Policy transfer among academic and practicing planners

On September 19-21st, researchers from our department participated in an international seminar organized by GO-SPOOR, a community of research and practice that brings together the main players in transit-oriented development (TOD) in The Netherlands. The unique seminar combined presentations by researchers, practitioners, and international experts with station area tours.

Karst Geurs (University of Twente) and Hermann Gelissen discussed the South Wing (Rotterdam-Den Haag) iTOD (implementing TOD) project and StedenbaanPlus, a major agreement between regional and local authorities to improve the accessibility through development around transit. StedenbaanPlus is unique in The Netherlands because it takes a regional approach to TOD. The non-binding agreement aims to add about 750,000 square meters of office space and from 25,000 residential units, as well as increasing the quality and frequency of train service. Luca Bertolini (University of Amsterdam) gave an overview of the North Wing (Amsterdam-Utrecht) iTOD project, noting that Amsterdam doesn’t take a regional approach to the integration of land use and transportation. Erwin van der Krabben (Radboud University Nijmegen) discussed “smart governance” and finance strategies in TOD, including urban land readjustment. The postdocs on the North Wing iTOD project presented our work to date on the project: mine on transferrable lessons from 11 case city-regions, Dorina Pojani on policy transfer between countries/cities and Sander Lenferink on value capture tools. Paul Chorus (Province of North Holland) presented some results from the Province’s Strategic Plan, which had some success in concentrating 38% of residential and 49% of employment within 1200m of rail stations.

Alain l’Hostis (IFSTTAR) told us about a new attempt in Armitière and Lille to target new development within 500m of rail stations, including specific goals for housing described in the Housing Plan. His work overlaps with that of Gebhard Wulfhorst (Technische Universitat Munchen), who profiled ten years of French-German collaboration: the Bahn Ville program produced recommendations and implementation strategies. There was a focus on walking and neighbourhood mobility in Friedrichsdorf: minor changes in the slow, neighbourhood network in key areas could have huge impacts on the broader regional network.

Carey Curtis (Curtin University) discussed overcoming implementation barriers through defined roles for centers and networks, distinct policy to define TOD areas and densities, and prioritizing station areas. In Perth, TOD has gone from specialized to generalized planning practice through mechanisms like the region’s TOD Coordinating Committee (2001-2011). David Levinson (University of Minnesota), Michael Neuman (University of New South Wales) and Rachelle Alterman (Technion) also contributed insights on the possibilities for TOD, legal and value capture tools.

TOD Arnhem CentraalImpression Arnhem Centraal (http://architectuur.nl/nieuws/1e-fase-station-arnhem-nadert-voltooing/)

We had tours of Arnhem Central Station, which includes local and regional bus stations and regional and international trains on four levels; redevelopment is expected to be complete in in 2014. In Zaandam, the station and retail street leading into the city has been redesigned following a modern take on traditional Zaanstad wood architecture; the crazy Innhotel has become iconic for the region. On the other side of the station, there are still problems occupying the older existing office buildings due to the economic crisis, but the municipality has gotten the provincial environmental agency to locate there.

Seeing TOD examples that aren’t perfect, was an excellent exercise in policy transfer: academic and practicing planners from a variety of countries had a unique opportunity to learn from the successes and failures of current projects.

Ren Thomas

Note: This post is a condensed version of live blog posts that appeared on http://www.renthomas.ca during the seminar.

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One response to “Policy transfer among academic and practicing planners

  1. Pingback: The International Seminar on TOD in The Netherlands: the sites » Ren Thomas·

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