Implementation Strategies

This introduction to Implementation is UNDER CONSTRUCTION. Do you have information to share, or a particular interest in this topic? Please let us know at [email protected].

Downtown Robbinsdale. A walkable downtown near the METRO Blue Line supports opportunities for new development. Reconnecting America developed a TOD Prioritization Tool in partnership with the Metropolitan Council by analyzing station areas along existing and planned transitways. It provides general guidance to cities on what types of efforts lay the groundwork for higher-density, mixed-use, and walkable places near transit. The tool used information on the real estate market for TOD (market potential) as well as land use and urban design (transit orientation) to identify five types of station areas. Planners can use approaches recommended in the TOD Prioritization Tool to develop new implementation strategies for TOD or re-assess existing ones.

Implementation Strategies

The TOD Prioritization Tool recognizes challenges to implementing TOD as well as opportunities. For example, in areas with significant challenges and limited market demand, cities should make sure that development and infrastructure decisions made today do not preclude more walkable communities in the future. Cities in transit-friendly areas with hot real estate markets face different challenges. They may include avoiding gentrification of affordable housing and ensuring that the pedestrian environment and open space support continued growth and reinvestment. Cities may find it useful to consider implementation strategies for other types of station areas as well as their area.
Many cities have adopted station area plans informed by market studies and public infrastructure needs. Some of these cities may already have detailed implementation strategies. For first-generation station area plans, the TOD Prioritization Tool may help cities develop or refine a currently limited implementation program.


Longfellow Station replaced the Purina Mill near the 38th Street Station on the METRO Blue Line. The site plan accommodates a potential connection with 39th Street on the other side of railroad tracks, which may be vacated at some point in the future. In most parts of the region, TOD planning involves developed areas rather than large, greenfield developments. As a result, land use planning for TOD focuses on infill, redevelopment, retrofitting, and intensification. New development will often replace obsolete commercial and industrial uses. Planning will emphasize the needs of pedestrians, including the safety, ease, and quality of walking routes. Other considerations include the form, function, and location of public and semi-public open spaces.


Retrofitting in a developed area addresses deficiencies in public infrastructure and impediments to redevelopment. For TOD, retrofitting might include constructing new streets or pedestrian connections as redevelopment occurs. It could also mean working on challenging infill sites or adapting outdated buildings into marketable new uses. Retrofitting costs money, but may be necessary to create a more pedestrian-friendly environment and to improve a station area’s market conditions for TOD.


The Southwest Investment Framework identified infrastructure needs, including sewer and water, to support redevelopment concepts.


Many redevelopment opportunities involve locations that are automobile-oriented, low-density, and no longer competitive. The retail market changes rapidly, contributing to an oversupply of retail space. Some larger sites are easier to redevelop into higher-density and/or mixed-use developments. Often located on transit corridors, these sites give future residents access to transit. Additional residential density can also strengthen the market for local retail.

Obsolete industrial uses may also be candidate sites for redevelopment, but cities should carefully weigh the potential loss of industrial employment versus the benefits of redevelopment for non-employment uses.

Property Owner Engagement

Planning often involves presenting images or maps to the public that show ideas about possible future development on specific property. It is essential to involve property owners and businesses early and often during this process. Images and drawings can be helpful, but ideas that come out of a shared process are more likely to be implemented.

Case Studies:

  • Lake Street Station, Minneapolis, METRO Blue Line
  • Vandalia Tower, St. Paul, METRO Green line
  • Apple Valley Downtown, METRO Red Line (COMING SOON)
  • Boulder Junction, Colorado (COMING SOON)
  • Englewood Station, Colorado (COMING SOON)


This section is UNDER CONSTRUCTION. Do you have information to share, or a particular interest in this topic? Please let us know at [email protected].

Case Studies:

  • Southwest Corridor Investment Framework (COMING SOON)
  • Cold Storage Site, Minnehaha Creek Watershed District, METRO Green Line Extension (COMING SOON)
  • Bloomington Central Station, METRO Blue Line (COMING SOON)



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