Source: ITDP

Eight Principles of TOD

The Eight Principles of TOD

The Eight Principles of TOD are WALK, CYCLE, CONNECT, TRANSIT, MIX, DENSIFY, COMPACT, and SHIFT. They illustrate the relationship between transport and land use. These principles form the Framework for the TOD Standard, a universal tool that can be used to evaluate and plan neighborhoods. In the TOD Standard, each principle is further defined with performance objectives and metrics to explain what it means to achieve these principles and how to do so.


Develop neighborhoods that promote walking.

WALK is a fundamental feature of TOD. It results from a human-centric approach to designing complete streets for all forms of sustainable transport modes. It supports walkability through universal access and design features that bring activity, safety, and comfort to the pedestrian realm.


Promote nonmotorized transport networks.

Cycling and other forms of micro-mobility create safe environments for the second-most-healthful and flexible form of transportation: bicycles and nonmotorized vehicles. Secure cycling infrastructure is a fundamental feature of TOD, as it helps to activate streets and increase transit ridership by serving as the first- and last-mile connections.


Create dense networks of streets and paths.

Connect prioritizes pedestrians and cyclists through pedestrian and cycle networks, enabling flexible journeys and detours.


Locate development near high-quality public transport.

Transit is the anchor for TOD. High-capacity, reliable, frequent, and affordable transport connecting the neighborhood to the rest of the city serves as a civic node for the neighborhood and its activities.


Plan for mixed uses, income, and demographics.

Mix is at the heart of inclusivity, where a mix of activities, people in all income ranges, and diverse activities allows for all to prosper in livable places.


Optimize density and match transit capacity.

Densify ensures enough activities to support transport service and make neighborhoods self-sustaining. Densify also supports all other principles because it promotes access to destinations within walking distance. Density is not overcrowding: It means optimal concentration of people, opportunities, and quality housing near sustainable transport options.


Create regions with short transit commutes.

Compact is the basic organizational principle of TOD. It means integrating transit and activities in a space-efficient way. Compact works on the neighborhood and city scale through a transit system supported by density and pedestrian and cycle networks.


Increase mobility by regulating parking and road use.

Shift looks to reduce the impact of private vehicle traffic on safety and health by reclaiming space from cars and reducing noxious fumes and noise. The impacts of polluting cars occupying spaces where people spend time are especially dangerous to the health of young children and their developing organs.