Defining critical success factors in TOD implementation using rough set analysis

Ren Thomas, Luca Bertolini


This paper defines critical success conditions in transit-oriented development (TOD), evaluating the impact of practices, policies, and governance models on implementation. As part of a meta-analysis of 11 international case studies, 16 critical success factors were developed and validated using rough set analysis. The results show that political stability at the national level, relationships between actors in the region, interdisciplinary teams used to implement TOD, and public participation are the most significant success factors in TOD implementation. The set of decision rules reveals that several combinations of critical success factors have been effective in achieving implementation across city-regions in different contexts.


case study, meta-analysis, transit-oriented development, policy transfer

Full Text:



Authors. 2013, manuscript submitted for publication. Beyond the case study dilemma in urban planning.

Baaijens, S. and Nijkamp, P. 2001. Meta-analytic methods for comparative and exploratory policy research: An application to the assessment of regional tourist multipliers. Journal for Policy Modeling 22(7): 821-858.

Bamberg, S. and G. Möser. 2007. Why are work travel plans effective? Comparing conclusions from narrative and meta-analytical research synthesis. Transportation 34: 647–666.

Bertolini, L. 1998. Station area redevelopment in five European countries: An international perspective on a complex planning challenge. International Planning Studies 3(2): 163-184.

Bertolini, L., C. Curtis and J. Renne. 2012. Station area projects in Europe and beyond: Towards transit oriented development? Built Environment, 38(1): 31-50.

Brons, M., Nijkamp, P., Pels, E. & Rietveld, P. 2005. Efficiency of urban public transit: A meta- analysis. Transportation, 32: 1-21.

California Department of Transportation. 2002. Statewide Transit-Oriented Development Study: Factors for Success in California. San Diego: Caltrans.

Cascetta, E. and F. Pagliara. 2009. Rail Friendly Transport and Land-use Policies: The Case of the Regional Metro System of Naples and Campania. In Transit Oriented Development: Making it Happen, edited by C. Curtis, J.L. Renne, and L. Bertolini, 39-47. USA and UK: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.

Cervero, R. 1998. The Transit Metropolis: A Global Inquiry. Washington, D.C.: Island Press.

Cervero, R. 2007. ‘Transit-oriented development in the US: Contemporary practices, impacts and policy directions. In Incentives, Regulations and Plans: the Role of States and Nation-States in Smart Growth Planning by G-J Knaap , H.A. Haccou, K.J. Clifton, and J.W. Frece, 149-167. Cheltenham, U.K. and Massachusetts, USA: Edward Elgar Publishing.

Curtis, C. 2008). Evolution of the Transit-Oriented Development model for low-density cities: a case study of Perth’s new railway corridor. Planning, Practice and Research 23(3): 285-302.

Curtis, C., J.L. Renne. and L. Bertolini (Eds.) 2009. Transit Oriented Development: Making it Happen. USA and UK: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.

Curtis, C. and N. Low. 2012. Institutional Barriers to Sustainable Transport. USA and UK: Ashgate Publishing Co.

Dolowitz, D. and D. Marsh. 2000. Learning from abroad: the role of policy transfer in contemporary policy making. Governance 13 (1): 5–24.

Friman, M., L. Larhult, and T. Gärling. 2013. An analysis of soft transport policy measures implemented in Sweden to reduce private car use. Transportation 40: 109-129.

Flyvberg, B. 2001. Making Social Science Matter: Why Social Inquiry Fails and How it Can Succeed Again. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Gim, T.-H. T. 2012. A meta-analysis of the relationship between density and travel behavior. Transportation 39: 491–519.

Grin, J. 2010. The Governance of Transitions. In Transitions to Sustainable Development: New Directions in the Study of Long Term Transformative Change, edited by J.Grin, J. Rotmans & J. Schot, 265-285. New York and London: Routledge.

Khan, S. and R. VanWynsberghe. 2008. Cultivating the under-mined: cross-case analysis as knowledge mobilization. Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 9(1), article 34.

Knowles, R.D. 2012. Transit Oriented Development in Copenhagen, Denmark: from the Finger Plan to Ørestad. Journal of Transport Geography 22: 251-261.

Marsden, G. and D. Stead. 2011. Policy transfer and learning in the field of transport: A review of concepts and evidence. Transport Policy 19: 492-500.

Miles, M.B. and A.M. Huberman, A.M. 1994. Qualitative Data Analysis: An Expanded Sourcebook. Sage Publications: Thousand Oaks, CA.

Naess, P., A. Strand, T. Naess, and M. Nicolaisen. 2011. On their road to sustainability? The challenge of sustainable mobility in urban planning and development in two Scandinavian capital regions. Town Planning Review 82(3): 285-315.

Newman, P. 1991. Toronto and Vancouver Land Use - Transit Success Stories. Case Studies Index. Melbourne, Australia: Murdoch University.

Nijkamp, P., M. van der Burch. and G. Vindigni. 2002. A comparative institutional evaluation of public-private partnerships in Dutch urban land-use and revitalization projects. Urban Studies 39: 1865-1880.

Scheurer J and C. Curtis. 2013. Public transport accessibility in European and North American cities - a shared pursuit of best practice? Paper presented at the AESOP/ACSP Conference. Dublin. July 2013.

Schofield, J.W. 1990. Increasing the generalizability of qualitative research. In Qualitative Inquiry in Education: The Continuing Debate, edited by E.W. Eisner & A. Peshkin, 201–232. New York: Teachers College Press.

Schofield, J.W. 2002. Increasing the generalizability of qualitative research. In The Qualitative Researcher’s Companion, A.M. Huberman and M.B. Miles, 171-204. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Spaans, M. & E. Louw. 2009. Crossing borders with planners and developers and the limits of lesson-drawing. City Futures in a Globalising World. University Rey Juan Carlos of Madrid: Madrid.

Stead, D., M. deJong, and I. Reinholde. 2008. Urban transport policy transfer in Central and Eastern Europe. Disp: The Planning Review 44(172): 62-73.

Stone, D. 1999. Learning lessons and transferring policy across time, space, and disciplines. Politics 19(1): 51-59.

Tan, W.G.Z. 2009. Policy context of key transit-oriented projects for station locations within the Netherlands. Paper presented at TU Berlin, Centre for Metropolitan Studies.

Tan, W. 2011. NICIS KEI Case Study #1: Perth, Western Australia.

Tan, W., L. Bertolini, and L. Janssen-Jansen. 2012. The role of implementation barriers and institutional incentives in transit-oriented development: the cases of Perth, Portland and Vancouver. Paper presented at the AESOP 26th Annual Congress, Ankara, Turkey.

TransLink. 2012. Transit-Oriented Communities Guidelines. Creating more livable places around transit in Metro Vancouver. Vancouver: TransLink.

Van Egmond, P., P. Nijkamp, and G. Vindigni. 2003. A comparative analysis of the performance of urban public transport systems in Europe. International Social Science Journal 55(176): 235-247

Walter, A.I. and R.W. Scholz. 2007. Critical success conditions of collaborative methods: a comparative evaluation of transport planning projects. Transportation 34: 195-212.

Wardman, M. 2012. Review and meta-analysis of U.K. time elasticities of travel demand. Transportation 39:465-490.

Yin, R. K. (1994) Case study research: Design and methods (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.