Transit-oriented development in developing countries: A qualitative meta-synthesis of its policy, planning and implementation challenges

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

land use - transit oriented development, land use - planning, policy - sustainable, planning - methods


Challenges, developing countries (DCs), qualitative meta-synthesis (QMS), sustainable transportation, transit-oriented development


This study seeks to systematically identify the most significant challenges for Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) in Developing Countries (DCs). At the same time, it attempts to analyze whether these are different from challenges in developed countries. For this purpose, relevant qualitative research was systematically reviewed through a Qualitative Meta-Synthesis study. The method included peer-reviewed studies since 1990, focused on the challenges of DCs when planning TOD projects written in English. A search in 12 databases identified 44 records, of which 34 met the eligibility criteria and the quality appraisal for the final list. Using Thematic Synthesis, these results were interpreted and a set of clustered challenges was drawn up, containing general themes, classified as follows: Contextual challenges, Policy and Planning challenges, Implementation challenges, and Actors. Regarding the study findings, eight problematic sub-themes pertinent to the delivery of transit-oriented strategies were listed, analyzed, and interrelated. The results enabled us to retrieve and amass an updated and well-structured set of challenges, whose relationships in the literature show both the complexity of the barriers to be surmounted as well as some key gaps in the research.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Taylor&Francis, copyright remains with them.