Implementing TOD in China: A Supply Side Investigation

PI: P. Christopher Zegras (Department of Urban Studies and Planning, MIT)


How might public transportation investments be leveraged to create more sustainable urban development patterns in China? This project aims to answer this question, taking a supply side perspective, analyzing theoretically, physically, institutionally and financially how transit-oriented development (TOD) might be expanded across the Chinese urban landscape.

The project aims to accelerate the development of a viable TOD landscape in China through a research collaboration between MIT’s DUSP and the China Sustainable Transportation Center (CSTC), with four inter-related tasks:

        (1) theoretically grounding TOD in terms of the public and private costs and benefits and their incidence;

        (2) developing a broad-brush inventory of China’s TOD landscape and providing detailed depictions of a select number of potential TOD sites;

        (3) identifying public and private sector challenges and barriers to TOD, based on document and regulation review and semi-structured interviews with officials, real estate developers, and others; and

        (4) demonstrating the economic and social justification for TOD using specific case examples, analyzing their financial potential and distilling implications for developing TOD in China.

The project combines transportation engineering, transportation planning, urban planning, urban design, and real estate and will produce products of theoretical, pedagogical and practical value for improving integrated urban development in China.