One of the main advantages to city living is being able to walk to amenities that in the suburbs you would have to drive to in a car. For the past few years, Live Urban has been using Walkscore as selling point for homes in the city. To me, a great urban home is at least a short bike ride to restaurants/bars/shops/parks. Now that all the new Light Rail stations are going into urban neighborhoods throughout the city, Transit Oriented Development has become an important topic. According to RTD, Transit Oriented Development is "characterized as pedestrian-oriented environment that allows people to live, work, shop and play in places accessible by transit." Basically, it's about putting in mixed-use commercial & residential buildings near the new Light Rail stations. The "primary benefits of TODs include:
-Reducing sprawl & protecting existing neighborhoods
-Reducing commute times & traffic congestion
-Improving environmental quality & open space preservation
-Encouraging pedestrian activity & discouraging automobile depency"
As this article in the DenverPost points out, however, a lot of planning is necessary for TODs to be a success. My house is well within a mile of a new station under construction and I look forward to all the new development and patronizing the new commercial stores.
Click here to watch a great video prepared by the Denver Regional Council of Governments on the subject of TODs.
Photo courtesy of RTD-Denver