Conference paper
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Transit Orientated Development (TOD) provides a nuanced, policy-relevant design to connect social and planning frameworks to create low-carbon communities. This form of urban development aims to co-locate sustainable housing, transport and consolidated urban forms. Fully integrated TODs offer strong potential to blend social and environmental planning objectives to reduce carbon intensity. Despite this, many Australian cities have struggled to deliver fully integrated low-carbon TODs. These outcomes are even more problematic considering TODs are long established in Australian urban development frameworks. This paper provides emerging empirical insights into how TOD policies in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne might be reoriented to deliver more equitable and lower-carbon urban settlements. Existing policy frameworks in each case study are critically interrogated vertically and horizontally to identify causes for current undesirable outcomes. Initial results indicate that while TOD delivery is an important policy concern across all cases, there are varying degrees of priority attached to realising their delivery. There is also considerable variability in terms of how social and spatial synergies can be best realised. These findings call for a better understanding of the concept of TOD and the need for a more integrated approach to connect urban planning and social policy priorities to achieve equitable low-carbon communities.

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