Transit Oriented Development or “Smart Growth” is often cited as one of the potential solutions to dealing with peak oil by reducing suburban sprawl and creating more usage of mass transit and walkable communities. The idea generally is to promote development near existing transit hubs or along transit corridors.
Thus, a genuine community is created, with stores and services within walking distance. Crucial to the idea is having a train station in the middle of the town, with other forms of mass transit branching off from it.
The creation of compact, walkable communities centered around high quality train systems…makes it possible to live a higher quality life without complete dependence on a car for mobility and survival.
Walkability. (10 minute walk to most things)
Connectivity. (make walking pleasurable, narrow streets on the periphery)
Mixed-use & diversity. (multi-cultural, all ages and incomes)
Mixed housing. (housing for all, not just the well-off)
Quality architecture & urban design. (“human scale architecture”)
Traditional neighborhood structure. (discernable edge and center, with public space in the center)
Smart transportation. (encourage bicycles, scooters, rollerblades as well as mass transit)
Quality of life.
One of the central ideas here is that high-speed, modern trains can and should be used to move large numbers of people efficiently. NewTrains.org proposes a nationwide grid of such trains – as already exists in many parts of Europe and Japan.