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FEATURE STORY September 16, 2019

Implementation of Integrated Urban Development and Transportation Projects (TOD) In Latin American Cities

September 16-17, 2019
São Paulo, Brazil


Transit-oriented Development (TOD) brings together elements of land use and transport planning, urban design, urban regeneration, real estate development, financing, land value capture, and infrastructure implementation that could leverage sustainable urban development. Given its complexity, it is essential that cities understand the dynamics at play related to all city systems- real estate economics, transit routing, infrastructure design, land use planning and zoning, the development of the local economy through urban regeneration, and urban design to contract the concept’s full potential.

The World Bank’s Tokyo Development Learning Centre (TDLC) supports integrated urban and transport development through lending and technical assistance projects in developing countries and knowledge exchange events, such as Technical Deep Dives (TDD) organized in Japan. In support of this agenda, TDLC sent a TOD expert from Tokyu Corporation, which is a major private railway company, land developer, hotel and retail store operator in the Greater Tokyo Area of Japan. Mr. Masafumi Ota, Tokyu Corporation served as a presenter and resource expert at a two-day City Academy (workshop) on Sep 16-17, 2019, organized in São Paulo, Brazil on “Implementation of Integral Urban Development and Transport Projects in Latin American Cities”. The City Academy was a part of the 3rd Global Meeting of the Global Platform for Sustainable Cities (GPSC), co-organized by the City of São Paulo and the Brazilian Sustainable Cities Program and attended by over 1,000 participants from more than 40 countries.

The objective of the thematic session on TOD of City Academy was to bring together government leaders, international organizations, global experts, and the private sector to explore how they can work together to assess, enable, finance, plan and design, and implement sustainable development trajectories for cities through TOD approaches.

Key Takeaways

Mr. Ota presented the cases of TOD in Tokyo, e.g Den-en-Chofu, Tama, and Shibuya areas, where large scale residential and commercial space was developed along the private railway line operated by Tokyu. Key messages included – 1) Success of TOD relies on coordination between various stakeholders, including public authorities and private sector from railways, land and urban development, and real estate development, 2) Scale and nature of urban and commercial development around transport nodes should be carefully determined to get profitable return on investments.  

Mr. Masafumi Ota sharing his knowledge on Japanese TOD with the audience at TOD City Academy in Sao Paulo (Source: World Bank)

Japan is a frontrunner in transit-oriented development integrated with urban development, successfully exhibited by cities of Toyama and Tokyo, among others. Through the expert deployment, TDLC aided sharing of this Japanese experience and expertise with the practitioners from around the world, specifically relevant to the LAC countries. With TDLC’s past efforts and successful organization of multiple TDDs on TOD, mobilizing the private sector expertise was conceivable. Tokyu Corporation is one of the largest private railway company in Japan, and this opportunity facilitated learning from their vast experience.  

“Recent Transit-oriented Development (TOD) project in Shibuya is a perfect example where multi-stakeholder consensus building is a crucial aspect of TOD project design and implementation.” -  Various participants

Way Forward

This workshop provided the ground for participating countries to follow-up on Japanese experience in TOD that could be applied back home. With the success of this engagement, TDLC will continue to reinforce its active outreach, operational support, private sector engagement, expert deployment, and knowledge exchange in the future.