Newsletter 3 (Feb 2017): Upcoming GEF-China project takes TOD principles closer to implementation

    In 2015, the Chinese Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MOHURD) adopted best practice design guidelines for the development of areas along urban rail corridors. They tackled many of the key problems that China’s rapid urbanization has faced, from single-purpose super blocks and auto-oriented street design to uncoordinated housing development. Many people were involved in developing these breakthrough principles, including experts from the World Bank and international architects. But while these were a good first step, they are not compulsory for cities to follow. So now, as Chinese cities continue to invest in metro rail and BRT systems, what are the next steps to ensure effective next-generation urbanism in China?


    Summary of the GEF Project (P156507)


    The Global Environment Fund (GEF) is promoting urban sustainability as one of their three Integrated Approach Pilots, given the central role that cities will play in addressing climate change. The China portion of this project is one of the main implementations (2017-2021), and will focus on seven cities in a range of development stages with a mix of challenges (see table). A central emphasis in the GEF project will be to promote integrated land use-transport planning through TOD technical assistance that addresses key barriers and identify key opportunities in each city.


    ScaleAspects of TOD
    City-scaleland-use policy and strategy, legal and regulatory frameworks, integrated land use and transport planning, modeling of TOD to align densities, identify station typologies, and create scenarios for urban growth around transit and monitor comprehensive impacts; leveraging of the private sector; improving station accessibility; capacity building and stakeholder engagement
    District/corridor-scaleunderstanding transformational potential or urban rail and urban development investments; integration of urban and transport development; legal and regulatory frameworks; design and planning guidelines; operational guidelines; financing schemes; citizen and stakeholder engagement; capacity building; consideration for social and affordable housing
    Station-scalezoning; conceptual designs; accessibility planning; public space at local scale; citizen and stakeholder engagement



    The work will be both at the national-level, where consultants will focus on policies, regulations, and enabling frameworks, and at the city-level, where consultants will support cities to develop customized strategies and plans to better integrate land use and transport planning.


    GEF-China Platform Diagram.png


    Importance of Project


    This GEF-China project is at the core of the TOD CoP’s mission, covering key elements on TOD design and implementation, on the city-, corridor-, and station-scales. Given the scale of Chinese urbanization, effective implementation of TOD principles would have significant benefits for national environmental targets and climate change mitigation. And these good examples could then be important lessons for other high-density rapidly growing countries to implement TOD on a nation-wide scale, while allowing customization for each urban context.


    For more information, you can contact Joanna McLean Masic and Wanli Fang (Task Team Leaders).