Webinar: Is Transit-Oriented Development Affordable for Low and Moderate Income Households?

Tuesday, February 15, 2022, 10:00am to 11:00am PST
Reid Ewing, University of Utah
PDH: 1 | AICP: 1


The transportation and land use planning paradigm is shifting away from segregated uses connected by highways and roads to more compact, mixed-use developments connected by high quality transit. This new paradigm has brought transit-oriented development (TOD) to the fore, and researchers continue to highlight advantages of this style of well-integrated land use and transportation planning. When it comes to affordability, what counts isn’t housing costs alone but the combination of housing plus transportation costs (H+T).  If TODs do, in fact, command higher rents due to increased transit accessibility, this creates an issue of social equity, especially if higher housing costs are not offset by transportation-related cost savings. Promoting a development style that limits access for transit-dependent populations by pricing those residents out of the market could potentially be counterproductive. In this study we first confirm whether TOD style development capitalizes on increased accessibility by demanding higher rents than comparable contemporary developments with similar amenities. More importantly, we then compare the rent premiums with estimates of transportation cost savings for TOD dwellers to see whether the combination of H+T exceeds affordability standards for different income groups. Based on case studies, we also identify measures taken by exemplary TOD developers and jurisdictions to make housing affordable for low and moderate income households.


This webinar is based on a study funded by the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) and conducted at the University of Utah. Read more about the research: Is Transit-Oriented Development Affordable for Low and Moderate Income Households (in terms of H+T)?


Reid Ewing, University of Utah

Reid Ewing is a Distinguished Professor of City and Metropolitan Planning at the University of Utah, associate editor of the Journal of the American Planning Association, and columnist for Planning magazine. His 10 books include Pedestrian and Transit-Oriented Design, co-published by the Urban Land Institute and American Planning Association; Growing Cooler: Evidence of Urban Development and Climate Change, published by the Urban Land Institute; and Best Development Practices, listed by the American Planning Association (APA) as one of the 100 “essential” books in planning over the past 100 years. Ewing’s research focuses on the built environment at five different scales and its impacts on quality of life. He has studied the built environment at scales ranging from the individual block and pedestrian activity, to the MXD and internal capture, to the metropolitan region and mode shares.


This 60-minute webinar is eligible for 1 hour of professional development credit for AICP (see our provider summary). We provide an electronic attendance certificate for other types of certification maintenance.


Sign up for our newsletter to get updates on our events.

Photo by Colleen Michaels/iStock 

This webinar is hosted by the Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC) at Portland State University. The research was funded by the Summit Foundation and the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC), a program of TREC and one of five U.S. Department of Transportation national university transportation centers. The NITC program is a Portland State-led partnership with the University of Oregon, Oregon Institute of Technology, University of Utah and new partners University of Arizona and University of Texas at Arlington. We pursue our theme — improving mobility of people and goods to build strong communities — through research, education and technology transfer.