Equitable Transit-Oriented Development - Metropolitan Planning Council

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Equitable Transit-Oriented Development

New opportunities for people of all incomes to live near transit

The basics of equitable transit-oriented development (eTOD)

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Equitable transit-oriented development (eTOD) advocates that people of all incomes experience the benefits of dense, mixed-use, pedestrian-oriented development near transit hubs.

What is eTOD?

Equitable transit-oriented development (eTOD) advocates that people of all incomes experience the benefits of dense, mixed-use, pedestrian-oriented development near transit hubs.

Why eTOD matters

Preferences for urban living are increasing the demand for housing and commercial development near transit stations. Without an explicit equity framework, lower-income people near rapid transit will be displaced. Research from Harvard University shows that how easily a person can get to work is the strongest factor in determining whether a person escapes the cycle of poverty (Chetty 2014).

MPC reduces barriers to equitable development near transit through robust public engagement, education, technical assistance and advocacy for policy change.

Benefits of eTOD

  • Household transportation cost savings of up to $10,000 per year
  • Access to 24-50% more jobs, particularly for low-income residents
  • Retail sales up to 88% higher in transit and pedestrian-friendly areas
  • Health improvements, including 3x lower obesity rates among adults who walk, bike or take transit
  • Household transportation emissions up to 78% lower in communities near transit
  • Up to 40% higher property values for homes near rapid transit

This attractive, two-page primer introduces the basics of eTOD in Chicagoland

Going to an external meeting? Visual learner? Start here!


Calculate the benefits of eTOD for your neighborhood

MPC's TOD Calculator offers residents, community groups and developers the ability to analyze the impact of development by neighborhood. The tool also illustrates which city parcels qualify for the TOD ordinance's benefits.


Community Input Drives Change

MPC helps communities proactively plan for real-world development scenarios. One proven tool consists of three community meetings over a span of several weeks, facilitated by MPC and sponsored by a community-based organization or public officials. These meetings result in customized development principles and scenarios, crafted by the community with help from experts, that guide neighborhood growth. Investors can use these findings to understand local opportunities and values, while residents benefit from having a starting point for discussions with developers.

Called the Corridor Development Initiative (CDI), this signature process has been applied by MPC and communities in Woodlawn, Uptown, Logan Square, Aurora, Hyde Park and North Lawndale.

To learn how the CDI could work in your neighborhood, visit metroplanning.org/CDI or email Kendra Freeman at kfreeman@metroplanning.org.

Download the PDF of MPC's most recent Woodlawn CDI report


Need examples? Here are eTOD Case Studies:

Studio Gang

City Hyde Park (51st/53rd Street Metra Electric)

City Hyde Park is located near the Metra Electric line and CTA express buses which offer quick access to the Loop. The development features a Whole Foods grocery store, as well as 36 affordable housing units on site.


Wight & Company

The Hatchery (Kedzie CTA Green Line)

Located near the Kedzie Green Line CTA stop in East Garfield Park, The Hatchery—a non-profit business incubator for food industry entrepreneurs, founded in partnership with Accion, ICNC and IFF—will provide educational programs, financial assistance to entrepreneurs and a neighborhood market.


McShane Construction Company

Parkview Apartments (Arlington Heights Metra)


The Parkview apartments in Arlington Heights will be a mixed-income, multi-family development, offering affordable and market-rate units and convenient access to the Arlington Heights Metra station.

Metropolitan Planning Council 140 S. Dearborn St.
Suite 1400
Chicago, Ill. 60603
312 922 5616 info@metroplanning.org

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