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Transit-oriented development (TOD) projects in low-income neighborhoods have the potential to provide needed transportation access to a segment of the population that stands to benefit significantly from these large-scale transit infrastructure projects. This research project reveals that large-scale TOD projects have the potential of leading to neighborhood revitalization and equitable outcomes in low-income Latino communities. But these positive outcomes depend on both the process and context of these particular neighborhoods, and how transportation planners incorporate the various forms of political, financial and cultural capital that exist in these communities into the planning and implementation process of TOD projects. This comparative case study analyzed the Fruitvale Transit Village in Oakland and the MacArthur Park METRO TOD in Los Angeles. We uncovered how TOD projects in Latino neighborhoods have the potential to improve access to regional transportation systems, increasing the number of affordable housing units, supporting local and diverse Latino retail businesses, and building upon existing social services. We conclude that TODs can help serve as catalysts for revitalization in low-income neighborhoods by paying attention to and building upon endogenous forms of cultural, political, financial and built capital that exist in these neighborhoods, and encouraging more bottom-up participatory forms of decision-making and activism in neighborhoods.
Gerardo Sandoval is an assistant professor in the department of planning, public policy and management at the University of Oregon. His research focuses on the roles of immigrants in community regeneration, the responses of governments to the presence of immigrants, and the ways that transnational relationships shape spaces that immigrants inhabit. Dr. Sandoval’s publication awards include Immigrants and the Revitalization of Los Angeles: Development and Change in MacArthur Park, which received honorable mention for the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning’s Paul Davidoff Book Award (2013) and ACSP’s Chester Rapkin Award for best article in the Journal of Planning Education and Research (2014). Dr. Sandoval has published in the journals of Community Development, Journal of Urbanism, Society and Natural Resources, Urban Studies, Local Environment, Ethnicities, and the Journal of Planning Education and Research. He earned his PhD in city and regional planning from the University of California at Berkeley.