ARE 5.0 Programming & Analysis Exam Prep

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Site Specific Context Issues - Transit Oriented Design - Part 1


In this ARE 5.0 Programming and Analysis Exam Prep course you will learn about the topics covered in the ARE 5.0 PA exam division. A complete and comprehensive curriculum, this course will touch on each of the NCARB objectives for the ARE 5.0 Programming and Analysis Exam.

Instructor Mike Newman will discuss issues related to programming, site analysis, and zoning & code requirements.

When you are done with this course, you will have a thorough understanding of the content covered in the ARE 5.0 Programming and Analysis Exam including project type analysis, the establishment of qualitative and quantitative project requirements, evaluation of project site and context, and assessment of economic issues.

We would be remiss if we were gonna talk about density and context issues and we didn't talk about the idea of transit-oriented design, TOD. So, that's a term you'll probably hear quite a bit if you haven't already. So it's transit oriented design. And the thought here is if we're going to be thinking about the idea of where we're gonna put different types of projects, where we're gonna add density to a city or to a rural area or to a suburban area, like, if we're thinking about that idea of where we're putting these projects.

So, we're still in the kind of programming sensibility here, thinking about that, like, "Is this the right place for that kind of project?" That we should have an overlay of thinking about this that says, "Well, more density really should go "towards places that have adequate transit." So, places that have subways and metros and bus lines and all of that. With the intention that if we're gonna be placing more density, we want to encourage people to use that transit.

So, we want people to think about the idea that they don't have to leave their apartment, go downstairs and then get into a car. They could actually easily get onto a bus or get onto a train. And especially if we're talking about hubs of transit where there's multiple choices, well then it's kind of a no-brainer. that we would really like as a society to suggest that people do.

They wanna build up the density at those locations so that people are more likely to be using transit than they are private cars. So, the people who would be interested in TODs, in transit-oriented design, first of all, these people who are trying to help the planet, they want to, if there's gonna be new density, new projects built, we might as well do it in such a way that encourages people to use transit. But then the sort of second layer of that is if you're a city planner working for a city, you might be suggesting ways to sort of incentivize the idea that developers get benefits by building right near transit so that they are getting benefits, they're getting the incentives of doing that.

Whereas the city is then getting the benefits of fewer cars on the street, less pollution, all of that. And then presumably, the people, the tenants, the people who are moving in, get the benefit that they can take transit easily 'cause it's right outside their door.

So the idea is about distance from transit and this sort of sense of creating an opportunity where it just becomes second nature for people to go and get on trains or get on buses instead of just that natural thing that we all do, which is go down, get into a car. So, here's an example, and here's kind of main street. This is probably I think would be considered a collector. It's not quite a arterial street, but it's a pretty big, important street.

And here's another one that's another big, probably somewhere between collector and arterial street. So it's another big, important one. And both of these streets have bus lines on them. So there are bus stops, especially at a crossing of two bus lines, there are bus stops there. But there's also, this line down here is actually a transit line, it's a metro line. And the little silver bits here, that's a station, so the station doors' right about there. And you can see that there's quite a lot of different transit moments there available to somebody if you were building near this site.

So, in general, when we're talking about TODs, there's sort of a preference towards things like subways and metros and light rail lines and bus rapid transit, things like that that are slightly heavier infrastructure as opposed to just straightforward buses because if it's only buses, well then, five years down the road, you might get a situation where there's some budget cuts and that bus line goes away and they move all the buses a mile away and then your density is in the wrong location.

Whereas for the subways or the metros or light rail, that infrastructural cost has been enough that you really, I mean, things obviously get updated and changed every once in a while but you're really not gonna move the station or decide not to use that line, probably. It's just sort of a thing like once you've invested in that infrastructure, you wanna really take the opportunity to sort of add to that, but not everywhere has subways or light rail lines or anything like that.

So, often, TODs will be based on bus lines because that's the only public transit choice available. So you have this situation where in this particular location, we've got both. So this is a prime candidate for a TOD, transit-oriented design type development. So, who would go here? Well this would be the kind of thing that might be a TOD for residential. At which point, it would be in this kind of urban setting, some relatively large building with a lot of units in it.

So, you get a bunch of units. All those people are really close to that transit. The subway and the buses can go all over the city very, very easily. So that's one possibly. Another possibility is it might be a TOD commercial development. So it might be the type of thing where it's retail or something like that and they're encouraging people to arrive there by transit. That's a little less sort of obvious and common in terms of kind of thinking of it in that TOD way, but certainly doable.

Another one is sort of manufacturing jobs and office jobs and things like that, little, those sort of small kind of subsidized developments that try to encourage in-city development. So, often, those will be placed next to transit hubs and then the idea of course is to encourage people instead of driving to work, they're taking transit to work. So it can happen in any number of different ways.

Probably the most obvious one is really the residential 'cause that's sort of the one that's easiest to imagine that might show up on the exam, but it could be any of those. So, if you kind of think about the idea that we have multiple lines of transit, there's a sort of a sensibility of a hub, sort of multiple possibilities, and what you're really trying to do is to discourage people from jumping into their cars, just as an automatic habit, and encourage people to be using public transportation. The way we do that is by distance, kind of thinking of how far away from a project, how far away a project is from the actual transit hub and if we're really close by, then that's believable.

People will feel connected to that transit. As soon as you start getting a little farther away, it's a little less likely people are gonna feel so connected to it and they're more likely to jump in their cars. So let's take a look at what we're talking about.

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From the course:
ARE 5.0 Programming & Analysis Exam Prep

Duration: 19h 11m

Author: Mike Newman