Tuesday, August 15, 2023 

By Jessica Hernández

Real Estate Advisor & Marketing Analyst in SILMÉXICO


In recent years, population growth in Mexico and in the world has advanced by leaps and bounds, which has caused an unimaginable expansion of the urban surface.

The world population is more than three times greater than it was in the middle of the 20th century. The world population reached 8 billion by mid-November 2022, up from an estimated 2.5 billion people in 1950, adding 1 billion people since 2010 and 2 billion since 1998. The world population is estimated to increase by nearly 2 billion people in the next 30 years, going from 8,000 million today to 9,700 million in 2050, being able to reach a peak of about 10,400 million by mid-2080. (ONU, 2023)

In countries like Mexico, it can be observed that due to this population growth, the urban surface has extended even more than the population itself, which has as a consequence the increase in the cost of public services, excessive use of the car, and triggers negative effects for the sustainability of the country.

With the purpose of solving this problem, strategies have been proposed, such as the case of DOT; Transportation Oriented Development. This guideline basically refers to the design of developments from which it is possible to access on foot, in non-motorized vehicles, such as bicycles, or through public transport, to common destinations without the need to use the car, generating sustainable urban development.

The main feature of the DOT is the establishment of bus stops, metro buses, and subway stations in an area of ​​considerable density of mixed uses.

TOD standard:

According to the DOT standard, the principles for transportation in urban life are:

  • Walking: develop locations that promote walking.
  1. Pedestrian pathways that are also wheelchair accessible.
  2. Pedestrian crossings as well as wheelchair accessible in all directions.
  3. Visually active facades (not abandoned buildings or facilities).
  4. Physically permeable facades. 
  5. Shade and shelter. 
  • Pedaling: give priority to the use of non-motorized transport.
  1. Cycling network with safe and complete routes.
  2. Bicycle parking at public transport stations and buildings.
  3. Bicycle access in buildings.
  •  Connect: create dense networks of streets.
  1. Small blocks.
  2. Pedestrian and cycling routes with short, direct, and varied.
  • Transportation: Build the development near public transportation.
  1. Quality public transport accessible on foot.
  • Mix: use of mixed soils
  1. Residential, commerce, and industry.
  • Densify: optimize the density and transport capacity.
  1. The higher the residential and employment density, the higher the quality of public transport and services.
  • Compact: create compact zones with short trips.
  1. The development is in an existing urban area
  2. Short distances make city trips more convenient
  • Change: Increase mobility by regulating the use of parking lots and streets.
  1. The terrain used by cars is reduced to a minimum.

Does the application of TOD in urban planning have any disadvantages?

The answer is no, however, attention must be paid to its correct application in the communities, since its misuse can cause gentrification in cities with low resources or income. Which would result in an increase in housing prices and would drive residents away from their areas of work and transportation.

On the contrary, a correct application of the DOT will bring with it multiple benefits such as jobs close to the place of residence, decreased expenses, and houses will increase their surplus value due to the added value that is close to this type of development gives them, greater security, and improvement in the quality of life due to nearby health, food, and entertainment services.

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