Transit-Oriented Development (TOD)

Transit-Oriented Development is a powerful tool that can ultimately deliver many of the benefits envisioned both in Governor Abercrombie’s New Day Plan and the State Planning Act. A key issue addressed in the New Day Plan is to “increase transportation options and address transportation issues on all islands to improve the business climate and quality of life for our residents,” and supporting community design that fosters “alternative modes of transportation including walking, biking, and mass transit.”

Hawaii also has an excellent opportunity to advance the implementation of this vision by looking for ways to proactively integrate land use planning and development activity with the state’s transit investments. This practice, known as “transit-oriented development,” has received considerable attention on Oahu over the past several years as the City and County of Honolulu has planned for a rail-based transit line connecting major destinations, such as Ala Moana Center, downtown Honolulu, and the airport. TOD also applies to counties with a fraction of Oahu’s population, because TOD includes a broader set of conditions that facilitate health, quality of life, and transportation options for Hawaii’s residents and visitors.

In 2012, the Office of Planning with the assistance of Smart Growth America prepared a report entitled, Leveraging State Agency Involvement in Transit-Oriented Development to Strengthen Hawaii’s Economy.  This report recommends ways that Hawaii state agencies can leverage TOD to maximize benefits to the State of Hawaii and, by extension, the people of Hawaii. The recommendations were developed through a series of meetings with representatives from over 40 organizations, including government, private sector, and nonprofit organizations. Over the course of three meetings and review of multiple working documents, the group discussed the meaning and importance of TOD in the context of Hawaii, the role of state agencies in TOD, and strategies to take advantage of new TOD opportunities.

Page 6 of the report, reproduced below, is a summary of the linkages between TOD Elements, Smart Growth Principles, and New Day Plan Emphases:

Summary of the Relationship between TOD, Smart Growth, and the New Day Plan

TOD Tools and Resources

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