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Transit and Cargo Oriented Developments

By Dr. Robert L. Gordon | 07/15/2015 | 11:00 AM | Categories: Current Affairs

Guest post by Jeffrey Wendt, faculty member Transportation and Logistics Management, American Public University

After World War II people migrated from the urban inner cities to the surrounding suburban communities to follow the American dream. This led to a major reliance on single passenger automobiles to move people from home to work and personal activities.

Today, with development of new communities and redevelopment of older urban areas, there is increasing interest in increasing public transportation. Reducing congestion and addressing environmental concerns are now the focus.

During the past few decades there have been initiatives to decrease travel times and increase access to services to reduce environmental and congestion problems. One such initiative is transit-oriented development (TOD) in older municipalities to take advantage of light rail and bus service to get people around. The emphasis is on developing housing to be within one-half mile of public transportation and retail business. Walking and bicycle pathways also give citizens of these communities more healthful travel options.

The TOD concept led to a similar industry objective: cargo oriented development (COD) or logistics cluster. The purpose of these strategies is to increase close local employment opportunities by bringing distribution and industrial operations together to serve industry needs. By improving abandoned lands and developing vacant properties with COD in mind, employment and living quality is improved within these clusters.

There is a positive connection between TOD and COD communities; one’s needs are met by the other’s available resources. This creates opportunities for enhanced rail and truck operations to address the needs of both the residential and commercial aspects of the community.

There have been many successful TOD communities throughout the world as well as in the United States, including Arlington County, Virginia; San Francisco Bay area; and Salt Lake City Metro. These community developers realized the positive impact on inner city revitalization when TOD practices were implemented. 

Although TOD communities are popping up all over the U.S. there has not been as many COD developments to match. Dallas/Fort Worth has a COD development near Alliance airport and in the southeast of Dallas. But neither of these applications incorporates TOD as a complimentary strategy.

The Center for Neighborhood Technology is a nonprofit research and advocacy organization that has worked with community developers to tie these two applications together. One such endeavor involved communities in Cook County Illinois.  Working with folks in Harvey and Blue Island Illinois to apply TOD/COD strategies proved to be integral in successfully reinventing these older once vibrant communities.

Sustainable living communities tied with accessible local employment opportunities in a vibrant socially and economically driven environment will define success in future revitalization of American cities.

About the Author

Jeffrey Wendt is an adjunct faculty member at American Public University System Transportation and Logistics Program, and is on the faculty at North Lake College, where he teaches logistics and supply chain management courses. He has worked in the logistics industry for over 30 years in different logistics and supply chain capacities. Jeff received his MBA in Supply Chain Management from the University of Dallas and is currently pursuing his doctorate degree in Transportation and Logistics from North Dakota State University.




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About Dr. Robert Lee Gordon

Dr. Robert Lee Gordon

Dr. Robert Lee Gordon is program director of the Reverse Logistics department at American Public University. Dr. Gordon has over twenty-five years of professional experience in supply chain management and human resources. He holds a Doctorate of Management and Organizational Leadership and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix, as well earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from UCLA. Dr. Gordon has spent more than 14 years teaching reverse logistics, transportation, project management, and human resources. He has published articles on reverse logistics; supply chain management; project management; human resources; education, and complexity. He has also published four books on Reverse Logistics Management; Complexity and Project Management; Virtual Project Management Organizations, and Successful Program Management..

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