Victor Ngo
Transit-oriented development (TOD) is emerging as a popular and influential planning idea across North American cities as a means of sustainable urban development. Given concerns of urban sprawl and high ecological footprints, pursuing TOD has proven to be an effective way of concentrating growth on brownfield sites while generating and attracting transit ridership to shift mode share. In the city of Vancouver, the SkyTrain rapid transit system has shaped land use planning since its inception in 1985. While development that capitalizes on rapid transit has been successful in the downtown core, stations beyond the peninsula have yet to pursue TOD to its full potential. Given the projected population increase from about 578,000 in 2006 to 740,000 by 2041, identifying areas for TOD is becoming increasingly important for long-term planning. Using a Geographic Information System (GIS), a multi-criteria evaluation was conducted to assess TOD performance in Vancouver and identify stations that would benefit from intensifying and optimizing TOD. Six criteria were selected to capture the ideal social and physical dimensions: walkability, bikeability, population aged 15 to 24, household income less than $40,000, recent immigrants from 1996 to 2006, and low density housing. The MCE identifies ten stations of TOD intensification potential.