape but the real key will lie in implementing it. Let’s hope, it proves to be a remarkable design strategy, as it seems to be.


About the author

Surabhi Arora, leads the research team in India and has more than 13 years of experience in carrying out multi-disciplinary research and analysis in the area of finance and real estate industry. Surabhi specialises in real estate economics, policies, commercial and residential real estate research with in-depth knowledge of market dynamics across major markets in India.

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