Transit Oriented Development and Commercial Gentrification: Exploring the Linkages

As communities across California invest in more transit-oriented development (TOD), they are becoming increasingly cognizant of potential gentrification impacts. These impacts could potentially jeopardize local economic development, safety and greenhouse gas reduction goals. The research team's ongoing research on residential displacement associated with TOD investments has unearthed growing concerns about commercial environments. Although researchers have begun to establish the complicated relationship between residential and commercial change, surprisingly little is known about TODs and commercial gentrification. This research will fill this gap by examining the impacts of TOD investments on commercial gentrification, transit ridership and pedestrian/cyclist accidents. The first stage of the research will take advantage of the multi-level database the research team will have compiled to better characterize and model the impacts of TOD investments on commercial gentrification and displacement. In the second stage, the research team will explore the relationship between commercial gentrification in TODs with changes in transit ridership and auto-pedestrian/cyclist crashes. Finally, the team will ground-truth their findings and deepen their understanding of these relationships through four case studies in the Bay Area and Los Angeles. The project team anticipates that the results of this research will influence local and regional decision-making around TOD and street design policy as well as local revitalization strategies, responding directly to Caltrans Priority Goal 3: Sustainability, Livability, and Economy.