Chicago explores community led solutions for equitable TOD


A Green Line train approaching the 51st Street station on the northern edge of the Washington Park neighborhood. Downtown Chicago can be seen in the background to the north.

The City of Chicago credits its TOD ordinance with the construction of 8,000 housing units and the generation of 11,000 construction jobs since 2015. For the city, TOD is seen as a positive influence with environmental, fiscal, and health benefits for everyone.

Yet new development near transit doesn’t seem to be happening everywhere in Chicago, especially in neighborhoods with high poverty rates and a history of redlining and segregation on the South and West sides. Stations in these neighborhoods have vacant lots but see little to no development interest. And when development does happen in underserved areas, it tends towards places that are gentrifying like the California Avenue station in Logan Square, a predominantly Latino neighborhood that has lost 20,000 Latino residents since 2000.

But that might change as more advocates and organizations start to bring investment to these communities. Affordable housing developers are hoping to build 100 percent affordable housing on city owned land at California Avenue and a new consortium of 16 local organizations called Elevated Chicago is looking at drawing investments to seven stations on the South and West sides to realize a new idea for development near transit: equitable TOD or eTOD.

Elevated Chicago hopes that by focusing on eTOD, a community led solution for neighborhood displacement resulting from gentrification or disinvestment can be found and implemented.

For more information on equitable TOD, check out where you’ll find A Guide for Community-Oriented TOD Planning or Promoting Opportunity Through Equitable TOD.

Recent TOD news

Here are a few things that have been happening this week with TOD projects across the country.