Aside from the direct benefits of having less automobile use in a city, there are many side benefits to cutting off car use and pulling people together. This is why transportation planning has become an important consideration in planning. Transit Oriented Planning is a lively and opportunistic design. It is a design based on density around a mass transportation hub that is not quite large enough that people feel they cannot walk to where they need to go within the city itself. These large connections also allow other people to access to the city and make it an area of importance in business and entertainment because of ease in everyday accessibility.
This ease of accessibility is a great opportunity in the city for good economy and success. The citizens then have greater access to opportunities they might not have found within the city. But the social success comes in a community where people run into each other on the streets as they walk and congregate together in bus and rail. With less traffic, residents can benefit from greater connection to the other side of the street. This connection can help create an identity for often struggling areas, where successful people often imagine themselves fleeing from in the future. The lack of return of these citizens to the area keeps the people of high skill, that the city nurtured, out of reach. The social connection and business opportunities that come with transit planning can make them want to stay.
In addition, the health benefits involved are important ones that are often forgotten. The amount of pollution reduced in mass transportation can lessen the impact of health risks that often come with a dense environment. The desire to get around walking also help people exercise more.
Because automobile use has become so high, strategies for mass transit use are being considered. In Levy’s Contemporary Urban Planning, he describes the strategies involved in this type of design include using density to make automobile use less attractive and proximity of work environments is emphasized because “it is the mainstay of public transportation demand,” even when use for public transportation generally goes down (238). This is why they considered it important to keep jobs nearby in transit oriented designs.
The city of Newark has a great example of Transit Oriented Planning in its Ironbound section. A large busing system runs through main streets in the dense area as well as through its arterial streets. The whole system meets at its main headquarters—under a train station. Here, citizens have the ability to move to farther places from the city. The train system also provides access to a nearby airport, which provides access to even farther regions, and provides those farther regions with access to the city. The city itself, however, has several office buildings close to the train station, recognizing the pull of mass transportation. The city, aside from having great access, also turns out to be very lively.