Past, Present and Future of Transit-Oriented Development in three European Capital City-Regions

Dorina Pojani, Dominic Stead

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeChapterScientificpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)
172 Downloads (Pure)


The concept of Transit-Oriented Development—development near, and/or oriented to, mass transit facilities—has generated much interest in Europe over the last decade. Coined in the United States in the 1990s, the term “TOD” is frequently assumed to be a recent American import and a reaction to the consequences of mass motorization and sprawl. However, TOD is based on much older ideas of rail-based urban development that took place in many European cities during the 19th and 20th centuries. Arguably, the modern reincarnation of TOD is more focused on urban aesthetics. Other tenets, such as accessibility, density, and mixed-use, have remained more or less unchanged.

This article examines how planning policies in three European capital city-regions—Amsterdam, Stockholm, and Vienna—have been shaped by the ideas and principles underlying TOD. The three case studies were selected because all are located in European countries with mature systems of spatial planning: the Netherlands (Western Europe), Sweden (Northern Europe), and Austria (Central Europe). The article examines the extent to which planning policies from the mid-20th century to the present have reflected TOD principles. The analysis is based on secondary sources (articles, books, and planning reports), and the focus of the study is on policy rather than measurements and metrics. The last three decades are explored more in depth as material is more readily available.

The first part of the analysis summarizes the development of spatial planning in the Netherlands, Sweden, and Austria since WWII, with an eye to highlighting policies that could be considered to be, or might affect, TOD. The second part deals with the implications of these policies in terms of past, present, and future TOD planning and practice in the respective capital city-regions: Amsterdam, Stockholm, and Vienna.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPreparing for the New Era of Transport Policies
Subtitle of host publicationLearning from Experience
EditorsYoram Shiftan, Maria Kamargianni
Number of pages26
ISBN (Print)978-0-12-815294-2
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Publication series

NameAdvances in Transport Policy and Planning
ISSN (Print)2543-0009

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project

Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • Transit-Oriented Development
  • Planning
  • Netherlands
  • Sweden
  • Austria
  • City-regions


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