‘Transit-oriented’ development bringing new life to suburban commuter towns

The Daily Herald quoted Rachel Weber, associate professor of urban planning and policy, on the renewal of transit-oriented development of retail, housing and entertainment venues in Chicago suburbs along commuter train lines.

Aided by changing public preferences and government policies, many suburbs along commuter rail lines are seeing people and businesses come back home.

“It’s kind of a back to the future phenomenon,” said Rachel Weber, a professor of urban planning and policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

“We once had this dense urban fabric along commuter rail lines. Then we pulled away to spaceship suburban development … Now we’re coming back,” Weber said.

While some of the revitalization is occurring naturally, suburban leaders are helping accelerate the movement through creative zoning changes and financial incentives, in what falls under the urban planning strategy called, “transit-oriented development.”

“Transit-oriented development is kind of a corrective surgery,” Weber said.

Full Story from The Daily Herald »