TOD in regional urban growth boundaries (UGBs): A case of transit adjacent development or a strategic housing solution?

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - europe, place - urban, land use - planning, land use - transit oriented development


Green Belt, Housing affordability, TOD, Strategic planning, Peripheral urban growth, rural-urban fringe


The Green Belt in England is probably the most longstanding and internationally recognised Urban Growth Boundary (UBG). However, developers, think tanks and academics often accuse UGB's of being the leading cause of the housing affordability problems around the world and articulate an alternative vision of Transit-Oriented Development (TOD). This paper, based upon a regional case study of the West Midlands and 74 interviews with planners and planning stakeholders, argues that the debate around TOD in the Green Belt needs to be more cognisant of regional geographical variation in public transport provision. Moreover, drawing upon the views of planners who play a key a role in allocating land for development, the paper underlines that decisions regarding TOD need to made strategically as reflecting the policy's purpose as a regional growth management policy. Reflecting on the broader academic literature, it highlights the need for greater strategic integration of transport and land-use planning alongside reviving strategic planning to evaluate various spatial blueprints for urban growth management. The paper has broader relevance to international debates about the feasibility and potential of TOD, especially in addressing housing affordability problems around the world.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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