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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Urban Development on Railway-Served Land: Lessons and Opportunities for the Developing World


Under the right conditions -- serious traffic congestion, a permissive regulatory environment, and frequent and reliable transit services -- rail transit investments can powerfully shape cities and regions. Rail transit’s city‐shaping powers are due to market forces and policy interventions. By enhancing accessibility (the ability of those living, working, or shopping rail near stops to quickly reach desired destinations) rail services increase the value and desirability of properties in and around stations. Market pressures by themselves rarely produce transit oriented development. To leverage private investments in and around stations, pro‐activism and a certain amount of risk‐taking on the part of local governments are often needed. This report includes case studies from several cities, along with a policy lessons summary. Land value impacts and value capture opportunities are described.

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