Transit-oriented development: A review of research achievements and challenges

Anna Ibraeva*, Gonçalo Homem de Almeida Correia, Cecília Silva, António Pais Antunes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)


Among the attempts made worldwide to foster urban and transport sustainability, transit-oriented development (TOD) certainly is one of the most successful. Since the TOD concept appeared in the late 1980s, it has received increasing attention from researchers and practitioners as a way to merge together transport engineering and planning, land-use planning, and urban design for providing comprehensive solutions to contemporary urban problems. This attention has notably led to the publication of over 300 articles explicitly concerned with TOD in Web of Science journals, as well as to many implementations of the concept, some already completed and others underway (as, for example, the Grand Paris Project in France and Moscow Central Circle in Russia). Essentially, TOD can be described as land-use and transport planning that makes sustainable transport modes convenient and desirable, and that maximizes the efficiency of transport services by concentrating urban development around transit stations. However, as TOD projects started to be implemented worldwide, it became evident that their outcomes could be quite diverse, revealing that in practice the results of a project would depend on a wide variety of factors, trends and complex interrelations between them. In this article, we aim to provide a comprehensive, systematic and up-to-date review of TOD research achievements and challenges. We start by presenting the TOD concept, framing it in the theory of urban planning, and by describing the different typologies of TOD proposed in the literature. Then, we review the vast research dedicated to the study of TOD effects, distinguishing impacts on travel behavior, real-estate prices, residential location, urban form, and community life. The next subject we look at is TOD planning, focusing separately on policy issues and decision-support tools. In the final part of the article, based on the analysis of previous literature, we identify the main gaps and challenges that TOD research needs to address in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-130
Number of pages21
JournalTransportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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