Integrating an innovative educational learning environment into a Transit Oriented Development


Transit Oriented Development (TOD) has proven highly successful in creating vibrant, livable communities that are successful both financially, as well as creating great places for people to live, work, and play. Traditionally known as a type of community development that includes a mixture of housing, office, retail or other amenities integrated into a walkable neighborhood and located within a half-mile of high-quality public transportation, LPA Inc, an award-winning integrated design firm, is elevating TOD one step further with the integration of a school.

TOD projects have grown in number across the country in the last decade, but most TOD has produced higher-end housing, often targeted at empty nesters and/or young, primarily childless professionals, as opposed to families. Bringing to fruition new, ambitious models of TOD that provide opportunities for families of varying incomes will require new thinking by local agencies and developers.

By integrating an innovative educational learning environment into TOD as LPA suggests, this would invent a new type of learning environment and one that enriches by connecting students to an expanded, and vibrant community.



“Schools located in Transit-Oriented Developments have the potential to provide solutions to some of the biggest challenges facing schools today in highly urbanized areas,” explained Helen Pierce, AIA, Associate / Design Director of LPA. “Beyond that, they would provide opportunities not typically afforded schools, with increased ease of access to the assets of the wider region for community-based learning and proximity to partnerships with local industry,” she added.


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