Newsletter 3 (Feb 2017): New TOD Guidance Document for India is Comprehensive and In-depth

    In preparation for a next generation of urban transit systems in India’s fast growing cities, the Ministry of Urban Development has been working on a set of comprehensive TOD guidelines as part of the Sustainable Urban Transport Project (P110371). The Transit Oriented Development Guidance Document was released in mid-2016 “to assist various government organizations, public authorities, and development professionals in India, embarking on the process of integrating sustainable transport planning principles in diverse urban contexts.”. The core of this document is the Step-by-Step process identified, (1) Assess, (2) Enable, (3) Plan+Design, (4) Invest, and (5) Implement, followed by a detailed documentation of best practice case studies.

     

    Summary

     

    MoUD stresses that TODs are relevant to Indian urban challenges, stressing that planning must move away from auto-centric paradigms. Local and regional planning authorities should have TOD policies as part of the regular master plan updating process, suggesting tailored TOD urban design guidelines could better match development control regulations. Planners must also collaborate with transit agencies upstream when considering a new transit corridor to ensure effective integration. While the recommendations emphasize holistic and long-term planning, they also suggest quick-wins that local governments can do right away – improving integration with current feeder buses, rickshaws, etc.; upgraded pedestrian infrastructure; bicycle rental; and park-and-ride lots at strategic transit stations.

     

    Assessment/Enabling: Planners need to review and reform zoning regulations – in order to allow a mix of uses, differential FARs, provision of premium FARs as incentives, and land pooling mechanisms. Automobile regulations (including parking minimums) also need to be examined.

     

    Plan+Design: Many design guidelines are suggested to achieve TOD objectives. To ensure effective multi-modal integration with good pedestrian accessibility, it is suggested that bus stops and bicycle sharing stations be placed closer (under 100m) than private car/taxi pickups (further than 100m). Beyond the immediate station area, 50 street intersections per square km is recommended as ideal to achieve high walkability. On the land development side, an increase in FARs immediately surrounding stations should incentivize redevelopment, and higher densities can be made livable with well-considered urban design guidelines.

     

    MoUD also covers a menu of options to encourage coordinated real estate investment, including direct incentives like land value capture, tax increment financing, and joint development with transit agencies directly, as well as regulatory tools like land banking, density bonuses, and transfer of development rights (TDR). Finally, under implementation, the Document provides recommendations on how to measure key outcomes and phase key tasks for stakeholders.

     

    Case Studies

     

    To bring the principles down to local-level, the Guidance Document includes specific case studies on how this could be implemented in a few cities and station areas in India and best practices from abroad. Specific Indian examples are from metro stations in Delhi and BRT stations in Ahmedabad.

     

    TOD Principles Identified
    • Multi-modal Integration – seamless integration between modes for direct transfers between PT modes
    • First & last mile connectivity – effective bridges to trip end-points, with a mix of transport options
    • Interconnected street network – hierarchy of streets with high intersection density allowing direct travel
    • Complete streets – rights of way that cater to all users
    • Non-motorized transportation (NMT) network – design improvements that shift the balance to NMT users
    • Traffic calming – slowing motorized traffic to improve safety for pedestrians and bicyclists
    • Mixed land uses – efficient distribution to justify better transit service and lessen the need for motorized travel
    • Optimized densities – tapered and concentrated densities along a corridor based on transit carrying capacity
    • Street oriented buildings – buildings that are welcoming at street-level with active uses
    • Managed parking – optimize level and location of parking district-wide to discourage vehicle usage
    • Informal sector integration – cater for all sectors of society and ensure transit’s benefits are inclusive
    • Housing diversity & affordable housing – ensure choice of housing options within station walking distance along a transit corridor

     

    For more information, please refer to the full project documents or contact Ms Nupur Gupta (TTL, World Bank).