Urban Transformation Through Transit-Oriented Development And the Sustainable City: Hollywood & Highland And Pico / San Vicente

In the gorgeous new book titled Urban Transformation: Transit Oriented Development And The Sustainable City, authors Ronald A. Altoon and James C. Auld address the intersections of values, issues and priorities of public and private sector partners in creating positive civic outcomes through the creation of transit-oriented developments.

With a long collaborative history of designing people-oriented public spaces, they parse projects by their degree of integration with and physical proximity to transit stations, noting the linkages, impacts and benefits desired and delivered by their designs.

Whether located above or adjacent to a transit station, with immediate proximity, or significantly close enough to have had the development affected by its location, the authors focus on identifying public sector transit agency needs, private sector needs, and site-specific issues to be confronted and resolved in order to create contextually responsive and responsible projects.

Case studies of transit stations, transit-oriented developments, transit-adjacent developments, and transit-environmental developments are drawn from projects in North America, Asia, Europe and the Pacific regions.

They range from simple to complex mixed-use projects.  Many show mulitple modes of transportation, integrated with new development.

Two projects in Los Angeles are studied in depth, along with maps and renderings.

The transit station site at Pico and San Vicente Boulevard had long served as a transfer terminal for Southern California Rapid Transit District and Santa Monica Big Blue Bus lines.

Altoon and Auld explain:

“During the study for joint development opportunities, a light rail component was added to the site program that would potentially link the bus terminal with the…subway with an at-grade or elevated light rail that would extend to the Los Angeles International Airport.”

The Pico-San Vicente project was never built.

The book also explores the Hollywood & Highland transit-oriented development project.

The authors note that:

“Knowing that a major mixed-use retail/hotel/entertainment complex was being planned for the site directly above the station, Metro envisioned a world-class destination that would attract ridership; and they saw the opportunity for a park ‘n’ ride facility in the basement of the new project, which would conveniently feed customers to the subway.”

The Hollywood & Highland complex was built, and is considered wildly successful in bringing together those who choose to live, work and play in one of the most popular and iconic parts of any city in the world.

Conveniently organized by transit development type along with consistent regional maps, transit systems, site-specific transit mode locations, and a useful comparative scale analysis, this work is an informative and valuable reference tool for those involved in transit-oriented development and industry professionals as a whole.