Urban Development: Faster Greener Commutes Key to Sustained City Growth, a report released in October 2014 by Cushman & Wakefield, provided insight into Transit Oriented Development as it explored “the consequences of rapid population growth in 10 major North American cities”—with Miami being one. The study found that the majority of these major cities’ workforce is burdened by challenging commutes and substantial congestion because of aging and insufficient infrastructure. Developers and municipalities have recognized this direct impact on growth and, as a result, a rapidly growing portion of new commercial development has shifted to be strikingly more transit oriented. All Aboard Florida, a leader in this development, is seeking to connect South Florida’s tri-county area with each station (Miami, Ft. Lauderdale and West Palm Beach) being a vehicle to improve individuals’ transportation, while also serving as an engine for growth in its surrounding areas.

Transit Oriented Development is defined in Florida Statutes, Section 163.3164(46) as:

“a project or projects, in areas identified in a local government comprehensive plan, that is or will be served by existing or planned transit service. These designated areas shall be compact, moderate to high density developments, of mixed-use character, interconnected with other land uses, bicycle and pedestrian friendly, and designed to support frequent transit service operating through, collectively or separately, rail, fixed guideway, streetcar, or bus systems on dedicated facilities or available roadway connections.”

Companies like All Aboard Florida recognized years ago this type of development is crucial to the challenges cited in the Cushman & Wakefield report because it “can expand Floridians’ range of choices as to where they live, work and play by providing more mobility and transportation options. Transit Oriented Developments save Floridians time and money, reducing commuting costs while improving their health and quality of life.” Not only does well-designed infrastructure raise economic growth, productivity and land values, it has proven to also add significant positive benefits to the surrounding areas such as economic development, energy efficiency, public health and manufacturing.

As cited in the Real Deal last week, most local experts anticipate a rise in office, retail and residential properties near All Aboard Florida’s future stations.

“All Aboard Florida will bring revitalization to the urban cores of Miami, Ft. Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, as each downtown station location serves as a hub for optimum connectivity to area shopping, dining, hotels and attractions, fueling growth and catalyzing the urban regeneration of each city.”

With this energy and productivity, both developers and ultimately, the population at large, want to be near these new, iconic, multimodal urban hubs to capitalize on accessibility to the intersection of work, life and play.