Our latest underway project, Optima Lakeview, is a transit-oriented development in the vibrant Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago. Unless you’re familiar with the world of urban planning, the term transit-oriented development may be unfamiliar to you. When it comes to city design, transit-oriented development is a type of urban development that maximizes the amount of residential, business and leisure space within walking distance of public transport, including buses, trains or subways. Today, we’re taking a closer look at the history of transit-oriented developments within the United States, and how they’ve impacted cities across the country.

A Brief History

Although the concept of transit-oriented development (or TOD) wasn’t officially named until the 1990s, the pieces existed long before. After WWII, the mass production of automobiles allowed more people to move to the suburbs, and also created highly congested cities and roads. City planners and officials called for mass-transit use in urban areas, and federal funding was allocated to cities in need of new systems. New hubs of public transit were followed by housing and businesses, which helped create concentrated communities that benefited from the walkability. As urban planning grew and expanded as a practice, the term transit-oriented development was coined, and many cities and industry professionals have since spent time, resources and research to pinpoint how TODs lead to vibrant communities. 

The Impact of Transit-Oriented Developments

As an initial response to the increase in vehicles going in and out of cities, TODs have successfully reduced congestion in cities, and reaped the environmental benefits. With more commuters and residents taking trains, TODs create a sustainable alternative to getting around. Less cars create a walkable, pedestrian-friendly environment, creating options for healthier lifestyles. And with more foot traffic, local businesses have a greater chance of thriving. 

Residential buildings play a huge part in creating transit-oriented communities. As a transit-oriented development, Optima Lakeview combines residential, commercial retail and leisure space, all within walking distance of an abundance of public transportation options. We’re thrilled to be part of the Lakeview community and to create a place where our residents can live, work and play.