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WBG and MLIT Co-host Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Knowledge Sharing Seminar

story from Tokyo Development Learning Center







The World Bank Group and the Japanese Ministry of Land Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) co-hosted a videoconference-based knowledge sharing seminar on Transit-oriented Development (TOD) at the World Bank Tokyo Development Learning Center on June 30, 2015.

TOD is a set of urban planning principles that promotes high density development with mixed-land use and pedestrian friendly design in the precinct of transit stations and along its corridors.  If incorporated well in to strategic city planning, it can be one of the most promising means of realizing sustainable urban development by promoting economic development, environment preservation and social equity. TOD is particularly effective measure to reverse the negative effects of urban sprawl such as congestion and air pollution, especially in rapidly growing cities in developing countries.

In the seminar, best practices of TOD (mainly those of Tokyo Metropolitan area) and Land Value Capture (LVC) were shared, together with the presentations of TOD attempts from Ho Chi Minh City and Naya Raipur, both supported by the World Bank.

“The concept of TOD was first introduced in the U.S. But, the practice of TOD in Japan has been in place since the beginning of the 20th century.” Takehiko Mori, Counsellor for Global Strategies at the Minister’s Secretariat of MLIT spoke about the long history of TOD in Japan from which lessons could be extracted and applied in other cities around the world.

Takeo Murakami, Director for International Negotiations Management Policy Bureau, MLIT presented several good practices of TOD and LVC from Japan to illustrate key concepts that brought about success in the examples; the importance of having legal and institutional frameworks such as zoning laws and a specialized urban development agency such as “Urban Renaissance Agency: UR” in Japan, and the promotion of public-private partnerships-including landowners and local governments, and lastly, the efforts to enhance the attractiveness of transit.

Luong Minh Phuc, Director General of Urban-Civil Works Construction Investment Management Authority of Ho Chin Min City (UCCI), Vietnam introduced some of the challenges that Ho Chi Min City was experiencing such as over populated, high-density city centers and poorly connected suburbs, exacerbated by lack of infrastructure, and shared how the city addressed those issues in their urban transport master plan of expanding rail traffic network and adapting TOD concept, by the year 2025.

Nupur Gupta, World Bank Sr Transport Specialist, and Shri S.S. Bajaj, Vice Chairman of Naya Raipur Development Authority (NRDA) presented to the audience Naya Raipur ‘s development plan to connect to Raipur city by BRTs and railways transforming the city into Greenfield City by 2031.

Hiroaki Suzuki, the author of two World Bank Group publications on TOD and LVC , who was the Lead Urban Specialist of the World Bank at that time and currently a lecturer at the Graduate Schools of Tokyo University, Hoosei University and GRIPS, explained that TOD and LVC have been adapted, taken into consideration of different development stages of cities and specific features of the locations (ex, sub-urban areas and built-up city centers).

Challenges while implementing TOD, such as building regulatory framework and the complexities in applying TOD in already developed area of cities were raised.

Taimur Samad, Senior Urban Economist, GSURR, the World Bank introduced the community of practice on TOD under preparation, where world-wide experts and practitioners of TOD and LVC share knowledge and experiences to promote TOD approaches in cities around the world, particularly those in developing countries.

The session targeting experts and practitioners of TOD, brought together about 80 experts and practitioners gathered at the Tokyo Development Learning Center and about 30 more connected by a videoconference line in Washington D.C., U.S., Delhi and Raipur in India, Jakarta, Indonesia, and Hanoi, Vietnam.

The session was a much awaited follow-up to the knowledge sharing seminar on TOD held in October 2014, in which MLIT and the World Bank Tokyo Development Learning Center agreed to collaborate and deliver a series of seminars on the same topic, and marks the first session in the new Knowledge Sharing Seminar Series on TOD. 

“There are important lessons both positive and negative that we want to put in the hands of all of our the counterparts so that each of you can make an informed choice on one of the most important development challenges in the urban areas,” said Ede Ijjasz-Vasquez Senior Director, Global Practice on Social, Urban, Rural, and Resilience, World Bank Group addressing the seminar participants, expressing a keen organizational interest in continuing and developing the TOD knowledge sharing seminar initiative between the WBG and MLIT.

More sessions in this seminar intended to delve deeper in to the challenges and solutions in TOD is underway with collaboration of MLIT, academics and private sector.

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