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.
Recent TOD news
Here are a few things that have been happening this week with TOD projects across the country.
- VTA is planning to develop over five acres of agency property near stations (San Jose Mercury News)
- Bi-State board approves $70m in TOD near St. Louis light rail station (Progressive Railroading)
- Google’s downtown San Jose TOD could bring 25,000 new jobs (San Jose Mercury News)
- How does access to frequent transit correlate with property values in Baltimore (Greater Greater Washington)
- Communities that fought TOD in San Diego are biggest beneficiary (Voice of San Diego)