Establishing Transit-Oriented Development on the Ground: A Case-Based Analysis of Implementing TOD in China

TitleEstablishing Transit-Oriented Development on the Ground: A Case-Based Analysis of Implementing TOD in China
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsRuishan Zhang, Jinhua Zhao
Conference Name95th Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting
PublisherTransportation Research Board
Conference LocationWashington, D.C.
KeywordsChina, Implementation barriers, policy implementation, Transit-Oriented Development

While the study of Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) in China has been under way since the 1990s, effective examples of TOD in practice remain scarce. This research conducted 40 semi-structured interviews and applied the Policy-Program-Implementation Process (PPIP)model to identify the challenges to TOD implementation. Results indicate that misunderstanding and incomplete understanding are primary barriers to fully adopting the concept of TOD. Additionally, in the planning and design sector, conflicts between current planning regulations and TOD planning techniques discourage implementation. In the public sector, institutional coordination has not been a major barrier once a strong leadership in the municipality is in support of TOD; but administrative regulations and financing mechanisms provide obstacles. And in the real estate market, developers hesitate to introduce TOD products for fear of the perceived risk associated with trying something new. In order to establish successful TODs on the ground in Chinese cities, this research makes the following recommendations: (1) effective TOD training programs for practitioners and university students; (2) planning codes should be revised to establish the legitimacy of TOD, with a focus on pedestrian-oriented design and mixed land use; (3) economic incentives and ongoing revenue resources for the government are needed to reassure real estate developers and also provide sustainable economic solutions for the government; and (4) institutional structures need to be adjusted to reduce the institutional barriers and internalize the economic benefits.