NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab submits suggestions on the National TOD Policy Draft

The Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD), Government of India has prepared a draft for the national Transit Oriented Development (TOD) policy. On 28th February 2017, it held a workshop to brief the States and UTs on the policy framework. CIDCO Smart City Lab submitted suggestions/inputs for the TOD policy draft to the MoUD based on its learnings from the study conducted on TOD in Indian Smart Cities. These suggestions/inputs were structured into three parts:

·         overall suggestions for sections

·         specific suggestions for amendment to the existing language within the sections

·         specific recommendations for critical issues that should be included in the policy.

Some of the key suggestions/inputs submitted are as follows:

1.       Establish access to high-quality mass transit and parking restrictions as the underlying core mechanism for TOD.

2.       TOD should support higher density than the surrounding area. Density should be defined in terms of built-up area, population and jobs (per unit area). FSI should not be used as the sole measure of density. High density should be complemented with a mix of land uses (places of work, residence and leisure) to reduce the need to travel.

3.       TOD developments should address the larger housing needs of the city by including a larger component of affordable housing (including rental, micro units and temporary shelter housing). Further, classification of the housing stock should be diversified beyond traditional income-based groups to include tenure, size, composition, household type (from census definition).

4.       DCRs and Form-Based Codes should be used to create street-oriented buildings and active street frontages that lead to the use of public spaces all through the day. This can help make the neighbourhood vibrant and safer through natural surveillance. Public spaces should also accommodate the informal sector (such as street vendors).

5.       Engagement of the private sector in the process of developing a TOD to enable the developers to build projects that respond to the local environment, improving the chances of its success. This will also help the local governments deficient in capacity, experience and resources, in long term and large-scale citizen engagement.

6.       Reorganisation of the 21 principles of TOD outlined by MoUD in their TOD Guidance Document, into 5 constructs of TOD: Design, Density, Diversity, Housing and Mobility – to simplify the discussion on TOD.