TOD Standard



Transit-oriented development (TOD) is a critical solution to the unsustainable, car-dependant, and transit-poor urban sprawl that has characterized the growth of cities around the world over the last century. It also contrasts with transit-adjacent development that fails to foster the strong walking and cycling environment needed to complement and actively support the use of public transit.

The TOD Standard 3.0 is a powerful tool to help shape and assess sustainable urban development. It focuses on maximizing the benefits of public transit and non-motorized mobility while placing the emphasis firmly back on the users: people. The Standard outlines several core principles of urban design and land use, each supported by specific performance objectives and easily measurable indicators, or metrics.

Together, they promote safe, balanced, and vibrant neighborhoods around stations; short and well-connected pedestrian and cycling networks; densities that ensure strong customer bases for local services and public transport; and minimal car traffic and parking interference.


By providing a way to quickly evaluate the planning and design components that are key to successful TOD, the Standard fills a critical gap in the instruments available to both technical and non-technical audiences, such as: policymakers, planners, city officials, developers, architects, engineers, civil society organizations, and the general public.

*Version 3.0 of the Standard was updated in June 2017, replacing previous Versions 1.0, 2.0, and 2.1.

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The building blocks of inclusive cities. This is an illustration of the MIX principle from the TOD Standard.

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