Denver union station with city skyline aerial photo

Introduction to Transit Oriented Development

Few terms are as common in the discussion of city and regional planning in the 21st century as transit oriented development (TOD)—the planning and designing of high-demand land uses at or near highly efficient modes of transportation.

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Course Info

  • Duration 8 video lessons (51 Mins)
  • Published Published
  • Trending Trending
  • 4.25
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Browse Course Chapters

  • Chapter Locked
    Chapter Duration 2 mins
  • Chapter Locked
    Making the Case for TOD
    Chapter Duration 9 mins
  • Chapter Locked
    Defining the Concept
    Chapter Duration 7 mins
  • Chapter Locked
    TOD: Past as Precedent
    Chapter Duration 6 mins
  • Chapter Locked
    TOD Stakeholder Engagement
    Chapter Duration 5 mins
  • Chapter Locked
    TOD Regulatory Support
    Chapter Duration 6 mins
  • Chapter Locked
    Financial Alignment
    Chapter Duration 9 mins
  • Chapter Locked
    Chapter Duration 3 mins

What You Will Learn

  • Understand TOD features, including economic, environmental, and socially equitable objectives.
  • Consider historic development patterns as precedent for contemporary TOD.
  • Expand on TOD characteristics and weigh to what degree exemplary projects meet those marks.
  • Examine TOD case studies in Boston, Denver, and Washington, D.C.
  • Discuss transportation and development programs that complement and enhance TOD. 
  • Deliberate on the future of the development paradigm in light of COVID-19 and climate change.

Course Description

The goal of transit oriented development (TOD) is eminently well intentioned: to manage regional growth by locating new development along accessible mass transit corridors in multi-modal communities. While TOD has gained increasing favor in recent decades, it's actually a traditional development model in the United States, dating back to the late 19th century. TOD promotes pedestrian-scale design, local economic vitality, and a dense variety of uses in pursuit of convenient and subtle sustainability. 

This course outlines the tenets of transit oriented development (TOD), showcases exemplary TOD projects from across the United States, and considers opportunities for improving development paradigms in years to come, as climate change compels more sustainable growth models.

Learn these skills

  • Accessibility
  • Bicycle Planning
  • Economic Development
  • Equity
  • Housing
  • Land Use
  • Parking
  • Pedestrian Planning
  • Regional Planning
  • Regulations
  • Site Planning
  • Sustainability
  • Transportation
  • Urban Design
  • Urbanism
  • Walkability
  • Zoning Codes


This course is approved for 1 AICP CM credit.


This course is 1 LU.


This course is approved for 1 SACPLAN CPD point.

Meet Your Instructor

John Hersey

John Hersey

John is a planner with two decades of experience critically evaluating and advancing transit-oriented development as a nonprofit advocate, transit-agency staff, university instructor, and consultant to cities and developers.

Meet Instructor

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