Urban Optimization of Transit Oriented Development in Baghdad City

Abdelwehab A. Alwehab, Mohammed Qasim Abdul Ghafoor Al Ani


Meeting the demands of the postmodern metropolis requires innovative urban planning approaches to promote a livable and resilient urban fabric. Transit-oriented development (TOD) is one such approach, and promises to add value to all public and private stakeholders. The concept maximizes transit usage, create a sense of place and community, and provide a vibrant mix of land uses that cater to existing and future residents. In general, TOD aims to create vibrant communities which promote walkability and provide attractive choices in employment, housing, and transportation choices. In its theoretical background, the paper attempts to outline the benefits and principles of TOD, and to highlight a number of case studies of cities that have implemented the concept successfully. An overview is presented of the cumulative results achieved by these cities to enhance both the quality of life, and the local economy.This research also tackles the applicability of TOD to the proposed future vision of the city of Baghdad. With its 6.5 million inhabitants, and a forecasted population of 11 million by 2030, the city has a number of shortcomings in providing a livable and efficient urban landscape. Transit, sprawl, excessive use of private cars, inappropriate land use mix and densities, and lack of well-designed urban spaces around transit hubs are among the pressing issues. The hypothesis of this research stresses the need to explore TOD as an urgent planning alternative to address such quandaries. The paper presents an overview of the pending “Baghdad Urban Development Plan 2030”, and submits a multi-parameter evaluation of the vision outlined in the plan with regard to transit and circulation problems, and solutions. The preliminary outcomes of the evaluation process indicate an evident deficiency in the utilization of TOD to optimize future urban movement proposals.

Keywords: TOD, urban design, socio-economic growth, urban planning, comprehensive development.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5790 ISSN (Online)2225-0514

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