LinkedIn
Facebook
Twitter

 

 





Sponsors





Events 

RICSSummit of the Americas Toronto 2014
May 4-6, 2014
RICS Summit of the Americas 2014 is for any real estate professional looking to draw from timely, in-depth market knowledge that will be shared by local and international experts in the land, property and construction sectors. The summit will provide an excellent opportunity to connect with top professionals from around the world and engage in educational seminars and premier discussion forums. 

Sonoma Living: Home Tours
May 10, 2014
AIA San Francisco and AIA Redwood Empire are excited to announce Sonoma Living: Home Tours, a new home tours program for 2014. Sonoma Living will showcase a wide variety of architectural styles, neighborhoods, and residences—all from the architect's point of view. The program provides design enthusiasts and the general public with an inside look into the world of distinctive residences in Sonoma county. Tour participants have the opportunity to see some of the area's latest residential projects from the inside out, meet design teams, explore housing trends, and discover design solutions that inspire unique Sonoma living.


Design for Social Impact
May 25–August 3, 2014
Based on the idea that design is a way of looking at the world with an eye for changing it, the Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA) presents Design for Social Impact, an original exhibition offering a look at how designers, engineers, students, professors, architects and social entrepreneurs use design to solve the problems of the 21st century. 

 

Competitions

Deadline: April 25
Call for Entries (Student Awards) 
ASLA 

Deadline: June 1 
AIA|LA 2014 Design Awards Program Registration 
AIA|LA

Deadline: December 31
Kitchen Design Contest
Wolf and Sub-Zero 

FORM Event Images

Industry Partners

  

  




















 

Hidden
« Update: Checking in on Alta Verde Escena | Main | The FORM Questionnaire: A Conversation with Brooks Atwood »
Monday
May132013

The Rebranding of Urban Transit: A "TOD Summit" Lets Architects Rethink Rail

By Jack Skelley

Architects and urban planners agree: TODs—or Transit Oriented Developments—are the future of our cities. As land on the urban fringes is consumed by sprawl, creating hideous commutes and sour economies, a crucial solution is to bring transportation close to jobs and housing. What is also dawning on these experts, however, is that the TOD solution is not the most people-friendly concept. Fairly or not, it tends to connote noisy trains and cramped living.

James C. Auld, AIA, a partner with Altoon Partners LLP, is an architect leading the rethinking of TODs. He co-chairs the annual TOD Summit produced by ULI Los Angeles. (This year’s TOD summit is Thursday, June 6, at Metro Headquarters in downtown Los Angeles. Register here.) He describes how the TOD solution is evolving into “great places to live and play.”

Form: What is wrong with the term TOD?

Auld: For people in the military, government and non-profits, it’s a tidy and memorable moniker. But as we enter an entirely new phase, it’s really inadequate to describe what could and will be going on. TOD is pretty threatening, except when you realize what it can give to you. It has been associated with higher density, shoe-horning more people into apartment buildings and “workforce/subsidized/senior housing.”

However, “transit orientation” does give working people added or better-appropriated time in their lives. So it should be presented as improving people’s quality of life, giving them options for when the car doesn’t work, for when you get older, for those times when driving four miles can take 35 minutes.

Form: On a design level, what do TODs do for neighborhoods?

Auld: When you walk from where you live to a rail or transit station, everything slows down. That zone between the curb and 15 feet up becomes much more tactile and every linear foot is more valuable, both as walking experience and as real estate. It’s about frontage versus square feet. When you’re in a car the streetscape is mostly a blur. 

Form: What design changes will make that experience more livable and enjoyable?

Auld: It’s about connecting transit systems where people live, work, play – where they have to be and want to be. I am a digital person. But younger people especially live in the world of smartphone apps. In Seattle and Portland, where transportation is highly advanced, the travel app is really useful and sophisticated. Meanwhile, the L.A. subway doesn’t even have Wi-Fi. You are disconnected when you are underground. Younger people are all over this. The car is not going away, but people are choosing to live in more urban places. Many of them are live/work places and smaller-scale development. The best ones also have serious bike facilities. All this will meet the needs of younger people and market demands. There is a huge demographic swing happening, and the future results will be amazing.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>