Gateway Cities can accommodate thousands of new housing units and thousands of new jobs on the vacant and underutilized land surrounding their commuter rail stations. This walkable, mixed-use urban land offers an ideal setting for transit-oriented development (TOD) to take hold.
Currently, Gateway City commuter rail stations get minimal ridership from downtown neighborhoods and few developers seek out this land for TOD. But changing economic forces may provide opportunities to funnel future development into transit-connected Gateway Cities, generating more inclusive and economically productive growth, reducing road congestion and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, increasing housing supply, conserving open space, and improving quality of life in communities throughout the Commonwealth.
With generous support from the Barr Foundation, this groundbreaking MassINC research explores the opportunity for TOD in regional urban centers with varying market contexts and estimates the positive outcomes possible if we realize the development potential for TOD in these cities. The report concludes with a strategy to help Massachusetts capture the promise of Gateway City TOD.