The Transformative Transit-Oriented
Development (TTOD) Initiative is MassINC’s multi-year effort to advance strategic state policy for Gateway City growth and renewal

In an age when many residents prefer to live and work in transit-accessible locations, cities across the US are building rail and bus rapid transit lines to spur growth through transit-oriented development.

The Gateway Cities Innovation Institute kicked off its TTOD Initiative in April 2018 with the release of a study quantifying the potential opportunity and impact of transit-oriented development in 13 Gateway Cities with current or planned commuter rail service. Until 2021, we will expand this foundational research to test a range of strategies that improve the transit rider experience by promoting frequent, all-day, accessible service and stimulating inclusive growth and development in Gateway Cities and surrounding communities.

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Latest News

Remembering a true champion

The Gateway Cities Journal

Mayor Carpenter did it all Gateway Cities movement lost a beloved hero last week with the passing of Bill Carpenter. Leading the great Gateway City of Brockton since 2014, Mayor Carpenter earned well-deserved acclaim for his work advancing substance abuse treatment, combating family homelessness, and fighting for public education funding. This short list doesn’t do justice to Mayor Carpenter’s many achievements. Running a city is indisputably the hardest job

MassINC’s Series of Regional TTOD Forums Arrives in Lynn

Event Recap

Together with a variety of partners, MassINC hosted the North Shore Transformative Transit-Oriented Development Forum on Wednesday, June 19th. The event drew dozens of citizens and leaders interested in exploring the linkages between transit and development in the region.  Our day began with a walking tour of the area surrounding Lynn’s commuter rail station.

Growing support for regional ballot initiatives to fund our transportation future

The Gateway Cities Journal

The Governor’s Commission on the Future of Transportation envisions a high-performance regional rail system connecting urban centers across the Commonwealth to Boston’s talent, R&D, and global relationships. This strategy leverages existing commuter rail infrastructure to generate more balanced economic development throughout the state. However, it still requires a considerable investment. We will need to modernize the commuter

TOD Big and Small in Fall River

Gateways Episode 21

In this episode of Gateways, Tracy takes a walking tour in the heart of Fall River with private developer Alan Macomber and the city’s executive director of community development, Mike Dion. Our guests explain Fall River’s plans to connect downtown to its vibrant waterfront while creating more market rate

Northern Massachusetts Transformative Transit-Oriented Development (TTOD) Regional Forum

Event Recap

On Thursday, May 30th, the Northern Massachusetts Transformative Transit-Oriented Development (TTOD) Regional Forum brought people from across the Commonwealth to the UMass Lowell Innovation Hub. Participants in the morning’s activities dug into how Lowell, Lawrence, and Haverhill are transforming their cities and surrounding communities using transit-oriented development. Speakers and panelists discussed proposed and active rail

Central Massachusetts Transformative Transit-Oriented Development (TTOD) Regional Forum

Event Recap

On Tuesday, May 21st, the Fitchburg Art Museum hosted the Central Massachusetts Transformative Transit-Oriented Development (TTOD) Regional Forum. Along with event partners, the MassINC Gateway Cities Innovation Institute explored how Fitchburg, Leominster, Worcester, and other cities are using transit-oriented development to transform communities in Central Massachusetts. The panelists and presenters shared insights about proposed rail

More than one way to ‘transform’ a city

Gateways Episode 15

On this week’s episode of Gateways, Dr. Tracy Corley is joined by Noah Koretz, Director of Transformative Development for MassDevelopment. He discusses his Transformative Development Initiative (TDI), a “place and partnership program” that bolsters the economic development efforts of Gateway Cities.

Press coverage

  • Moulton, housing advocates eye transit-oriented development

    Moulton, a Salem Democrat and advocate for public transportation and rail travel, met Monday with Harborlight Community Partners Executive Director Andrew DeFranza, Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance Executive Director Andre Leroux, and Tracy Corley, transit-oriented development fellow at MassINC, a nonpartisan public policy think tank, to talk about transit-oriented development…

    Corley said there is wider discussion among state transportation officials about the vision of the existing commuter rail, which was designed to shuttle people to and from 9-to-5 jobs in downtown Boston. There is talk of increasing the frequency of trains and having all-day service. To justify the expansion, she said, it would make sense to add both housing and jobs near commuter rail stations.

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  • Lynn Forum Focuses on Transformative Transit-Oriented Development

    McGee spoke at Wednesday afternoon’s North Shore Massachusetts Transformative Transit-Oriented Development Regional Forum, at the Lynn Museum and hosted by the Massachusetts Institute for a New Commonwealth (MassINC), which has released a report on the topic. The discussion was moderated by Essex Media Group (publisher of The Daily Item) Community Relations Director Carolina Trujillo.

    In the report, “The Promise and Potential of Transformative Transit-Oriented Development in Gateway Cities,” the executive summary reads that gateway cities can accommodate thousands of new housing units and thousands of new jobs on the vacant and underutilized land surrounding their commuter rail stations. The walkable, mixed-use urban land offers an ideal setting for a transit-oriented development.

    Dr. Tracy Corley, a transit-oriented development fellow for MassInc., said their research focused on 13 of 26 gateway cities and what could be done within a half mile of commuter rail stations, which could create the potential of 140,000 new jobs.

    Read More…

  • Krause: Time is Ticking on Transportation Plan

    Wednesday, officials from MassINC — a non-profit dedicated to promoting public policy that creates a pathway to opportunity for Massachusetts residents — were in Lynn to promote the TTOD initiative.

    That would be a marvelous idea, if Lynn was served by a 21st century transit system. It isn’t. In fact, the commuter rail that passes by here once an hour is archaic. And it’s basically useless. If I work on State Street, or somewhere else in the financial district of Boston, getting off a train at North Station, behind the Boston Garden, is not making my commute any easier.

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  • Strengthening K-12 education system through collaboration

    The SouthCoast Development Partnership hosted a panel on Tuesday regarding public education in Massachusetts to look at the pipeline from pre-K to the business world. Featuring public officials and educators, the panel discussed how collaboration can strengthen the Commonwealth’s education system, according to a press release from the organization.

    Educational Attainment is one of the focus areas of the Partnership.

    MassINC’s Research Director, Ben Forman, presented on strengthening local accountability to the group, stating “with much needed education funding coming into communities, now is an opportune time to think about how we strengthen governance at the school and district level so that communities are able to put these funds to work in new and different ways.”

    Read More…

  • Boom in transit ridership could signal big changes for Brockton

    “Brockton was really slow to see any reinvestment and then all of a sudden the city has built a tremendous pipeline,” said Ben Forman, director of MassINC’s Gateway Cities Institute, which studies the state’s substantial collection of mid-sized, formerly industrial cities. Brockton has since “leapfrogged” many of the cities it once lagged behind in terms of housing production, according to Forman.

    Read More…

Transformative-Development

@GatewayCities

Excited to be in Lowell and Lawrence today, recording podcasts about how businesses contribute to compact, walkable #TransitOrientedDevelopment! #MassTOD https://t.co/zrOtfs9u5P
Jul 18, 2019
Rail is coming to the South Coast. This is the first step towards #RegionalRail and #TransitOrientedCommunities that drive less and live more. #MassTOD https://t.co/jERLsCeYla https://t.co/riAc6mHrfW
Jul 19, 2019
This is tremendous news, @DoBizInLowell! Congratulations! #MassTOD in #GatewayCities! https://t.co/9qiHWjtxjM
Jul 17, 2019
Important research from @BostonFed about immigrant contributions to #Massachusetts growth. "In seven of ten recent years (2009–2018) New England’s population would have shrunk or failed to grow without the addition of immigrants." #MassTOD https://t.co/J792F5E4F2 https://t.co/xdBzQiEMFq
Jul 17, 2019
This week on #Gateways we talk local education accountability with Ben and @Juana_B_Matias followed by Jim Caradonio, former Superintendent of the Worcester Public Schools. Then on to Lowell to hear about parent-led efforts to reinvigorate school councils. https://t.co/mPgPI4QeGB
Jul 17, 2019
Looking forward to this ribbon cutting on Thursday and talking #SmallBiz in Merrimack Valley #GatewayCities. #MassTOD https://t.co/lq5nfAUZJT
Jul 17, 2019
“It is easier to create innovation consortia between businesses, academia and government in a small city that understands innovation as a team sport.” Small cities struggle but with #TransitOrientedDevelopment there's hope. #GatewayCities #MassTOD https://t.co/fFZol7jSRy
Jul 17, 2019
It seems like an unlikely marriage, theater and math. But at @HPSHOLYOKE, combining core curriculum with arts education is becoming a routine pairing with the help of nonprofits like Enchanted Circle Theater. via @CommonWealthMag https://t.co/NCRMmcTQGQ
Jul 15, 2019
Listen to Gateways on your commute home: @tracyacorley sits down with @SusanConnelly12, Director of Community Assistance and Strategic Partnerships at @mhphousing, a nonprofit organization that supports and finances affordable housing. #MassTOD https://t.co/9jH1VqHxLv
Jul 15, 2019
CW In Depth | In Holyoke, arts education takes front seat: Non-profit helps integrate creativity into the regular curriculum https://t.co/nYUjrMJjxb
Jul 15, 2019
I noticed similar ridership and enthusiasm for @MBTA_CR this weekend. It makes the case for lower fares during weekdays, off-peak. Our system could connect so many more people to opportunities and activities! #MassTOD #RideTheT https://t.co/5LzTWCUEuq
Jul 14, 2019
Our Transformative Development Initiative (TDI) is a tactical approach to accelerating economic growth in #GatewayCities, and we've recently launched an @instagram to better engage community members + partners. Follow along at https://t.co/xF4lyiCoZg 📍 https://t.co/GfY0MxtrGG
Jul 12, 2019
Three @MBTA_CR round-trips this week. Fitchburg and 2x Haverhill to talk #MassTOD. So much more relaxing than driving. And after the #HaverhillFarmersMarket where I met a lot of community leaders & activists just hanging out, I biked the streets & Bradford #RailTrail. Fun! https://t.co/TW3KCBto8r
Jul 14, 2019
Cape Cod congestion? Frequent, all-day, all-year train service is solid alternative to cars. But quiet pass expiration change erodes trust in rail service, @MBTA_CR. 😖 #MassTOD :: After pain of bridge work, users have ideas for fixes https://t.co/oSgYRUfhib
Jul 14, 2019

Coming up

Explore TTOD Research Reports

  • MassINC is a key partner to the Boston Foundation, and all of us who are seeking to advance the regional conversation around economic opportunity and a strong quality of life for all.  MassINC's robust, nonpartisan research is exactly what our citizens and leaders need to make good decisions.

    Paul Grogan, President of The Boston Foundation

  • I watch my inbox for CommonWealth magazine’s Daily Download. I can count on the newsletter to tell me succinctly what’s happening in politics and public policy. The magazine itself always delivers in-depth news, analysis and commentary. It's simply outstanding, quality journalism. I am happy to support unbiased reporting through my participation in Citizens Circle.

    Helen Chin Schlichte
    Former Public Administrator; President Emeritus, South Cove Manor at Quincy Point

  • MassINC's long-term dedication to Gateway Cities makes them a valuable resource to all of our communities. They are a true thought partner. They go the distance to help others appreciate our unique opportunities, needs, and perspectives.

    Tim McGourthy Executive Director of the Worcester Regional Research Bureau

  • MassINC serves as a credible, thoughtful resource for all of us who are invested in the future of the Commonwealth. Its emphasis on careful analysis that is grounded in data, research, and polling makes an important contribution to and helps elevate the conversation about the challenges and opportunities facing the region.

    Trevor Pollack, Manager of Special Projects for the Barr Foundation

  • The potential of Massachusetts’ Gateway Cities is limitless. MassINC’s dedicated work in promoting these cities has been, and will continue to be, instrumental in their individual and collective success.

    Jay Ash
    Massachusetts Secretary of Housing and Economic Development and former chair of the Gateway Cities Innovation Institute

  • MassINC has always provided research showing the detrimental impact of the state’s unforgiving criminal justice system on our communities. Their polling confirmed that the public understood the need for change in our system. That criminal justice reform is at the forefront of bipartisan local and national debates today is in no small measure due to MassINC’s persistent and fair commitment to the issue.

    Juliette Kayyem Faculty Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, Founder Kayyem Solutions LLC

  • Through my partnership with MassINC, the Building On What Works Coalition is working to unite a diverse collection of civic leaders around an urgent call to encourage the state to act on the progress that has been made ensuring all children in Massachusetts have a true chance to succeed in the state’s economy. MassINC’s research and commitment to data driven public policy are helping to give the children of Massachusetts a better education.

    Kim Driscoll Mayor of Salem

  • MassINC's work with the Gateway Cities is unmatched. As Eastern Bank strives to help businesses in these communities thrive, MassINC has been a tremendous partner, providing data-driven research and affirming that these cities are full of opportunities.

    Bob Rivers Chairman and CEO of Eastern Bank

  • When MassINC speaks, it’s well worth listening. After all, the nonpartisan think tank has established itself as a thoughtful, careful, credible voice on public policy in Massachusetts.

    Scot Lehigh Boston Globe Op-Ed Columnist

  • Few organizations in the country have better understood the important role of governance reform and accountability in education policy and economic development than MassINC.

    Bruce Katz Former Vice President and Founding Director of the Metropolitan Policy Program at The Brookings Institution

  • [MassINC's] understanding of the complexity of the challenges facing the state’s older cities, its belief in the opportunities that present themselves in those communities, and its advocacy of the role that public higher education can and should play in them, has added to the understanding that policy makers need to have as they move our state toward the future.

    Jean MacCormack

Why support massinc?

  • We enjoy what we do.

    Whether it’s planning events, conducting research, or analyzing the news, our team works on projects that we’re passionate about.
  • We develop leaders.

    Former MassINC employees have gone on to work at reputable organizations like Harvard University, Boston University, City Year, EnerNOC, and Governor Baker’s office.  
  • We stick with it.

    Our work on transformative development, which uses public and private funding for projects to revitalize an entire downtown or urban neighbor­hood, began as Policy Center research report in 2013. A year later, the state legislature passed a bill funding transformative development projects across Massachusetts.
  • We are nonpartisan.

    Our Board of Directors includes prominent Massachusetts Democrats and Republicans. We are interested people’s ideas, not which side of the aisle they sit on.
  • We have a complete toolbox.

    We aren’t just a think tank. We bring nonpartisan research, civic engagement, journalism, and independent polling together under one roof.
  • We have state-wide reach.

    We know that Beacon Hill isn’t the only place to make progress. We’re on the ground in cities across the state working with local leaders.
  • We have unique networks.

    We use our connections to bring together a cross-section of diverse leaders to solve problems. Our networks include mayors, economic development directors, superintendents, business people, newspaper editors, arts leaders, and regional transit officials.  
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

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