A transit oriented system refers to a design in an area that makes it possible for use of public transport in the area. It also refers to the area being designed in a manner that promotes use of other transit ridership. A neighborhood that has transit Oriented Development designs is often characterized by the presence of train stations, train stops and bus stops. This is because it is often common to find the people in that area resorting to this kind of methods of transport for one reason or another. Areas that experience rapid population growth or that already have a high number of people living in them are quick to adapt to public mode of transportation for several reasons. One of these reasons is so as to avoid traffic jamming. When many people in one area are all driving their personal vehicles in one direction at the same time, there is bound to be heavy traffic that is experienced at that time and instead people are therefore unable to reach their destinations on time, thus, beating the reason they used private transport in the first place. Public transport helps in decongesting the roads because they are capable of carrying several passengers at the same time and thus there will be fewer vehicles on the road. Public transport also includes the use of the train system, which when compared to private transport, is even much faster and more effective.
Another reason why most areas are resorting to public modes of transport is that it helps in avoiding or reducing the number of accidents that take place on their roads. The reason for this first of all is that the road becomes less congested thus gives those who are still driving ample time and the capability to drive comfortably without any strain or fear. Having fewer people driving also reduces the number of accidents because there are very few drivers on the road, majority of who are those who are operating the public transport system. Most of these people are often professionals and thus are able to navigate the roads with much ease than when there are too many inexperienced or learner drivers on the road.
Abu Dhabi is the capital of the United Arab Emirates and is one of the centers that conduct both commercial and cultural activities, alongside other cities such as Dubai. The population of the United Arab Emirates is very diverse, with most of the people who reside in that area being expatriates. The percentage of people who live in the area that are nationals was only given as 13 percent by the last census carried out (Davidson & Clawson, 2011). Currently, the UAEW has the highest rate of population growth in the whole world, for various reasons. One of the reasons that have made it easy and convenient for people to migrate to UAE is that it is easy for one to apply for citizenship, because all they need to do is to have lived in the country for twenty years and do not have any record of crimes that they committed during this period.
Another reason that has been given for the rapid population growth in the area is its booming economy. The UAE government has also been reported to be encouraging families in the area to expand. Most of the people in the area have ages ranging from 15 years to 64 years. They account for almost 79 percent of the entire population (Nassar et al, 2014). This means that if the statistics remain as they are, the area will continue to have several people and a growing population for a very long time. This can also be witnessed in the fact that the second age group that is most common in the area is those of the ages from 0 to 14, who account for 20 percent of the entire population. Estimates that were taken in the year 2007b showed that the death rate in the area is much less than the birth rate, another reason why the population in the area is still growing. The death rate as at 2007 was given as 2.16 deaths in one thousand people, while the birth rate was given as 16.09 births in one thousand people.
According to a report that was released in 2014 by the united Nations, the UAE and the United Kingdom are the places that are experiencing very high population growths owing to the fact that many people in the world are now preferring to migrate to these areas (Nassar et al, 2014). Currently, the two places are each experiencing that they have to accommodate over 8 million immigrants every year. The reason that was given for this is that most people in the world have to leave their native lands for various reasons. The prefer to live in areas that have gulf oil because they feel these are more ideal places for settlement owing to the fact that opportunities in such areas are currently on the increase. Some of the people who have already moved to this area state that since their migration, they have been able to get better job opportunities and those who venture into their own private businesses have also excelled greatly.
Most of the people who are attracted to the public mode of transport are those who are in the brackets of low and medium income earners. The reason for this is that this method helps them to reduce their expenditure in a lot of things (Holmes & Hemert, 2008). For instance, public transport is cheaper and thus helps them to reduce their expenditure on transport. Transport Oriented Development helps in the linkage of potential workers to available jobs and the centers where they are found. The program also helps in encouraging investments especially in areas that have previously been suffering from economic depression and general neglect. In addition to this, it is a known fact that when an area is experiencing restrictions of neighborhood developments have the capability of having problems of housing because they are rare to find and thus expensive. The development of TOD in an area helps in an area helps in reducing the cost of housing due to the fact that it contributes to increase in supply of housing (Holmes & Hemert, 2008). As earlier stated, this method also helps in reducing the amount of money that people have to spend on transportation. As a result, the people have more money that they are now free to use for other purposes such as the purchase of food, financing their education, and taking care of other expenses that they may have as individuals or as families. This mode of transport is also quite likely to help those who are of the low income bracket, mostly because their chance of owning personal cars is quite low owing to their low income. The availability of public transport thus makes work easier for them and they are able to take part in their day to day activities with ease.
Advantages of Transit Oriented Development
The integration of TOD means that there is decentralization of facilities from major towns to the TOD areas where there is now higher population (In, 2011). This is especially due to the fact that for any given area to be able to attract large populations, it must be able to provide those facilities that are considered very important for human beings, these being better and cheaper housing and better and more convenient modes of transportation. Since these are what TOD is largely concentrated on, it goes without saying that more people will be drawn to these areas. When this happens, there will be movement of other facilities to these areas. Such facilities include education, health and social facilities. In addition, employment opportunities will also increase owing to the fact that such settlements will be able to attract more businesses and investments (In, 2011). It also helps to reduce the chances of the existence of disparities between the availability and cost of facilities in areas that are referred to as fringe suburbs and other places that are considered to be more developed.
Decentralization of facilities from the central business district is also beneficial in many ways, one of which is the reduction on population density in the cities. It is evident mostly in developing countries that near almost all their major cities, there are slums that come up. The reason for this is that the city has been seen as the sole place where people are able to access better jobs and facilities to better their livelihood. However, despite the opportunities that are seen to be available in the city, these people are still not able to afford decent living owing to the fact that life in such areas is generally expensive (In, 2011). When there is decentralization, it leads to what can be termed as alternate CBDs. These alternative CBDs will have more space for expansion and thus take away the need for people to crowd in the major cities, thus leading to a reduction in the number of people who are living under deplorable and still expensive conditions.
Another social benefit is that it makes it easier and faster for people to commute from one place to the other, especially for job purposes (Dittmar & Ohland, 2004). This means that they are able to get more time, which they can use for other social benefits such as spending time with their families or bonding with one another.
There are several benefits that have been attributed to the use of TOD in the areas where they have been taken up. One of them has already been mentioned as the reduction in the amount of money that people spend on transportation, thus freeing their money that can then be used for other purposes (Dittmar & Ohland, 2004). Another advantage of TOD is that it generally lowers the cost of living because it is quickly adopted and preferred by people who earn much less and thus have much less money to spend on their day to day activities.
TOD is not only concerned with the provision of public transport to the public. In fact, it is instead concerned with finding ways in which decongestion in major cities can be done, by reducing the need for people to reside within the cities. This is done by putting measures in place to ensure that whatever it is that is making people prefer to live in cities is provided to them even in the outskirts of the cities, thus making it easier and moiré comfortable for them to leave the city. TOD is concerned with the construction and adoption of living within means of facilities outside of the cities (Dittmar & Ohland, 2004). For instance, it encourages people to live near the places where these amenities are found. For instance, people are encouraged to live along the corridors where there are train stations or bus stops so that it is easier for them to reach the city whenever the need for it arises. As a result, there will be fewer people who will want to live in the city itself, especially since life in the city is much more expensive than living in the suburbs. To establish this kind of development however, it is important that the area ensures that there are facilities that are able to b comfortably used by this public.
Transit oriented development is majorly about three things; development of cheaper and more convenient housing, and provision of facilities, including jobs around areas where public transport hubs exist (Messenger & Ewing, 1996). As a result, this kind of development has the capability of developing strong links between commercial and residential places, thus taking away the need for people to travel long distances for various reasons such as work and to access public amenities. In the long run, more people begin to feel more relaxed and comfortable with their daily lives.
Transit oriented development helps in making public transportation a more workable solution to many of the problems that people face. This is because of its ability to ensure that the distances travelled by people on a daily basis are reduced (Messenger & Ewing, 1996). This helps in making most neighborhoods more lively and interesting, and makes the households more attracted to public transport. This in turn helps in the reduction of congestion on the roads because people abandon their private methods for those that are more convenient and cheaper. Therefore, public transportation is seen as just one of the many benefits that people in an area enjoy when TOD is adapted.
Areas that manage to successfully install TOD provide various different modes of transportation. As a result, there is higher population in those areas. This translates to more businesses setting up in these areas because it becomes where they are able to get the audience they are searching for (Messenger & Ewing, 1996). As this goes on, more investments begin to take place in these areas and when the international community begins to take notice of this particular area, it becomes more prone to more developments as well as government and international funding of various activities.
Owing to the fact that this system brings together people who use different modes of public transport, it has been credited for directly encouraging and fostering patronage growth (Schneider, 2004). This in turn helps in the rapid growth of businesses in the area because employees become more easily available and therefore efficient enough o carry out their duties in the manner that is required. These benefits are even realized more when the TODs are located much closer to each other as opposed to when there is some considerable distance between them.
When TOD is actively and successfully integrated in an area, there is bound to be higher population in that area. As a result, there are better businesses that will come up as more people will be moving to the areas (Schneider, 2004). Therefore, the amenities in these areas will begin to have a higher value than they previously did which to the governments of these areas; will translate to more tax for them to collect from the people’s use of these amenities.
When more people are willing to pay prices for the Transit Oriented Development properties, it gives the governments of these areas the leeway to use land values in order to meet the upcoming costs of the structures that have to be put up in those areas (Schneider, 2004). This money will also be beneficial for the maintenance of these structures once they have been put up and are in use.
When Transit Oriented developments are put in place in the right manner, there is a high chance that there are several people who will now find it easier to live in these areas rather than all rushing into towns. As a result, there will be less population density in all areas, particularly in major towns and cities (Schneider, 2004). This therefore translates to the fact that there will be reduced strain in government finances in one area due to expansion of infrastructure. TOD is also responsible for a more collective form of development of a whole country rather than just in major towns. This is due to the fact that there will be more areas that will be preferred by more people as places of residence and areas to conduct business. As a result, the areas that were previously abandoned and neglected will benefit from new developments brought about by high population.
Transit oriented development has also been credited for increasing the efficiency of the transport infrastructure that are currently in place. Residents of TOD areas are more likely to use public transport than those who are not residents (Belzer et al, 2002). Those who live near such transport amenities are more likely to use them as compared to those who live away from them. And since it has already been previously established that the TOD areas are attractive larger populations, it means that the general number of people who resort to public transport will be on the rise. Therefore, when more people are increasingly taking to this mode of transport, there is am high likely hood that more effort will be driven towards ensuring that transport industry is developed enough to cater of the needs of the public with ease.
Another major factor that should not be forgotten about the advantages of this method is that it reduces pollution. This is especially pollution that is brought about by the emission of greenhouse gases to the air. This is often brought about by the increase in use of machines that need petroleum and petroleum product (Belzer et al, 2004). One good example of this is cars and general road transport facilities. When more people resort to the use of public transport, it means that there are fewer vehicles on the road, most of which are public. A reduction in the number of vehicles on the road automatically means that there are fewer vehicles that are emitting dangerous gases to the environment. In much more developed countries, and the United Arab Emirates, there has been introduction of trains that instead of operating like the old ones on petrol, they are instead using electricity. This means that they are even the best method of transportation that can be adopted to help in prevention of dangerous emissions. This is because, when the train uses electricity, it does not release any gas to the environment.
As was earlier mentioned, the adaptation of public modes of transport helps in reducing the amount of gas emissions to the environment thus assisting in the reduction of the major problem of global warming that the world is currently dealing with (Renne & Wells, 2005).
On a more local level, the adoption of TOD helps in development of sustainable living in the sense that it encourages self sufficiency in the suburbs since apart from encouraging the use of public transport; such areas are also constructed in a manner that also encourages personal less expensive modes of transport such as cycling or walking (Renne & Wells, 2005). To maximize the benefits of transit oriented developments, governments are now being encouraged to construct TOD while thinking about private sector businesses more than they are doing today.
Apart from the use of oil on other industries, much of the oil that is taken up by many countries is used for transport service provision, majorly for vehicles and trains for countries that are yet to adapt to the electric trains (Renne & Wells, 2005). When a country is able to resort to TOD and use it successfully, the dependence on the said country on international oil is greatly reduced and thus the country is able to use the money that previously went to oil purchase on other development projects.
In order to understand the benefits that come with TOD, it is first important that we understand what exactly TOD means and how it can be integrated in an area (Schlossberg & Brown, 2004). The main idea behind TOD is that people are able to access a lot of the things they want by transit, instead of the usual driving that they are used to. Therefore this program ensures that many of the facilities and amenities that people would like to access on a regular basis are very near and within reach so as to avoid taking the usual modes of transport for long distances. They are thus encourages to get used to public transport and other modes of transit such as walking or cycling.
Although in the beginning TOD seemed to be attracting people of lesser income due to the cheap and available resources, there has been a great increase in the number of people of higher social status that are interested in residing in TOD areas (Schlossberg & Brown, 2004). There are several reasons that have been linked to the fact that there is need to increase the prices of the resources and facilities that are availed in these areas so as to be able to find funds for their sustenance. The rise in prices began in such areas when clever investors began to see the long term benefits they were likely to enjoy when the TODs became successful in those areas. As a result, the competition for these areas also began to increase, forcing land owners to increase the prices of purchase or leasing.
In order for these areas to be successful, there was the need for building amenities that match the standards of those that are found in the main cities, since the main aim of TODs is to bring back people from towns (Schlossberg & Brown, 2004). As a result, a lot of money and resources are put into the construction of streets and other facilities, hence translating to the higher prices of accessing these facilities. Parking spaces also became an issue that had to be handled with urgency. This is keeping in mind that the people who will be coming to reside in such areas will need space to park the vehicles they already have in order to use the public transport. This means that most of the time, these cars will have been immobile and thus will need maple and safe parking all the time.
Factors that promote effective TOD
Transit is increasingly being used as a method of ensuring that there are more places that people would like to reside in and raise their families (Dittmar & Poticha, 2004). In this regard, it is necessary that plans for a development plan to be made before the construction of a TOD area begins, or before there are any constructions for transit means. However, since it is not easy to predict what kind of businesses will set up in these areas once they are up and running, the only thing that developers can ensure is that there are good structures for people to re4side in and that the means of transport that they will be using for transit is situated in a way that is convenient for all the residents of the place. Later, those who will want to develop their places will find their own ways of getting around conveniently. A well constructed transit station is attractive to many businesses because it makes their access much easier for their targeted consumers (Dittmar & Poticha, 2004). It is also convenient for them to transport their goods to the places where they would like to sell them.
When a transit station is constructed well, it will follow that the residential areas around it will also be built in a method that makes them convenient for the people who live around it. Therefore, when this is done in the correct manner, it will also be suitable for businesses and other interested parties to set up in the area (Dittmar & Poticha, 2004). This is because the construction will have factored in the fact that there is bound to be a lot of development in the area and thus there is enough and convenient space for this developments and expansions.
Laying down the plans for the construction of TOD should be done early enough. This is to ensure that all areas are covered and there are no extra expenses or ideas that will crop up once the development of the area begin. It will also help a lot when it comes to budgeting to ensure that there is enough money to cater for all the constructions in good time (Dittmar & Poticha, 2004). A clear vision should also be laid out early enough so that all the plans that are executed will go hand in hand with this vision so as to have better chances at success. The planners should also carry out a financial feasibility in order to ensure that all the plans will fall in place once construction begins. All the concerned stakeholders should be made to understand all the actions that are intended to take place in the area so that there is no conflict of interest when the development takes off. The developers should only consider themselves ready for the implementation once all the systems have been put in place (Dittmar & Poticha, 2004). This means that there is availability of good land on which the TOD is going to be set up. It also means that they will have already identified the financial tools that they are going to find necessary for the implementation of the TOD.
Power of partnerships
Whenever development of projects around transit lines is considered, it is important to note that it will come with a little more cost on the transit agency (Curtis et al, 2009). This is first of all brought about by the fact that there will be an increase in ridership and sometimes may infringe on the chances of the success of the transit agencies that are operational around that area. It is therefore important for stakeholders with interests around the area to pull their resources together so as to come up with a definite plan that is beneficial for everyone. Most of the time, these stakeholders are transit agencies, private developers and local governments. They should therefore all make sure that their participation is equal and active so as to ensure that there is success and that all of them are able to benefit as well as the people who intend to live in these areas (Curtis et al, 2009).
For any given partnership to be able to prosper in its endeavors, all the parties that are concerned should put in all the effort that they can. In this case, the public sector as one of the partners has the power to dictate certain issues that may have direct effects on the development of the areas around transits (Curtis et al, 2009). For instance, they can provide guidance and judgments whenever land issues arise, put in measures to ensure that the site is ready for the development project to begin and ease the process it takes to obtain entitlement for the land. When the governments take charge of making easier the process of entitlement, more private developers will be interested in making their own developments in the area because they are confident that the land they have secured have been issued by the governments and thus the cases that may arise from fraud are much less and almost inexistent (Curtis et al, 2009). They may also contribute any land that may be of assistance to the project. They may also chip in on the costs of the infrastructure and many others. Private developers, as other partners will also have their roles that they will carry out of the benefit of the project. They may chip in on advice and financial assistance for the required financial resources and provide important contacts that may help in the project development project. When everyone takes charge of the sector that they can take care of in the development, there is smooth running of activities and things have a higher likelihood of taking place in the right manner and in the time that was intended (Curtis et al, 2009). The government chipping in also helps the private developers the chance to take charge of the development and ensuring that they produce quality work and the outcome that is expected to attract people to the community.
When private and public partners come together for the sake of these developments, they are able to provide opportunities for them to come up with mutual expectations and to also share any risks that may arise from the development, the cots and the rewards that will be realized in the long run (Renne, 2009). They are also able to provide a ground that is suitable for resolution of conflicts. In order to realize the vision of creating the TOD in an effective and cost cutting way, all the stakeholders should therefore come together and take advantage of all the resources that may be available that may assist them in reducing the cost of the developments. This includes the taking advantage of available grants and funding that may come from the state and federal governments.
The partners should also ensure that one of the main interests they have is that they are able to meet their investment goals that are set at the beginning of the planning stage (Renne, 2009). The return on investments that is realized by the developers is often treated as one of the early signs that the project has been successfully implemented. Others that may be treated as indicators of success are the profitability that the businesses will have realized from their relocation to the TOD areas (Renne, 2009). When there is an increase in ridership in the area, the project should be seen as successful. others that may also be used as indicators of the success of the projects is when there is an increase in the tax revenues that are realized in the area and also there is satisfaction among the communities that put up in those areas. A lot of literature exists to support the fact that relocating businesses to areas near transit stations is profitable for businesses. However, the partners should ensure that the measures that they put in place would benefit them in the long run, rather than just bringing profits for the owners of the land that they take up.
Development oriented thinking
When developing transit oriented developments, it is important that the developer prioritize the real estate constructions rather than the need to come up with transit solutions that are cheaper and cost effective (Dunphy et al, 2004). For instance, if the developers choose to make running transits along the medians in interstates, it may save the transit agencies from paying for new rights of way. However, it will decrease the chances for riders and will therefore eliminate the opportunity for the promotion of higher densities, which will decrease the economic development around those stations. During the initial stages of developing transit developments, it is important to consider the creation of higher densities, and having mixes of several product types that will suit the needs of the residents and other interested people in the area. When there is development of higher densities, there is likely to be strength in the demand for the transit (Dunphy et al, 2004).
Most of the time, the developments are done in transit areas, they are most often done by private developers and are done on private property. In order for these projects to record success, it is important that the public be accustomed to the needs of the private sector (Dunphy et al, 2004). This may at times prove to be a burden to the community in terms of making adjustments especially if these communities have a history of not good relations with the developers. By being conscious to the needs of the private developers does not necessarily mean that they compromise the goals of the public. However, it may mean that they have to recognize that these goals they set need to be workable for the developers too.
To a developer, a project begins to happen when they acquire land and begin to finance the costs that start to come up (Dunphy et al, 2004). The amenities that may be beneficial to the public, whether they arise during the initial planning stages or later when they are identified during the implementation of the plans, should be agreed upon by the parties that are concerned early enough, especially when there is the need for them to be incorporated in the costs of the projects. There are two things that are important to any given developer and the plans that he makes for the project. These factors are timeliness and certainty. In order for them to ensure that they realize both of these factors, it is important that the responsible agencies in the project review should take part in developing a timeline for the completion of the project. When there are delays in the approvals for the projects or of acquisition of any other requirements, the cost and the completion of the project may be interfered with (Dunphy et al, 2004). When there is adherence to the timeline that is set for the projects, the probability that there will be other arising contingencies that are unforeseen is much less likely, and thus ensures that the chances that the project will need to borrow more money for its completion will be reduced. When the projects are of great importance to the public, it is important for the developer to count on receiving the assistance of the top management.
Public investments that are huge such the developments of transit oriented developments are likely to increase the value of property in the area and will thus create several opportunities for the building and development of the communities in those areas (Dunphy et al, 2004). The ability of these developments to provide an increase in the value of real estates, general creation of employment opportunities, the increase in the value of tax revenues and the planning of the developments of areas around transits are directly linked to economic development. Transit development projects that are well planned and implemented have the ability to set the stage for big development especially in the private sectors. It is thus important that there be careful planning and coordination of the development of transits in order for each of the developments to enhance one another.
During the very initial stages of development planning in a transit area, it may be suggested that local developers come together with transit agencies that are market savvy to create a fiscal analysis that will help in the estimation of the costs of building and the returns on investments that will be realized by the developers in the properties that are nearby (Tumlin & Millard-Ball, 2003). If this approach is taken, it will ensure that the developers take active part in the process and that the eventual outcome is realistic. Although the planning of a transit development may take a very long time, sometimes going even for twenty years, and that the actual implementation may take a very short time, sometimes two or three years, the planning that will include the designing of the build-out that will be taken for the development project should look forward to the final transit facility so that all are in place in the end.
Getting the right parking
Measurement of the parking is very vital in this case. This is because when the parking is estimated too much, there are chances that there will be less space for pedestrians and may lead to wastage of a lot of space that could have been used for more developmental projects that would have been beneficial in the area, such as increased ridership space (Tumlin & Millard-Ball, 2003). On the other hand, when there is too little parking, or the people in the area begin to feel that there is very little parking space that is not enough for them, there is a likelihood of the economic viability of the project being compromised as less people will take up the transit transport, therefore making it even more difficult for leasing to be made and sales will also be difficult. When the parking that is availed in the transit stations, it will force the people using the parking while taking the transit transport to park their vehicles in available parking space in the neighboring areas (Tumlin & Millard-Ball, 2003). This is likely to cause problems for the residents of these neighborhoods as well as the businesses that are operational in those areas.
Parking has been stated as one of the main factors that are used in the determination of the layout of the area in which the transit stations are located. How the transit station is connected or separated from the community that is in its surrounding will be a large determinate for the requirements of the parking and footpaths that will be located in the station (Tumlin & Millard-Ball, 2003). For instance, when there is intent to build a large transit station that will serve several people, it will be necessary for there to be a large parking space as well, and also a footpath for these who may not be in need of the parking space. At transit stations, the people who arrive come in all forms of transport. There are those who may live nearer the station and thus are able to show up on foot. There are those who come from relatively farther places and therefore will arrive either cycling or driving their cars. In places where there are newly constructed transit stations, there are more expensive parking. Therefore, it is important that the entities that are responsible for the construction of transit station to find a way in which they are able to balance between their need to provide parking and the allocation of sufficient land for other developments for other users of the transit such as those on foot and riders (Tumlin & Millard-Ball, 2003).
Creation of flexible parking makes it easier for the provision of sufficient parking to be created. There are certain principles that should be put in place to help in achieving this (Olaru et al, 2011). The first factor is that the parking does not necessarily have to be located inside the station. It may be easier and more convenient to serve a larger number of cars when there are parking spaces that are located outside of the platform. The land that is most probable to be for this is that which is found right outside of the station. However, this is not advised because it will mean many other opportunities will have been lost. Therefore, it is advisable that apart from creating parking inside the station, the rest of the parking spaces should be placed at some distance; say five minutes away from the station (Olaru etal, 2011). This will mean that there will not only be sufficient parking, but also saving on the prime land for better development activities.
Another method of ensuring that the available space for parking is utilized in the correct manner is through sharing (Olaru et al, 2011). This will be done by those users taking turns in the use of the parking spaces. For instance, in the transit system that is in place in San Diego, there is sharing between the users of the transit system with those who attend the nearest theater. Riders to the transit are able to use the parking on weekdays while those of the theater are able to access the parking on weekends or in the evenings. The sharing of parking can be implemented either by private or local authorities depending on the area. There is a parking fee that is charged to these users to not only ensure they do not use the parking any more than they need to, but also to raise revenue for the government (Olaru et al, 2011).
The mix up use approach may also help in the maximization of space while at the same time providing all the amenities that are required by the transit users (Renne, 2005). For instance, instead of just having parking space taking up all of one area, some other structures may be used to fill up the spaces that are often left vacant in parking areas, such as shops and stores for different products. This is not only beneficial in the utilization of space but also ensures that the parking looks more attractive to the residents and other users. It also makes work easier for the people because it enables them to serve more than one purpose when they go to the parking. They are not only able to get parking for their cars but also get a chance to do a little shopping here and there. It also makes their walks to the parking lot less boring and builds customer base for the retailers that set up in those parking shops (Renne et al, 2005).
Place not project
Transit projects should be able to bring more to the area and the community rather than the transit mode of transport (Loo et al, 2010). This is because it is not only able to bring an opportunity for better modes of transport but also brings in a whole new experience for the area and the community. The community that will be around this area will be fully fledged with their social and economic activities. Although most agencies that take part in the development of transit areas feel that their sole responsibility is the provision of the transit station, it goes further than this because there will be a whole community that will be established in that area and thus thorough planning and designing should be done beforehand. It is also important to engage all the participants and stakeholders such as the transit agencies, the citizens, the local governments and the developers that are concerned (Loo et al, 2010). These people will help by employing designers who have more experience and skill that is necessary for the designs. These experts are also able to provide sound advice for the creation of amenities in the right manner. Their assistance will be helpful in making the place feel more like a place than a project in the following ways;
- Locating the transit stop in the middle of the neighborhood rather than further on whichever side. This new station will therefore be able to serve as a connection between the regional transit system and the community in the surrounding (Loo et al, 2010). Therefore, it being centrally placed puts more emphasis on its importance.
- Placing the station in a central location is also beneficial because it will facilitate the creation of business hubs around the area, all of which will be easily available and accessible because of the location of the transit station (Loo et al, 2010).
- Ensuring that the station is built with the best technology and in the best way possible so as to bring a positive image of the community in the area.
- There will also be inclusion of public spaces, where there can be things that are attractive to the general public such as public art and street furniture. Public space is quite important in any given community because it makes it feel more homely (Loo et al, 2010). It also allows for the involvement of the community in events that helps to bring them together such as concerts, exhibitions, markets and many other forms of celebrations. Such events not only bring the community together, but also help in fostering the economy of the area.
- Promotion of pedestrian activity by creation of compact blocks, and walk ways that are pleasant, comfortable and are marked well. When the pedestrian environment is fostered, there is likelihood that the sense of place will be better felt by the people (Loo et al, 2010).
- Creation of gateways for developments and landmarks that make the place more recognizable to the outside world.
- Crate environments that encourage a lot of human activity so that the place feels more neighborly.
It is important to note that the development of transit areas is highly dependent on large populations (Willson, 2005). As such, developers should avoid construction of suburban oriented traffic. This kind of traffic is often aimed at reducing the number of people who live in the areas where they are found. Suburban road also make it difficult to create more spaces for pedestrians and developments along the roads because they are often aimed at decongesting an area. Therefore developers of the transit areas should instead try to construct roads that are more standard and will not undermine the pedestrian paths and other pedestrian amenities and therefore enhance the chances for more developments along the roads (Willson, 2005). It is important then to have experts who will assist in ensuring that the vision of the place are implemented while at the same time ensuring that the place is creating in a manner that is in support of transit developments.
Market driven transits
The construction and development of these transit areas should be more geared towards creating markets rather than creating transits (Curtis et al, 2009). It is wrong to develop the transit areas with the notion that the markets will be automatically crated once the transit is in operation. During the planning stages, priority should be given to the creation of amenities and making the place more livable and attractive to developers, the see how the transit system is going to fit in this system rather than the other way round. Therefore, before selecting an area on which a transit system is going to be developed, the developers should look into the possibility of the place developing into a fully fledged community that is comprised of residence and markets of various parts of the private sector (Curtis et al, 2009). Once it has been established that the area is indeed suitable for development, the planning and design should also be structured in a way that ensures the amenities that are intended to be installed in the area are able to survive and thrive with or without the transit system.
For there to be successfully installed real estate developments there should be a lot of attention that is given to real estate markets (Dittmar & Poticha, 2004). This is the only method through which the market for the transit will be realized and attracted. Although proper knowledge of the area and its existing markets may also be influential in decision making, it is not as effective. Retail business is only able to thrive in areas where there are markets, and markets will attract people to the transit because of the availability of resources around it. When a transit system is available in a place and there is nothing else that is attracting the people to the area, there is a less chance that the transit system will be successful.
A good mix of amenities in an area provides for an environment that attracts all kinds of people because of the many amenities they are able to access at a small location (Belzer et al, 2002). However, it should be noted that to create a community that is attractive, it does not necessarily mean that all these amenities be squeezed in one location or transit station. In addition to this, development of mixes in one area is quite expensive., therefore, developers should take advantage of transit stations that are either close to each other or are on each other’s ways to provide all the services that the consumers need. For instance, one transit area may provide one line of products while the others also concentrate on different things. In this regard, the users will still find it convenient to move from one transit location to another in search of amenities because of the availability of the transit stations (Belzer et al, 2002). Therefore, the creation and development of these stations should be in such a way that it is easy to travel from one station to the other in either direction comfortably. This means that the corridors between the transits stations should be very well planned and developed.
Engaging corporate involvement
Corporations have a great ability to influence the development in transit areas. This is because once they are attracted to the area; they too are able to add their own modes of development by providing certain amenities and employment opportunities. Another method in which they help in the development of such areas is that sometimes they will relocate to the areas and bring with them their staff thus helping in increasing the population of the area, which has already been stated as one of the major aspects of a successful transit development area. They are likely to relocate to these areas when they know that they as well as their staff will be comfortable residing in this area and one of the things they will consider most will be the mode of transport.
Development of transit oriented developments in the United Arab Emirates will be a great step towards not only attracting more people to move into the area, but also in the implementation of methods through which the high population density can be managed. This will be done by ensuring that there are several transit stations in the area to facilitate the growth of urban areas in places that had previously been abandoned. Other advantages that have been given for the development of transits in the area is that it will help in the reduction of reliance on oil. The UAE is one of the areas that produce most of the oil that is supplied around the world. Therefore when the countries ensure that less of these oils are used for domestic consumption, it will ensure that the amount of oil that is exported is more and therefore will increase the amount of revenue that is often accrued from the exportation of oil. Creation of suitable living environments for many types of people will also attract a lot of investments to the area and thus increase the chances of the UAE growing economically.
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