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3 Report 3 in the series Spatial Transformation through Transit‑Oriented Development in Johannesburg



International case studies

International case studies



Agence Française de Développement (AFD) City of Johannesburg (CoJ) South African Research Chair in Spatial Analysis and City Planning, University of the Witwatersrand (SA&CP, Wits)

Steering committee members

Alexandra Appelbaum (SA&CP) Camille Chastagnol (AFD) Arthur Germond (AFD) Prof. Philip Harrison (SA&CP) Prof. Paul Jenkins (Wits) Herman Pienaar (CoJ) Dr. Margot Rubin (SA&CP) Prof. Alison Todes (Wits) Martha Stein-Sochas (AFD) Liana Strydom (CoJ) Dylan Weakley (CoJ)


Prof. Philip Harrison, Dr. Margot Rubin and Alexandra Appelbaum

Project manager

Alexandra Appelbaum


Dr. Margot Rubin and Alexandra Appelbaum

Spatial Transformation through Transit‑Oriented Development: synthesis report

Dr. Margot Rubin

The City as a Laboratory: Experimentation, Observation and Theorisation from Urban Labs

Dr. Sylvia Croese

International case studies of Transit-Oriented Development-Corridor implementation

Dr. Kirsten Harrison

Transit Corridors and the Private Sector: Incentives, Regulations and the Property Market

Neil Klug

The more things change, the more they stay the same: a case study of Westbury, Coronationville and Slovo Park informal settlement

Dr. Tanya Zack

Platform to an Arrival City: Johannesburg’s Park Station and Surrounds

Alexandra Appelbaum

Contestation, transformation and competing visions: a study of Orange Grove and Norwood

Lindsay Howe

Constancy and Change: Marlboro South as an interstice of marginalisation and development in the Gauteng City-Region

Prof. Umakrishnan Kollamparambil

Multiple Words and Experiences: Conditions of Life and Work along the Corridors of Freedom

Research assistance

Emmanuel Ayifah Kwanda Lande Mamokete Matjomane Lucky Nkali Lyle Prim

Survey company

Outsourced Insight


Alexandra Appelbaum and Reitumetse Selepe


Mark Lewis

Historical photographs

Museum Africa Collection

Copy editing

Kate Tissington and Alexandra Appelbaum

Design and layout

Louise Carmichael


International case studies

At the time that these reports were researched and written, the City of Johannesburg was using the term Corridors of Freedom to refer to the Louis Botha, Empire Perth and Turffontein Strategic Area Frameworks. Although the name is currently under review we have used the original terminology throughout the reports. All quantitative data referred to without an explicit reference is drawn from the survey conducted by Outsourced Insight as part of the Spatial Transformation through Transit-Oriented Development project. 1200 people (a mix of residents, business owners and users) were surveyed in the four case study areas of this report series. All mapped data was also drawn from this survey. © City of Johannesburg 2016 To access the original data please contact the South African Research Chair in Spatial Analysis and City Planning, University of the Witwatersrand.

Referencing the report:

Croese S (2016) “International case studies of TransitOriented Development-Corridor implementation”. Report 3. Spatial Transformation through TransitOriented Development in Johannesburg Research Report Series. South African Research Chair in Spatial Analysis and City Planning. University of the Witwatersrand: Johannesburg.

International case studies


Executive summary The Spatial Transformation through Transit-Oriented Development in Johannesburg report series is the product of a project undertaken between the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), the City of Johannesburg (CoJ) and the NRF South African Research Chair in Spatial Analysis and City Planning at the University of the Witwatersrand. The project aimed to provide operational support to, and empirical evidence for, the City of Johannesburg’s Transit‑Oriented Development (TOD) programme – at the time known as the Corridors of Freedom (COF). It was a unique and important collaborative endeavour, in which the project proposal, research questions and final approach were co-produced by the three partners. The reports cover a range of topics, from an international comparison of TransitOriented Development Corridors, to an in-depth study of the regulatory, institutional and incentive environments in the COF, and the response from the private sector. It also included a survey of 1 200 residents, users and businesses and an indepth qualitative case study analysis of four nodes: Marlboro South; Park Station Precinct; Orange Grove and Norwood, and Westbury, Coronationville and Slovo Park. The case studies encompassed a wide range of the environments along Johannesburg’s corridors, including older suburbs, informal settlements, townships, public housing stock, industrial areas and transit nodes in the inner city. The team consisted of academics, officials, consultants and community members. Methodologically, all reports relied on academic and media sources, with the majority consisting of an integrated analysis of survey findings and key stakeholder interviews. The summary that follows looks at the key points from each report and offers a concise sense of the main findings.

Key findings: • The international experience supports the case for transit corridors, noting that they are useful and necessary planning instruments in urban regeneration – improving sustainability; increasing access for poorer communities, and improving rates bases in strategic areas. • Transit corridors have been associated with an improved municipal fiscus that is able to provide denser urban environments with consequently higher efficiencies in the urban form. • The current forms and institutional arrangements of TOD corridors in the CoJ demonstrate much promise and have some of the key features of successful corridors found elsewhere, i.e. a lead department with high levels of technical skill. • However, there is a need for greater coherence at both the planning and implementation level, and a need for more buy-in from all departments in the CoJ. • The CoJ has set an ambitious approach to the development of the Corridors – attempting to create a ‘guided’ enabling environment for the private sector that incentivises and attracts investment into these sites, whilst balancing the needs of the public good, and the larger


International case studies

developmental agenda. There are some important locations that will potentially satisfy private sector interests of lowered risk and higher demand; these include affordable housing along Louis Botha Avenue and investment opportunities in the Knowledge Precinct. The TOD programme has a long-time horizon. However, after just four years it has seen some successes, including the provision and use of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) by certain communities; significant public environment and infrastructure upgrades, and the construction of vital services, such as clinics in areas that were previously under-served. In order for the impact of TOD – which extends beyond just the BRT – to be maximised, the City must foster a multi-modal transport system, including the BRT, Gautrain, commuter rail, and minibus taxis. Across the Corridors it is clear that there is significant youthful energy directed towards micro-businesses, with many residents starting new enterprises. Louis Botha Avenue, Marlboro South and Park Station are already showing signs of being complex multi-use sites that attract people from all over South Africa and the continent. The transit corridors already have an important economic function in that they are attractive sites due to their accessibility and the ability of residents to save on transport costs. However, demand is forcing up the price of commercial and residential property, making these areas inaccessible for poorer households.

Nodal findings: Each node faces a set of specific conditions that require particular engagements and services. • Westbury, as a site of older public housing stock, faces severe social pathologies, and very low rates of employment. Residents feel isolated and parochial – despite being quite close to the inner city in terms of physical distance – and there is a need to consider social infrastructure as a key future intervention. • Slovo Park as an informal settlement requires better services and housing but also greater participation and engagement with residents about their future. • Louis Botha Avenue (Orange Grove in particular) is mixed-use and mixed-income area and has important businesses varying in size. Here care needs to be taken to support the organic processes of informal and formal entrepreneurship and to avoid potential gentrification and displacement

that could result from interventions. While the Paterson Park housing project is a vital intervention, the governance dynamics in the area provide important lessons for the CoJ in its future interventions in middle-class areas. • Marlboro South is an area of enormous potential, but has high rates of poverty and very poor living conditions. It is very well located and has a number of businesses, at a variety of scales, which would like to remain. This area requires housing interventions, service upgrades and consideration of the urban environment, especially safety and security. • Park Station Precinct, as arguably the most important transit node in Johannesburg, suffers from a governance crisis and as a consequence has not been able to capitalise on its cosmopolitan and vibrant nature. There is a lack of support for the economic activities in the area; insufficient affordable accommodation; and the station requires better linkages into the fabric of the inner city.

Recommendations: • Currently, there is a ‘toolbox’ of incentives that is being developed to enhance partnerships with private sector developers, and there is evidence to suggest that this could be enhanced by considering questions of urban management; the release and development of state-owned land, and examining the development of demand – rather than supply-side investments. • Safety and security, questions of urban management, and employment were themes that consistently appeared across the corridors. The City needs to pay close attention to these concerns, as they are affecting all aspects of the Corridors, such as the quality of life for residents and the potential future investment from private developers. • Public participation protocols require rethinking and possibly reconfiguration. In their current formulation they are not sufficiently able to include the voices of some of the poorest and most marginalised. They are also incorrectly conceptualised as information-sharing sessions, rather than real engagement or consultation. • Furthermore, public participation needs to be seen as part of long term-relationships with communities and stakeholders that occur throughout the process rather than a once-off compliance-led activity. • Given the need for cross-sectoral and interdepartmental co-ordination, area-based management models could be highly effective in addressing these issues and should be

considered as a way of addressing the host of differentiated needs across the transit corridors. • The current practice of having ‘point people’ – particularly within the Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA) – dedicated to specific nodes and corridors is excellent and should be continued. • All processes in the corridors must be supported by up-to-date websites that are current with ease of access to all relevant information. • The CoJ needs to promote and publicise its achievements, and let the general public and other departments know what it has accomplished. • Exceptional care needs to be taken to ensure that built environment interventions do not worsen conditions in vulnerable communities, highlighting the need for better empirical evidence and consultation before implementation. • Built environment interventions must be complemented with social development and engagement in order for the full potential of the transit corridors to be realised, in terms of addressing the social and economic aspects of marginalisation. • Overall, there is much to be learned from the first few years of the programme that can improve the CoJ’s TOD initiatives going forward: better engagement and participation; clearer plans; better marketing and overall communication within and outside the CoJ, and careful consideration of the limits of built environment interventions. In short, the research project revealed that transit corridors are an effective programmatic choice in restructuring the spatiality of the City of Johannesburg and dealing with some of the most intractable urban problems; there are a range of ways to improve Johannesburg’s TOD programme going forward. To realise the full value of the TOD vision, it is necessary for the CoJ to continue the programme with the vigour it has demonstrated thus far. The dedicated and skilled teams in the City have already been able to achieve some successes, and with the evidence base that this study now offers, interventions and plans can be more finely honed and refined to focus in on specific community needs, whilst addressing questions of a declining fiscus and the need to restructure and reinvigorate the City of Johannesburg. This project also included a series of urban labs – a number of engagements between City officials, academics, members of civil society and the private sector and other key stakeholders – on particular issues related to Johannesburg’s future. This report is also included in the series.

International case studies


International Case Studies of Transport Oriented Development – Corridor Implementation 01




05 06



Transit Oriented Development (TOD) has gained popularity amongst planners across the world as a way to manage sustainable urban growth.

guide the design and development of such areas; tools to finance, capture or leverage transit investments, such as transferable development rights, density taxes and incentives, public‑private partnerships, as well as land value capture schemes, provided that the right conditions are in place; and the importance of transport demand management measures and investments to discourage car use and encourage non-motorised transport such as walking and cycling.

TOD is associated with mixed-use, walkable, location-efficient development that balances the need for sufficient density to support convenient transit service with the scale of the adjacent community. As BRT systems have become more sophisticated and increasingly ‘raillike’, there is increased evidence for the potential of BRT for TOD.


International experience shows that corridor development is implemented in different context-dependent ways, following local needs, characteristics and resources. Latin America continues to be at the forefront of practices of socially inclusive corridor development. The success of corridor development and the potential for TOD is marked by: a clear, overarching and holistic vision of urban development by city leaders; high levels of institutional collaboration and coordination between government agencies; the creation of a single owner-operator of the transport system and autonomous planning agencies; and high levels of popular and investor support through community, private and academic sector consultation, communication and collaboration. Key tools and measures for implementing and financing TOD include: a comprehensive legal framework and tools to support TOD at the city level, such as zoning regulations and incentives to promote dense and mixed‑use development along transit corridors, as well as guidelines and regulations to

International case studies


Dangers or weaknesses in terms of achieving or maintaining the benefits of TOD include: the challenge for BRT or other mass public transit systems to be both consistently high quality in their performance as well as sufficiently accessible and affordable to capture passengers across all income levels, or their ability to become viable alternatives to private car use and maintain high ridership rates and levels of satisfaction; the danger of excluding low-income residents from the benefits of transit investments through a lack of affordable housing and insufficient access and connectivity to low-income parts of the city, or the inability to create effectively mixed and diverse neighbourhoods; the lack of effective changes in land uses around transit areas, or the inability to effectively densify, regulate and capture changes in land use and values. The success in the roll-out of bicycle infrastructures in most cities indicates strong potential for bicycle-based TOD.

Date of commencement first BRT corridor

Population Curitiba 1,879,355















Population Density (Per Km2)

Ottawa 316

Ahmedabad Lagos

Curitiba 4,062







4,000 20,000 (11,009 average)



BRT system length & corridors



Curitiba 83


Ottawa 35


Bogotá 112


Ahmedabad 82 Guangzhou 22 Lagos 22

system length (km) # BRT corridors

Daily demand (passengers per day)

Total cost per km (US$/km) Curitiba



Irrespective of the type of transit, international case studies show that TOD implementation must be a long-term and continuous effort.

















Sources: and

International case studies


Table of Contents Abbreviations and Acronyms AJL

Ahmedabad Janmarg Limited


Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority


Bus Rapid Transit


Bus-Based Transit-Oriented Development


Corridors of Freedom


City of Johannesburg


Center for Transit Oriented Development


Floor Area Ratio


Institute for Research and Urban Planning of Curitiba


Institute for Transportation and Development Policy


Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority


Light Rail Train


National Union of Road Transport Workers

OC Transpo Ottawa-Carleton Regional Transit Commission


01 02


2.1. 2.2. 2.3. 2.4.


Principles of Transit-Oriented Development Planning and Implementation Financing Outcomes and Benefits


3.1. 3.2. 3.3. 3.4. 3.5. 3.6.

04 05

04 04 04 05 07 10 10 13 18 19 24 30

Curitiba, Brazil Ottawa, Canada Bogotá, Colombia Ahmedabad, India Guangzhou, China Lagos, Nigeria



Public-Private Partnership


Rede Integrada de Transporte


Rail-Based Transit-Oriented Development


Transportation Demand Management


Transit-Oriented Development

Figure 1:

The eight core principles of TOD (ITDP 2014)



Urban Development Authority of Curitiba


World Population Review

Figure 2:

The four different scales of TOD (CTOD 2010)


Figure 3:

Curitiba’s trinary road system (Rocha 2015)


Figure 4:

Mall near BRT route in Curitiba


Figure 5:

Ottawa BRT (Ansoncfit 2012)


Figure 6:

Ottawa’s transportation masterplan


Figure 7:

Bogotá BRT station at rush hour (Kash 2011)


Figure 8:

Bogotá street on Ciclovia (Ortega 2011)


Figure 9:

JanMarg bus and equitable road space allocation in Ahmedabad (Velaparatodo 2011)


Figure 10:

Accessibility and social services planned in Ahmedabad


Figure 11:

Proposed transit interchanges in Ahmedabad


Figure 12:

Proposed activity centres in Ahmedabad


Figure 13:

Guangzhou BRT (ITDP China 2015)


Figure 14:

Bike sharing in Guangzhou located near a BRT station (ITDP China 2015)


Figure 15:

Greenway in Guangzhou (IDTP-China 2015)


Figure 16:

BRT Lite bus stop in Lagos (LAMATA)


Figure 17:

Congestion caused by minibus taxis in Lagos (Guardian 2017)


International case studies

List of Tables and Figures

International case studies



INTRODUCTION This report presents the findings of desktop research conducted on international case studies of corridor implementation from a perspective of Transit-Oriented Development (TOD). City of Johannesburg (CoJ) plans to build on and extend its existing Rea Vaya Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) network following the principles of TOD, by combining the construction of “strategically located transport corridors” with the creation of “mixeduse development nodes with high density accommodation, supported by office buildings, retail developments and opportunities for education, leisure and recreation” (CoJ 2013). As such, the Rea Vaya BRT system is considered to be ‘the backbone’ of the Corridors of Freedom (CoJ 2014: 11) which, according to observers, “arguably represents the most advanced and most explicit commitment to TOD by any of the South African cities to date” (Bickford 2014: 6). With the ongoing implementation of the third phase of the Rea Vaya BRT network, this report draws on the experiences of six international case studies of corridor development to examine the current state of play in terms of the planning, implementing and financing of TOD. The case studies include the following cities: Curitiba in Brazil; Ottawa in Canada; Bogotá in Colombia; Ahmedabad in India; Guangzhou in China; and Lagos in Nigeria. These cities range from medium to large in size, with low- to high-density populations, and span four continents. In some of the cities, transport corridor development has been around for decades, while in others it is more recent. In some cities corridor development has followed TOD principles, while in others TOD has only recently started to emerge as a planning principle. Although outcomes vary across the case studies according to individual cases and contexts, important commonalities and parallels can be identified when it comes to best practices, as well as challenges in achieving TOD.

1.1. Outline of Report Section 2 of the report begins with a general discussion of the principles of TOD; available tools for planning, implementing and financing; and the potential outcomes and benefits of TOD. Section 3 draws on academic research, policy reports and online sources to discuss the international case studies of corridor development in Curitiba, Ottawa, Bogotá, Ahmedabad, Guangzhou and Lagos. The report concludes in Section 4 with a comparative analysis and some concluding remarks on best practices and lessons learned, which are relevant for the Johannesburg case. The report aims to contribute to thinking about practices and interventions that can be used to optimise and assess the impact of TOD on Johannesburg’s long-term development, with the ultimate aim of ensuring a more efficient, inclusive and sustainable urban form.


International case studies

International case studies



ABOUT TRANSIT-ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT While the development of cities has historically been linked to investments in urban transit, the concept of TOD emerged in the United States in the 1990s as a response to traffic congestion and suburban sprawl caused by the rise in car use since 1945. Drawing on the work and ideas of the urban planner Peter Calthorpe, and the experience of cities such as Portland, Oregon, TOD has become associated with the principles of ‘New Urbanism’ and the notion of diverse, compact or ‘smart growth’ (Bernick and Cervero 1997; Carlton 2007).1 In recent years TOD has gained popularity amongst planners across the world as a way to manage urban growth in a more sustainable way (Bickford 2016). Research on TOD is growing. However, it still mainly focuses on practice in the United States, Australia and, increasingly, in Asia (see, for example, TRB 2004; Dittmar and Ohland 2004; Curtis et al 2009). Most of this work looks at TOD based on investments in urban rail corridors, although there is increasing attention to BRT-based TOD (Cervero and Dai 2014). Few studies focus on TOD in the context of developing countries, even though the mobility challenges (and consequently the challenges of coordinating transportation and land use) of the developing world are considerably different to those in wealthier countries (Finn and Mulley 2011; Cervero 2013a). Moreover, urban growth in developing countries is often accompanied by poverty and informality, which require adapted forms and approaches to TOD (Bickford 2016).

2.1. Principles of Transit-Oriented Development While there is no universal working definition of TOD, it is generally associated with “mixed-use, walkable, location-efficient development that balances the need for sufficient density to support convenient transit service with the scale of the adjacent community” (Dittmar et al 2004: 4). The Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) identifies eight core principles of TOD: walk, cycle, connect, transit, mix, densify, compact and shift (ITDP 2014 – see Figure 1). Until the mid-2000s, TOD initiatives tended to focus on rail-based TOD (RTOD), with busbased TOD (BTOD) being a minor subset of TOD implementation (Currie 2006). This reflected persistent views of bus-based transport as ‘second best’ compared to rail alternatives (Hidalgo and Gutiérrez 2013: 10-11). Rail transit was seen as more permanent and attractive and as delivering higher service quality, leading TOD specialists to conclude that “rail transit, all other things being

equal, attracts more intense development and increases return on investment” (Dittmar and Poticha 2004: 37). Others acknowledged that while BRT systems could offer good service frequency and transfers, there were a number of weaknesses: poor bus industry capabilities, the noise and pollution impacts of buses, and the poor track record of BRT in relation to TOD (Currie 2006). As more cities developing or expanding their public transport networks have begun to opt for large-scale busbased systems instead of rail, BRT systems have become more sophisticated and increasingly ‘raillike’, resulting in increased acknowledgement and evidence of the potential of BRT for TOD (Deng and Nelson 2011). Importantly, the Center for Transit Oriented Development (CTOD) now finds that: Any transit technology can define a transit corridor – heavy or light rail, streetcar, trolley or bus. The TOD potential depends more on the design and quality of service than it does on the transit technology. High-quality service for all transit technologies is defined as highfrequency service along dedicated lanes or rights of way that serve to ‘fix’ the line and provide certainty for developers and investors that transit service will not be moved to another corridor. The TOD potential is also determined by the walkability and bikeability of station areas, the presence of retail amenities, and the local and regional housing market (2010: 4).

2.2. Planning and Implementation Planning for TOD takes place at different scales,

Figure 1. The eight core principles of TOD (ITDP 2014)


International case studies

1 For an overview of New Urbanism and smart growth principles, see the New Urbanism website: and http://www.

International case studies


encompassing different goals, actors, tools and outcomes. While usually focused at the scale of the station area, TOD planning can start at the parcel level and move up the spectrum to the station, corridor and, finally, the regional scale. Alternatively, TOD planning can start at the larger scale and move downwards. Most important for planning to be successful is that it is coordinated at all scales (CTOD 2010: 3). Further, TOD can be designed to serve a variety of goals, ranging from the guidance of economic growth and development to the improvement of mobility. Depending on the goals of TOD, it is important for relevant stakeholders – such as developers, local businesses, community organisations and local transport representatives – to be involved in early stages of planning (CTOD 2010). In doing so, potential barriers to TOD implementation – such as scepticism amongst developers, weak market demand, community opposition and resistance within the existing transport sector (for instance the informal paratransit sector in developing countries, which public transit corridors often seek to replace) – can be mitigated. There are a range of tools that governments and planning agencies can draw on to implement the transit investments necessary to promote TOD. Important are tools that promote and manage changes in land use and development at locations in and around transport corridors, such as zoning regulations aimed at dense and mixed-use development. For transit investments to successfully result in TOD there is also a need for supportive measures such as Transportation Demand Management (TDM). The latter can include measures aimed at discouraging car use, such as congestion pricing and parking controls (Suzuki et al 2013: 19). Moreover, a number of enabling conditions are critical for TOD to be implemented successfully. These include a clear vision and supportive institutional and regulatory framework at the city level (Suzuki et al 2013).

2.3. Financing Financing of TOD can include tools for the capital financing of TOD infrastructure, either by the state (through debt, credit or grants) or through the creation of financial incentives for the private sector. Secondly, it can include tools for the financing of investments that are necessary to support sustainable and equitable TOD, such as investments in public spaces,


International case studies

affordable housing and social amenities. This can be done, for example, through the use of incentives and emerging tools such as the creation of land banks and the conversion of underused properties (‘redfields’) into parks (‘greenfields’). Thirdly, financing can include tools to cover the operational costs of transit investments through direct fees and taxes or the capturing of the (land) value created by public investments in transit.

Overview of Financing Tools • D  ebt tools: private debt, bond financing, public infrastructure debt mechanisms • C  redit assistance: state credit assistance tools • D  irect fees: user and utility fees, congestion pricing • E  quity: public-private partnerships, infrastructure investment funds • ( Land) value capture: developer fees and exactions, special districts, tax increment financing, joint development, density incentives, Floor Area Ratio

Figure 2. The four different scales of TOD (CTOD 2010)

• G  rants and other philanthropic sources: transportation, community and economic development grants and foundation grants and investments • E  merging tools: structured funds, land banks, ‘redfields’ to ‘greenfields’, national infrastructure bank (adapted from Environmental Protection Agency 2013) Effective and systematic value recapture continues to be a challenge in cities in developing countries where land and property is often accessed informally. For land value capture financing schemes to be successful, there is a need for strong real estate markets, significant institutional capacity and clear policy guidelines, combined with high densities, a supportive legislative environment, organisational cultural change that embraces property development, and the creation of a real estate development division within transit agencies (Suzuki et al 2013: 185). Cases where such conditions are in place show that land value capture can be International case studies


highly effective. For example the MTR Corporation, owner-operator of largest rail service in Hong Kong, has successfully applied the ‘value capture’ principle to finance railway investments through an integrated so-called ‘rail+property’ development model. As a result, Hong Kong is one of the few places in the world where public transport actually makes a profit (Cervero and Murakami 2009; see also Salon and Shewmake 2010; Suzuki et al 2015). Financing tools can be used alone or in combination, in different phases and to fund the different scales of TOD development (EPA 2013). Where TOD is successfully implemented, it becomes an effective tool for the attraction of outside investments, setting in motion a virtuous cycle of revenue generation (Suzuki et al 2013: 21-22).

2.4. Outcomes and Benefits TOD has the potential to improve quality of life by reducing travel time and household transportation expenses, thereby making housing more affordable, creating stable mixed-income neighbourhoods, and reducing environmental impacts and the costs associated with inefficient land use (Dittmar, with Belzer and Autler 2004: 3-4). Some of these benefits can be achieved in the relatively short term, such as reduced carbon emissions in contexts where mass transport corridors such as the BRT successfully replace informal transport and individual car use (Hook et al 2010; EMBARQ 2013). Even so, as the case studies will show, car use reduction remains a challenge in rapidly growing cities. Changes in land use in and around transport corridors require concerted efforts with benefits that may only arise in the long term. The adoption of tools and mechanisms to regulate and capture the value created by transit investments is necessary to ensure the mixedincome nature of neighbourhoods located in around transport corridors (as rising land values often tend to displace low-income residents). Controlling density without considering the land’s economic value prevents cities from effectively managing their land use. In Ahmedabad, for example, the Floor Area Ratio (FAR) of urban areas is kept low (1.80 – 2.25) for the entire urban area. In Bogotá, the FAR is either 0 – 1.0 or 1.1 – 2.0, including near BRT stations and corridor, except for the CBD and several peripheral areas, where no FAR restriction exists. In transit-oriented cities in Asia, much wider variations are


International case studies

adopted. Each of these cities has developed different density ranges in different areas, taking social and economic features into consideration while allowing for high-density construction around transit lines and stations. For instance, in Singapore ratios range from 12 to 25 within the CBD area alone, while in Seoul they range from 8 to 10; in Tokyo from 1 to 20; and in Hong Kong from 1 to 12 (Suzuki et al 2013: 10-12). In contrast, in many African cities new construction is often not clustered, failing to make capital more concentrated and increase economic density. Instead, it tends to push the boundaries of the city outward. This kind of ‘building-out’ represents either expansion or ‘leapfrog’ development, as opposed to infill, which makes cities denser. Analysis of GIS imagery for 21 African cities over 2000 – 2010 shows that, during this period, between 46 and 77 per cent of new development occurred as expansion, with the share of infill being much lower (Lall et al 2017: 19). However, it is important to note that density is not the only important element of land use and built environments. Other elements – including carefully articulated land-use mixtures; safe and smooth accessibility to transit stations (enabled by foot paths, cycle paths, and street lights, for example); and amenities such as benches, parks, landscaping, and libraries – contribute to the development of a good built environment (Suzuki et al 2013: 13). Hence, for transport planners to leverage the benefits of TOD and improve the quality of urban design and community life, a good understanding is needed of the complex relationship between environment, travel, socio-demographic characteristics and household attitudes (Olaru et al 2011). Studies have shown that while businesses generally expect positive effects from transit corridors in the future, the likelihood of positive perceptions differs significantly according to business location, size and sector, as well as the demographic and travel behaviour of employees and customers (Fan and Guthrie 2013). Clearly, more research is needed to understand market responses to transit development.

International case studies


Figure 3. Curitiba’s trinary road system (Rocha 2015)2


INTERNATIONAL CASE STUDIES The previous section laid out the general principles and available tools for planning, implementing and financing TOD, as well as its potential outcomes and benefits. This section examines a number of international case studies in order to provide insight into the practice of corridor planning, implementation and financing across different contexts, and to highlight (potential) best practices of TOD.

3.1. Curitiba, Brazil Curitiba is Brazil’s eighth most populous city, with 1 879 355 inhabitants and a population density of 4 062 per km² (WPR 2016). The city is famous for its BRT system, which represents an iconic case of BRT development and has been followed and adapted by numerous cities on the Latin American continent and beyond (Hidalgo and Carrigan 2010). The city started its BRT system in 1974 and now has seven bus priority corridors, spanning 83 km and benefiting 561 000 passengers every day (Global BRT Data 2016). Known locally known as the Rede Integrada de Transporte (RIT) or Integrated Transit


International case studies

Network, it was initially conceived as a light rail transit system. However, due to high capital costs it was replaced by a trunk-and-feeder bus system, which over time evolved into a full BRT system (Duarte and Rojas 2012). Its rail-like qualities have led observers to call it a “veritable surface metro” (Cervero 1998). What distinguishes Curitiba’s BRT system from others is that while it was initially developed as a cost-effective solution to a transport problem in a context of rapid urban growth, overcrowding and traffic congestion, it has been implemented as part of a wider vision and strategy of urban

development. This strategy combined investments in transportation with land use development before TOD was a known concept (Cervero 1998). The BRT has been used successfully to promote and brand the city, which is now internationally seen as “one of the most livable cities in the world”; a “best practice city” (Lindau et al 2010b); an “eco-city” or “greenest city in the world” (Barth 2014), and a model of urban sustainability. Key tools and measures in the planning and implementation of corridor development include the adoption of a comprehensive legal framework (master plan, zoning regulations and incentives) to promote dense, high-rise and mixed land development along the BRT corridors, according to a “trinary road system” (Cervero 1998; Suzuki et al 2013). In Curitiba car-free pedestrian malls in the vicinity of the BRT lines, and the clustering of services and shops in structures called Ruas da Cidadania (Citizenship Streets), promote walking (Macedo 2013). A single flat fare (tarifa social) enables crosssubsidisation between short and long rides and

promotes ridership (Lindau et al 2010b). A national policy that mandates that employers subsidise a portion of their workers’ transportation costs also contributes to promoting ridership (Cervero 1998). These measures have resulted in location-efficient development, signified by density along the transit corridors; reduced car use and high ridership rates (with 46% of total trips made by public transport) (Global BRT Data 2016); and reduced transportation costs (Goodman et al 2007). This, in turn, has reduced traffic congestion and resulted in some of the lowest rates of air pollution in the country, despite the city being a provincial capital with a sizeable industrial sector (Goodman et al 2007; Suzuki et al 2013). State and federal funding have been important sources for the financing of the capital costs of corridor development. Private sector financing incentives such as transferable development rights (for example, a 1982 law called Solo Criado or Created Land) in turn have guided the investment of the private sector into certain locations in exchange for the preservation of the city’s historical, cultural and architectural heritage. A law passed in 2010 promotes the preservation of green space along the

2 See

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corridor by giving developers increased building rights if they purchase or preserve land along the corridor as parks (Suzuki et al 2013: 82-84). Levies charged on new developments are deposited into the Municipal Housing Fund and used to implement affordable housing projects through the public housing agency COHAB (Macedo 2013). Key enabling conditions for Curitiba’s success include a high degree of political support and institutional coordination, with implementation marked by a mix of political leadership, innovation, pragmatism, technocracy and continuity (Lindau et al 2010a: 281). In addition, the City has a supportive institutional setting due to the central role of its planning agency, the Institute for Research and Urban Planning of Curitiba (IPPUC), which designs urban development plans, programmes and projects. The IPPUC has also been essential for the political continuity that guaranteed the success of planning initiatives, since several mayors were IPPUC directors before running for office and, once elected, drew staff from IPPUC to form their cabinets (Macedo 2013).4 Also important to its success is the Urban Development Authority of Curitiba (URBS), which plans and manages all the transportation modes within the Curitiba metropolitan area (Lindau 2010b: 21). The City has broad popular and investor support, leading to high rates of observance to urban plans and policies.5 This is achieved through extensive community consultation. The latest revision to the city’s master plan has been led by IPPUC and Concitiba, a council formed by representatives of private sector and educational institutions, along with extensive public hearings (Rosário 2016).6 In addition to Curitiba’s BRT corridor system, the city has an ‘employment corridor’ (Linhão do Emprego). This was created in the late 1990s to foster economic growth, social improvement and employment opportunities through investments in urban, social and industrial infrastructures and support and training for small-scale businesses. It is funded by the Brazilian Development Bank and comprises a 40 km avenue running through some of the poorest parts of the city.7 In 2005, this corridor initiative was extended through the ‘Good Business’ programme (Programa Bom Negócio), which involves partnerships between the government, private

Figure 4. Mall near BRT route in Curitiba



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sector and local universities. According to the City of Curitiba, by 2012 these programmes had resulted in the training of over 10 000 entrepreneurs; a profit increase of 66% for participating businesses; the creation of 3 000 direct jobs; and a 40.4% increase in monthly household incomes (Santos et al 2014). Since 2009 the city also has a Green Line (Linha Verde), which is an 18 km corridor that was converted from a federal highway, and has the first bus system in Latin America to operate with 100% biodiesel (B100). Recent legislation has altered zoning and land use along the Green Line to promote TOD by turning the area into a pedestrianfriendly, mixed-use corridor that can accommodate up to half a million new residents (Suzuki et al 2013). The Green Line is expected to provide the basis for a massive urban renovation of the city, and the value of real estate along the corridor has already increased substantially (Lindau et al 2010a). In addition, extensive sidewalk improvement and the construction of cycle paths as part of a bicycle master plan launched in 2013 is underway (Rosario 2016; This Big City 2013). Despite Curitiba’s success, in recent years the city has faced a number of challenges. Demand for BRT has outweighed supply, leading to slowed services during peak hours, overcrowding, increased operating costs and rising fare prices. As a result, critique of the system has been growing. Many middle-class car-owning travellers have opted to drive again, leading to increase in car use, decrease in BRT use and underuse of bike paths (following a number of road accidents). The system has also failed to integrate its growing suburbs into a coherent regional plan, thereby excluding suburban (and usually low-income) residents from access to the most liveable parts of the city. A focus on the ‘formal’ city, together with long waiting lists to access municipal housing, has led to growth in informal settlements outside of Curitiba’s city limits (Scruggs 2013). Critics are also concerned with the growing commodification of the city in order to attract capital (for example, the 2014 World Cup), which is sometimes at the expense of a large part of the population (Halais 2012). Finally, observers have pointed out that while Curitiba’s master plan may have kept land speculation in check, politically-connected private investors are

See This includes Jaime Lerner, Mayor of Curitiba in 1971-1975, 1980-1982 and 1989-1992. City of Curitiba website: A website has been set up to collect and share all information on the revision process: and 7 For more on the Linhão do Emprego see: PROGRAMAS%20DE%20GOVERNO/Programas%20Sociais%20Curitiba.pdf 3 4 5 6

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known to have gained considerable profits by acquiring potentially valuable land at lower prices in advance of major infrastructure projects, which drastically increased the value of properties along planned development axes (Macedo 2013). Following mounting pressure on the capacity of the RIT and the suspension of plans for a metro system due to a lack of federal funds (Globo 2016), in January 2017 the City of Curitiba adopted a new BRT system plan. Called City Vehicle Interconnected, the project includes hybrid and electric buses that will be connected through a total of five corridors totalling 106 kilometres and approximately 300 stations. Six of these stations will be built underground, resembling metro stations but at 6 meters under the surface not as deep as actual metro systems and therefore less costly and time consuming to build. All buses will be connected to fibre optic networks, giving passengers access to wireless internet and cell phone applications with real time information about bus services. According to city officials, the project represents an affordable solution to Curitiba’s transport problems and puts Curitiba back on the map as a leading sustainable city (Bazani 2017).

3.2. Ottawa, Canada Canada’s capital city, Ottawa, has 951 727 inhabitants and a very low population density of 316 per km² (WPR 2016). While the scale of Ottawa’s BRT system Transitway is small compared to other global TOD systems, it stands out for its success in reshaping city growth through investments in a busway, at a time when light rail was the preferred choice of most medium-sized North American cities. The city started the system in 1983 and now has one bus priority corridor consisting of 35 km and benefiting 220 000 passengers every day. Cost efficiency in a context of rapid suburbanisation and growth (with the spilling over of Ottawa’s boundaries) was the most important consideration at the time of the BRT’s implementation (Cervero 1998). In this context, a bus system was seen as better suited to the region’s future land use vision of concentrated workplaces and retail destinations encircled by largely low-density, single-family detached housing (Suzuki et al 2013). The Ottawa transit system now represents the most extensive exclusive busway system in North America and is considered to be “a major icon of BTOD” (Currie 2006). Cervero refers to it as “a textbook example of


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how to successfully coordinate transportation and urban development” (1998: 240). Ottawa’s leaders began with a concept plan that defined desired growth axes and then strategically invested in a high-quality, high-capacity bus system to drive growth along these corridors. Downtown Ottawa would retain its position as the dominant commercial, employment and cultural centre of the region, and would be surrounded by a hierarchy of primary and secondary urban centres, interconnected by high-quality transit. Marketdriven (predominantly low-density) patterns of development would be permitted outside these centres. As a result of supportive zoning and worldclass bus services, growth gravitated to bus corridors between 1985 and 2000 (Suzuki et al 2013). The City of Ottawa now has one of the highest transit utilisation rates in North America, even when compared with much larger rail-served cities like Chicago and Philadelphia. It also has the thirdhighest transit ridership per capita among major cities in Canada (after Montréal and Toronto). From 70 million passengers in 1998, annual ridership reached almost 100 million in 2014 (Suzuki et al 2013: 84-89; OC Transpo 2015). 19% of total trips are made by public transport (Global BRT Data 2016). Office and retail development is concentrated near Transitway stops, increasing employment opportunities, choice and liveability. An estimated 95% of residents live within 400 m of a bus stop, thereby guaranteeing access (Cervero 1998: 258). Key tools and measures for the planning, implementation and financing of corridor development in Ottawa include a comprehensive legal framework guided by a Regional Official Plan, aimed at creating density and a transitsupportive built form. It requires that employment opportunities are created close to existing or future Transitway stations, through the creation of Primary and Secondary Employment Centres. Regional trip generators and large-scale land developments such as shopping centres are also to be built within walking distance of Transitway stations or future extensions. Moreover, improvements to the existing transit system and the development of rapid transit take precedence over all forms of road construction and widening according to the principle of ‘transit first’ (Cervero 1998). Provincial funding covered most operating and capital costs in the first two decades of the introduction of

Figure 5. Ottawa BRT (Ansoncfit 2012)8

8 See

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Figure 6. Ottawa’s transportation masterplan9

Transitway in Ottawa. Since then 53% of operating costs are funded by customers’ fares with the remainder funded primarily through property taxes, as well as provincial gas tax transfers (OC Transpo 2015).

use, allowing for value recapture and environmental benefits due to reduced car use. Customers who use Park and Ride parking lots make up only 2-3% of total ridership (OC Transpo 2015).11

TOD design guidelines have directed investments in the Transitway since the early 1980s and play an integral role in achieving high quality design throughout the city, by translating the vision of the Official Plan and its broad framework into detailed principles for development.10 The current TOD guidelines were revised in 2007 and include guidelines with regard to land use; layout; built form; pedestrians and cyclists; vehicles and parking; and streetscape and environment (City of Ottawa 2007).

In addition to ‘sticks’, the City uses various pro-transit ‘carrots’, such as one of the first bus-based, real-time passenger information systems; eco-passes, which provide regular transit users with fare discounts; and the installation of bike racks in buses under the ‘Rack and Roll’ programme to promote cycling (Suzuki et al 2013).

TDM measures promote transit and walking and reduce car use. These measure have included: the elimination of free parking for government employees; the reduction of downtown parking spaces; and the restriction of park-and-ride facilities to encourage the use of feeder and express services, as well as to increase the development potential of selected stations (Suzuki et al 2013). Limited parking spaces near stations has reduced parking lot expenses and freed up land for commercial office

Key enabling conditions for Ottawa’s success include a high degree of political support and institutional coordination. The Regional Municipality of OttawaCarleton is responsible for the preparation of the regional masterplan and a Regional Council is responsible for comprehensive planning, investments in major infrastructure, and the provision of regional services such as air quality management. The Regional Council appoints members to the OttawaCarleton Regional Transit Commission, or OC Transpo, which is the region’s transit operating authority. The Transportation Committee, a standing committee of the Regional Council, manages the Transitway Programme (Cervero 1998). Figure 7. Bogotá Transmilenio BRT Station (Facchini, no date)12


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9 See 10 Ottawa City website: guidelines 11 OC Transpo website:

12 S  ee

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Regulatory controls enable the Regional Council to override local zoning and land use actions deemed inconsistent with the regional masterplan, although this rarely happens. Since 2007, OC Transpo presents an annual performance report to the Council and the Transit Commission as a way of improving accountability and transparency (OC Transpo 2015). The existence of concrete TOD objectives and guidelines which have been revisited over time has resulted in high levels of local expertise. The high quality of transport is combined with high levels of rider satisfaction and safety felt by customers (OC Transpo 2015). Like Curitiba, Ottawa has experienced some of the growing pains and limitations of a highly successful BRT system (Suzuki et al 2013). In 2013, after much deliberation, the City Council approved the conversion of the Transitway corridor in downtown Ottawa into a Light Rail Train (LRT) line as a response to increasing traffic congestion. Ottawa’s LRT began operation in 2001 and will be extended in two stages, the first is expected to be completed in 2018 and the second to be completed in 2023.13 The goal is to bring 70% of Ottawa residents within 5 km of rail. The current expansion plans also include plans for the construction of new BRT lines.

3.3. Bogotá, Colombia Bogotá has 7 760 500 inhabitants and at 4  495 per  km² its population density is similar to that of Curitiba (WPR 2016). Bogotá’s BRT system was created as a long-awaited response to traffic congestion and air pollution, and its first phase was implemented in record time after its conception in 1998. The city started its BRT system in 2000 and now has 11 bus priority corridors spanning 112 km. It represents the world’s highest capacity system, serving approximately 45 000 passengers per hour per direction and over 2 million passengers per day (Global BRT Data 2016). Known as TransMilenio – after the private company called Transporte del Tercer Milenio Transmilenio S.A., which was created to plan and operate the new system – it is now recognised as the ‘gold standard’ of BRT systems. After Curitiba it has become one of the most emulated BRT systems around the world (Duarte and Rojas 2012). In addition to Bogotá’s BRT corridor, the City has implemented a series of other corridors and TDM measures, illustrating a holistic approach to

control car use and promote walking and cycling. These include the construction of a 344 km bike route (cicloruta), the largest network in Latin America; the 17 km Alameda Porvenir, the world’s longest pedestrian corridor; and the closure of road segments for selected hours on holidays and weekends, creating 121 km of pedestrian and bike paths called Ciclovia. The peak and license plate programme (pico y placa) regulates private car use during the morning and evening peak hours, based on the last digit of the license plate. The world’s largest car-free weekday event (sin mi carro) temporarily removes about 1.5 million cars from the street and is aimed at educating people on alternating their modes of transit. Bicycle use has quintupled since the construction of bike routes, the opening of the Ciclovia, and the introduction of other bicycle-use promotions. Bicycles also play an important role as a feeder service, further extending the reach of the BRT system.ogwenldfi An important aim of corridor implementation in Bogotá is social equity, with a large portion of the TransMilenio’s service being targeted at low-income populations. An innovative land value capture scheme allows the City to receive about 30-50% of the increase in land value that results from public investments (for example, parks, cycle ways and pedestrian ways). It uses these funds for the construction of affordable housing for low-income households near TransMilenio stations, as well as access to social facilities such as schools, hospitals, parks and libraries through the Metrovivienda programme. Between 2001 and 2007, about 45 000 units were sold through this programme, mostly to low-income groups. Residents of these units currently enjoy better housing, as well as shorter commutes and lower commuting costs (Suzuki et al 2013). Key enabling conditions for Bogotá’s success are high levels of political support – with Mayor Enrique Peñalosa being the main promoter of the BRT system – which allowed for the system’s rapid implementation. Capital and operational costs of BRT implementation have been financed through a mix of national government grants, multilateral funding, public-private partnerships (PPPs) and local fuel and parking taxes. In addition, Bogotá is among a few cities in the world to use carbon credit mechanisms to finance its BRT system, covering 12% of its initial investment (Nelson et al 2012). Investments in infrastructure – such as public squares, improvements to sidewalks and the

Figure 8. Bogotá street on Civlovia (Harrison 2012)14


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13 O Train Confederation Line website:; Stage 2 LRT website: 14 S ee

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development of a pedestrian network – have enhanced the public realm and pedestrian environments near BRT stations; encouraged people to use the TransMilenio; and attracted private sector investment. However, researchers have found Bogotá’s BRT system to be weak in terms of its land use connection (Cervero and Dai 2014). The design of Bogotá’s BRT system has mainly focused on mobility and rapid operation of the buses. Broader long-term urban development goals have been overlooked and there has been little coordination between investments in the TransMilenio and land use, leaving development mainly to market forces. While building densities have increased across the city, this has mainly taken place on the city’s periphery or around end stations, where vacant land was available. While land values have increased close to some of the TransMilenio corridors and stations (Hidalgo et al 2013), land use around more central or mid-station areas has not become more significantly dense or mixed. This is partly because land was already occupied, but also because of the absence of changes in land use zoning, FAR policies, or other codes related to land development. This disjuncture has been excarebated by institutional inefficiencies; weak regional coordination; ineffectual density policies; and a lack of physical design considerations and sensitivity (Suzuki et al 2013). In recent years, deteriorating main routes and worsening traffic congestion have also overshadowed the TransMilenio’s success as a mobility solution (Ardila 2007; Margolis 2015). The decline in service quality reflects both the system’s popularity and the lack of attention to user needs. While ridership increased 10.3% between 2007 and 2008, the number of buses increased just 2.2% (Hidalgo and EMBARQ 2010). In addition, the capacity of the main corridors was not expanded until 2011. As a result, TransMilenio’s average travel speed declined from 28 km per hour in 2001 to 23 km per hour in 2011. Buses on the busiest lines are usually overcrowded, forcing passengers to wait a long time and leading to a decline in user satisfaction (Hidalgo et al 2013). Meanwhile, traffic congestion in Bogotá has worsened. Private car ownership increased from 104 vehicles per 1 000 people in 2003 to 163 vehicles per 1 000 people in 2008, which represents a 12.3% annual increase with almost no increase in roadway capacity. The capacity to serve high volumes of riders in dense traffic corridors is thus facing physical and technical

limitations, which has further impeded efforts to create higher-density mixed-use land projects around stations. In response, national, regional and city governments have started to place greater emphasis on integration of the transit system; strategic spatial development with densification and mixed land use; spatial design for place-making objectives; and value capture for infrastructure investments. While a new strategic transport plan launched in 2015 included proposals for the construction of a new metro, a green transit corridor and the introduction of cable cars (TransMilenio 2015), the restructuring of Transmilenio is still on-going. The most urgent needs are being met through the acquisition of new bi-articulated buses with higher passenger capacity and more environment friendly electric-powered buses (Caracol Radio 2017).

3.4. Ahmedabad, India The city of Ahmedabad is India’s fifth largest city with over 7 million inhabitants and a high population density of 9 900 per km² (WPR 2016). Over the past ten years, numerous Indian cities have implemented BRT systems and seven cities currently have operational BRT systems. The implementation of these systems has been spurred by national government funding support through the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, established in 2005-2006 with the aim of encouraging reforms and fast-tracking planned urban development in 65 cities across the country (Government of India 2011). The implementation of BRT has varied considerably between cities in India. The failure to deliver results led to the dismantling of Delhi’s BRT system in January 2016 after its launch in 2008 (Mehrotra 2016). Ahmedabad’s BRT system on the other hand has been internationally lauded as a success story, receiving multiple national and international awards (including the Government of India’s 2009 Best Mass Rapid Transit System award and the ITDP Sustainable Transport Award for 2011). The City started the system in 2009 and now has one bus priority corridor consisting of 82 km and benefiting 130 000 passengers every day (Global BRT Data 2016). Known as JanMarg or ‘People’s Way’, its primary objective was to reduce congestion and improve access in the city of Ahmedabad, by offering a new transportation system in a context of rapid urban growth. Figure 9. JanMarg bus and equitable road space allocation in Ahmedabad (Velaparatodo 2011)15


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Figure 10. Accessibility and social services planned in Ahmedabad16

Key tools for the planning, implementation and financing of corridor development in Ahmedabad include the adoption of a comprehensive urban mobility plan called ‘Accessible Ahmedabad’ which focuses on physical, social and economic accessibility with the BRT as a principal element.17 The BRT corridor has been designed to respond to local conditions, such as the need to connect busy places but avoid busy roads. Its aim is to serve the whole (and not just part of the) city, through an emphasis on equitable road space allocation amongst users and the need to improve mobility for all by ensuring spatial coverage, employment coverage and improved accessibility (Rizvi and Sclar 2014). For the implementation of the system the city created Ahmedabad Janmarg Limited (AJL) – a special purpose vehicle under the purview of the municipality to serve as a dedicated and independent agency with operating authority (Rizvi and Sclar 2014). AJL’s revenue comes from the Urban Transport Fund, which includes fare-box payments, parking charges, advertising and proceeds from the sale of additional FAR along BRT corridors. Janmarg


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can use this fund to finance transit improvements and operational deficits. In 2011, the City earned about $26 million from the sale of FAR bonuses, which represented 4.5% of the City’s total revenues and 5% of its total investment budget. The City has also introduced a number of innovative financing schemes, including India’s first municipal bond, various PPP arrangements and the Town Planning Scheme system (Suzuki et al 2013). JanMarg has improved quick and affordable access for local riders and advanced public transportation systems, while reducing congestion and the emission of greenhouse gases and air pollutants (Jaiswal et al 2012). The use of Janmarg was free for the first three months – a trial period to allow for solving glitches and easing opposition sentiments (Kadri 2010). Since then affordable fares – ranging from Rs 2 ($0.02) for a 1.5 km trip to Rs 5 ($0.09) for a 5 km trip – have further contributed to ensuring access and high ridership, with an increase of daily ridership by a factor of 10 in two years (from 13 000 in October 2009 to 135 000 in November 2011). User satisfaction is high, with an 8.5 out of 10 rating

16 See for%20Greater%20Ahmedabad%20Region.pdf 17 Ahmedabad BRTS website: Executive%20Summary_ABRTS%20Phase-1.pdf 18 Ibid.

Figure 11. Proposed transit interchanges in Ahmedabad18

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Figure 12. Proposed activity centres in Ahmedabad19


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Figure 13. Guangzhou BRT (Wikimedia Commons 2012)20

19 Ibid.

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20 S ee,Guangzhou.JPG


in monthly user satisfaction surveys (Suzuki et al 2013). Investments in open space around station areas have resulted in Janmarg’s stations being considered “some of the finest quality public spaces in the city” (Kost 2009). Key enabling conditions for Ahmedabad’s success include a supportive national policy and funding on the one hand, but a locally-driven initiative on the other. Key here has been the creation of a collaborative institutional structure consisting of the provincial Gujarat government, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority (AUDA) and Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology University. Corridor implementation has further benefitted from clear objectives, careful timing and forward planning, strong political commitment and will, leading to the rapid implementation of the BRT (Rizvi and Sclar 2014). In addition, popular support has been ensured with a policy of early, frequent and targeted community consultation and public relations efforts (Kadri 2010). Accessibility has been an important component of the plan for Janmarg. However, it has been conceptualised through circulation not densification, or “moving people around the city more swiftly, not by bringing urban activities closer together” (Suzuki et al 2013: 97). Development has been left mainly to market forces and much of it has happened away from Janmarg corridors. While private investments and development have taken place along existing and planned corridors – with prices of land near stations having nearly doubled between 2006 and 2011 – the absence of land value capture mechanisms has meant that private developers have been the only beneficiaries, profiting from the increased land value created by government investment. The opportunity to promote TOD is further hampered by land fragmentation; informal land transactions; degraded buildings; as well as shortcomings in the design of JanMarg and the connectivity between new urban developments and other modes of (public) transport (Suzuki et al 2013). Meanwhile, rapid urban growth has resulted in growing sprawl, increased trip lengths, travel time, car use and accidents. In response, efforts have been made towards integrating transport and land use in recent years (Suzuki et al 2013; Swamy and Bhakuni 2014). In 2012 AUDA adopted an Integrated Mobility Plan

for the Greater Ahmedabad Region, together with a revision of its Development Plan. This represents the first initiative undertaken in India to prepare both its transportation plan and Development Plan simultaneously, at a metropolitan scale (Swamy and Bhakuni 2014). The plan provides for the creation of regional urban nodes, to be connected by mass transit systems that, in addition to the existing and expanded BRT corridors, will include metro, suburban rail and regional bus systems. The plan also provides for the adoption of specific measures to promote TOD, such as the development of Local Area Access Plans near transit stations and intensification strategies by increasing Floor Space Index and encouraging transit supportive land use (Swamy and Bhakuni 2014). Figures 9 and 10 show a map of proposed mass transit interchanges and activity centres in Ahmedabad (Swamy and Bhakuni 2014: 34). Researchers expect that the City’s progressive planning culture, innovative development tools and business-friendly mind-set will provide the necessary support to meet Ahmedabad’s current development challenges. Further exploration of opportunities to capture increased land value in order to recover the costs of transit investment – as well as social housing, infrastructure and other developments – is deemed crucial in this regard (Suzuki et al 2013; Cervero and Dai 2014).

3.5. Guangzhou, China Guangzhou is China’s third largest city, with a population density of around 1 800 per km² and over 13 million inhabitants, 11  070  654 of which live in the city’s urban areas (WPR 2016). With an extensive metro, train and bus network having been implemented since the 1990s, following a master plan to guide the city’s rapid growth, development in Guangzhou has historically almost automatically followed transit investments. The creation of Guangzhou’s BRT system was motivated by the aim of reducing traffic congestion and finding a cost-effective solution to improving the city’s bus system (Deng et al 2013). Since it began operating in 2010 it has surpassed virtually all Chinese metro systems in terms of peak passenger volumes, making it the busiest bus corridor in Asia and the second-busiest bus corridor in the world (after Bogotá); setting many international benchmarks of what is possible with BRT (Fjellstrom 2010; Wright 2010). It has Figure 14. Bike sharing in Guangzhou located near a BRT station (ITDP China 2015)21


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21 S ee

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one priority bus corridor consisting of 22 km and benefiting 850 000 passengers every day (Global BRT Data 2016). It represents Asia’s only Gold Standard BRT system and is the first high-capacity BRT system in the world to use an open-system operational mode rather than a trunk-feeder model, which means that buses operate both inside and outside the BRT corridor, allowing passengers to make far fewer transfers and obviating the need for terminals and interchange stations. It features the world’s first direct BRT–metro station connection (at Shipaiqiao Station) and is the first BRT system in China to contract multiple bus operating companies for service provision (Suzuki et al 2013). Urban planning in Guangzhou is generally led by the Bureau of Urban Planning of Guangzhou Municipality, which implements national, provincial and municipal laws, rules, regulations and policies concerning urban planning.22 For the planning, design and implementation of the BRT corridor, the City collaborated with the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy through the Guangzhou Municipal Engineering Design and Research Institute. The BRT infrastructure was financed through a combination of funds from the Guangzhou City Government Construction Commission, international funding and the municipality (Hook et al 2006). While many car owners opposed the BRT during construction, fearing traffic conditions would worsen because of the reduced road space for cars, the BRT has improved not only bus speed (and travel time by 29% for bus passengers) but also private car speeds (and travel time by 20% for drivers), contributing to an aggregate annual time saving of 52 million hours. It has also reduced consumer travel costs, as users can transfer for free from BRT buses to other buses serving different routes. Levels of satisfaction amongst users are high, with the top-three influential attributes for satisfaction being ease of use, safety while riding, and comfort while waiting (Cao et al 2016). In 2010 the Guangzhou BRT bus fleet consisted of 980 mostly 12 m long, low-floor buses powered by liquefied petroleum gas, which is estimated to contribute to a reduction of an average of 86 000 tons of CO2 per year over its first 10 years (for a yearly certified emission reduction value of RMB 19 million or about $2.8 million). The BRT is also estimated to reduce the emission of particulate matter – which causes respiratory illness – by an estimated four tons (Suzuki et al 2013).


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While there was no corridor-wide institutional effort to coordinate transit and land use in the design of Guangzhou’s BRT project, municipal agencies have taken many steps to link non-motorised transport to station areas along the corridor. Guangzhou’s BRT is the first to include bike parking and bike sharing in the station design (Fjellstrom 2010). Its bike-sharing system consists of 5 000 bicycles at 113 stations along the BRT corridor, used by around 20 000 people every day (ITDP 2016).23 The same smart card used for BRT station access is used to access the bike-sharing system, with free rides provided for the first hour. Bike sharing allows the BRT to attract passengers from a wider radius. It also provides an option for passengers who would ordinarily travel just one or two stops, helping alleviate BRT crowding. Efforts have also been made to improve the quality of public space near the BRT, by developing linear parks, public spaces and installing other civic amenities. This includes the creation of the Donghaochong Greenway, a new high-quality greenway along the corridor, as well as footpaths, escalators at key stations and safe crossings along the corridor. This has contributed to the improvement of pedestrian safety and the quality of the walking environment. The Greenway project attracts people to live, work, cycle and play. Furthermore, measures have been introduced to discourage car use, through the transformation of parking areas along the BRT corridor into public spaces, as well as parking zoning and price discrimination. The central area of Guangzhou now has one of the highest parking fees in China (ITDP 2016). By serving the city’s highest-density and most congested corridor, the Guangzhou BRT has significantly improved public transit service in the city core, attracting new development. With its high capacity and ability to accommodate future growth along the corridor, the BRT system makes very high urban densities along the corridor a possibility, especially in less-developed parts of the city (Suzuki et al 2013). Studies suggest that proximity to the metro and the BRT has a substantial and statistically significant effect on apartment prices that vary by district and amenities provided (Salon et al 2014). According to the ITDP, land values along the BRT corridor are 30% higher compared to the district average (ITDP 2016).

22 For more on the Bureau of Urban Planning of Guangzhou Municipality see: 23 For more on the Guangzhou BRT see: china/guangzhou/

Figure 15. Greenway in Guangzhou (IDTP-China 2015)24

24 See

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Although it is too early to evaluate the impact of the BRT on land use patterns, densification and diversification of land use has been taking place along the corridor. Service-oriented commercial, other facilities, and high-rise housing are replacing factory, logistical and agricultural uses. Although no policy specifically promotes development along the BRT corridor, in practice, the City’s planning authorities are more inclined to allow higher-density developments there, in recognition of the need for improved traffic conditions (Suzuki et al 2013). The potential of TOD can further be found in the BRT as an open system. Open systems reduce the size of BRT stations, because they do not require additional space for connecting feeder lines. The smaller area needed for stations is a particular advantage when BRT systems must be built in narrow and crowded corridors. From a land development perspective open systems also effectively extend the spatial reach of the busway, allowing for a form of extended TOD –development that is less concentrated around transit stops but reachable by high-quality feeder connections (Suzuki et al 2013: 179-180). Figure 16. BRT Lite bus stop in Lagos (LAMATA)25

3.6. Lagos, Nigeria Lagos is Africa’s largest city with 22 583 305 inhabitants and a population density ranging between 4 000 and 20 000 per km² (WPR 2016). It is the first African city to have implemented a BRT system, which became operational in 2008. It now has one bus priority corridor consisting of 22 km and benefiting 200 000 passengers each day (Global BRT Data 2016).

Figure 17. Congestion caused by minibus taxis in Lagos (Guardian 2017)26


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In a context of rapid urban growth, extreme traffic congestion and limited resources, it represents a transport solution that is aimed at meeting key local user needs; improving quality of life, economic efficiency and safety within a clearly defined budget (Mobereola 2009; Kaenzig et al 2010). This has resulted in the adoption of a ‘BRT-Lite’ system – a form of BRT, but not the highest specification, such as in Bogotá or Guangzhou. In contrast to these high-end BRT systems, BRT Lite offers some form of priority but not full segregated busways and, instead of stations, usually has simpler bus shelters (Cervero 2013b). This reduces the necessary costs for implementation significantly, allowing it to function without an operating subsidy (MasonJones and Cohen 2012). At a total of about US$ 38.3 million, the cost of investment per km in Lagos

was about US$ 1.7 million, while internationally on average this is about US$ 2.9 million (Diaz 2008). Development assistance in the planning stages was provided by the World Bank and study tours were made to Curitiba, São Paulo, Bogotá and Santiago (Orekoya 2010). The introduction of the BRT is the first step towards integrated transport and development in the city of Lagos (Olawole 2012). It is also part of an overall vision of the state government to transform Lagos from a developing city into a ‘global city’. To this end, various megaprojects have started to be developed in recent years (Heinrich Böll Stiftung Nigeria 2016). Key in the implementation of the corridor has been the creation of the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), a public transport authority that has the capabilities to plan, regulate and form relationships to enforce and operate public transport with appropriate expertise, energy and desire to succeed (Mobereola 2009; Kaenzig et al 2010). To finance the system, LAMATA has worked together with the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), which controlled the existing informal paratransit network of minibuses. One hundred buses were purchased by NURTW operators; 120 buses were bought by a state-owned company, Lagbus and leased to private-sector operators; and a further 40 buses are operated by Lagbus itself (Mason-Jones and Cohen 2012). Ridership has been high since its launch, with the system having carried 9.7 million passengers 100 days after completion and a total of 260 million since commencing operations in 2008.27 User satisfaction is reported to be high, with travel time reduced (bringing employees closer to their places of work), reduced transport costs and high perceptions of safety (LAMATA 2009; Orekoya 2010; Adebola et al 2014). The system has also contributed to employment creation through the establishment of jobs for bus drivers, inspectors, supervisors, mechanics and a network of ticket sellers. Key enabling conditions of the success of the system as a transport solution so far have been high political support and commitment, leading to rapid implementation (15 months from conception to operation). Institutional coordination has been equally high, marked by a holistic approach to implementation that involved a re-organisation of the bus industry, creating a new institutional structure

25 S  ee 26 LAMATA website: 27 S  ee

International case studies


and regulatory framework to support it, together with the training of personnel to drive, maintain, enforce and manage the BRT. Community engagement ensured that BRT-Lite is seen as a community project created, owned and used by Lagosians (LAMATA 2009). In spite of the potential of integrating transport investments with land use, so far there has been no concerted effort to achieve TOD through the BRT. As a transport solution it has faced several challenges, ranging from drivers overloading the buses, to long waiting times and a culture of poor maintenance. Being diesel-powered, the buses are also not environmentally friendly (Adebambo and Adebayo 2009; Orekoya 2010; Ogunlesi 2012). Moreover, demand for the system soon outweighed supply. These issues are being addressed by the adoption of a Strategic Transport Master Plan,which has been developed as the blueprint for urban public transportation in Lagos. The plan proposes to create six rail lines, one monorail line, 14 BRT routes, 26 water transport routes, three cable car lines and several road improvements and traffic management initiatives by 2032. It also makes provision for the integration of land use development and urban transport planning by focusing future developments along main transit corridors, and the promotion of non-motorised transport through the development of pedestrian and bicycle master plans.28 If the City is able to dedicate the same kind of support and commitment to achieving TOD as it has in implementing its BRT system, the potential for TOD based on a multimodal transport system is high. The proven ability of the authorities to deliver so far will contribute to private sector support and investment. However, coordination would be needed with other state agencies that are currently implementing programmes in the area of urban renewal and housing development. Moreover, for value generated from such investments to effectively be captured, far-reaching reforms would be necessary to regularise land tenure, as most land in Lagos continues to be informally owned. The case of Lagos speaks to a wider need to acknowledge the challenges, but also the potential, of informality in advancing TOD.

28 F  or LAMATA’s Strategic Transport Master Plan Propositions see:


International case studies

International case studies


(i.e. the inability to create effectively mixed and diverse neighbourhoods).


CONCLUSION There are vast differences between the international cases in terms of the temporalities of corridor implementation and the geography and politico-economic realities of the cities examined. Only a few of the cities had concrete TOD objectives in terms of linking transit investments to changes in land use, be they explicit (Curitiba and Ottawa) or implicit (Bogotá and Guangzhou), while others have only recently started to incorporate such objectives in their corridor development plans (Ahmedabad and Lagos). Only in some cases were investments in corridor development accompanied by measures to ensure social equity and create mixed-income neighbourhoods – for instance through the development of affordable housing for low-income households and employment generation initiatives (Curitiba and Bogotá), showing that Latin America continues to be at the forefront of practices of socially inclusive corridor development. In other cities, corridor development was often primarily designed as a transport solution; adapted to meet local needs and characteristics, such as the existing built environment (Ahmedabad), scale (Guangzhou) or available resources (Lagos). Nevertheless, a number of similarities can be identified that mark the success of the implementation of corridor development, and thereby the potential for TOD: • A clear, overarching and holistic vision of urban development and the city by City leaders or authorities. • High levels of institutional collaboration and coordination between relevant government agencies. • The creation of a single owner-operator of the transport system and autonomous planning agencies. • High levels of popular and investor support through community, private and academic sector consultation, communication and collaboration. In terms of key tools and measures for implementing and financing TOD the case studies indicate the need for: • A comprehensive legal framework and tools to support TOD at the city level, such as zoning regulations and incentives to promote dense and mixed-use development along transit corridors, as well as guidelines and regulations to direct the design and development of such areas. • Tools to finance, capture or leverage transit investments, such as transferable development rights, density taxes and incentives and PPPs, as well as land value


International case studies

• The lack of effective changes in land uses around transit areas (i.e. the inability to effectively densify, regulate and capture changes in land use and values).

nevertheless often represents a barrier for such plans to materialise (Curitiba and Bogotá). For other cases it is still too soon to tell (Ahmedabad and Lagos). In the meantime, the success in the roll-out of bicycle infrastructures in most cities indicates strong potential for bicycle-based TOD.

The international case studies also highlight the importance of multi-modal transport approaches, as illustrated by efforts across the cases to expand or introduce other modes of transport alongside BRT (such as rail). While cases such as Ottawa and Guangzhou show that it is possible to integrate multi-modal transit systems, a lack of resources

The six international case studies show that, irrespective of the type of transit,TOD implementation must be a long-term and continuous effort with context-specific solutions. Ultimately, it is by joining international lessons and local experiences through on-going research and learning that successful TOD can be achieved.

capture schemes (provided that the right conditions are in place). • The importance of TDM measures and investments to discourage car use and encourage non-motorised transport such as walking and cycling. Reduced travel time, household transportation expenses and environmental impacts are amongst the most prevalent outcomes of corridor development, which are perhaps easiest to achieve in the short term. However, sustained urban growth makes it difficult to maintain such outcomes in the longer term (as in Curitiba and Bogotá). International experience points to the following dangers or weaknesses in terms of achieving or maintaining the benefits of TOD: • The challenge for BRT or other mass public transit systems is to maintain high qulaity performance, as well as be sufficiently accessible and affordable to capture passengers across all income levels (i.e. the inability to become viable alternatives to private car use, as well as to maintain high ridership rates and levels of satisfaction). • The danger of excluding low-income residents from the benefits of transit investments through a lack of affordable housing and insufficient access and connectivity to low-income parts of the city

International case studies


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International case studies


International case studies of Transit-Oriented Development-Corridor Implementation  
International case studies of Transit-Oriented Development-Corridor Implementation  

Part of the Spatial Transformation through Transit-Oriented Development in Johannesburg research series. Published by the South African Rese...