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The Role of Transit in Creating Livable Metropolitan Communities

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A livable community is something that everybody wants, but it does not mean the same thing to all people. There is some agreement on the characteristics of “livability” or quality of life, such as safe and healthy neighborhoods; sustainable employment; adequate housing, retail and community services; positive image; sense of community; and neighborhood-based cultural and recreational opportunities. Transit can be integral to making communities more livable by providing access to goods and services and can support attainment of complementary community goals in other investment areas as well.

This report, produced for the Transit Cooperative Research Program, will be of interest to individuals seeking to improve the livability of their communities and to those concerned with the role public transportation can play in pursuing this goal. The report combines guidelines and case studies to provide a comprehensive approach for improving community livability and transit ridership in the United States. It is directed toward a broad range of individuals and groups in the public and private sectors associated with community, business, and civic organizations, including public transportation providers, local and metropolitan governments, community groups, and private businesses.

The research team—led by Project for Public Spaces and supported by the International Downtown Association, the National Association of Neighborhoods, TransManagement, The Urban Partnership, and the Urban Mobility Corporation—explored a placemaking approach where a local community, working in partnership with a transit agency, plans and implements neighborhood-scale projects and programs that are mutually supportive of community livability and transit ridership goals.

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