Bloustein students present planning studio aimed at developing TOC guidelines for New Orleans Regional Transit Authority at 2019 APA-New York Studio Showcase

July 28, 2019


A team of Bloustein School graduate students participated in the annual APA-New York chapter’s Student Studio Showcase in June, an event which highlights the accomplishments of planning students in the New York Metro area and offers an opportunity to celebrate achievements, hear feedback from a panel of faculty judges, and enjoy networking with students and professionals in the planning community.

Held at Columbia University, graduate student teams from Columbia University, Hunter College, New York University, Pratt Institute, and NYU-Wagner also presented their work.

The Bloustein School studio team, in partnership with the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (NORTA), developed transit-oriented community (TOC) guidelines specific to the City of New Orleans, Louisiana. These guidelines will serve as a framework for encouraging future transit-oriented communities in New Orleans by promoting greater transit ridership and mixed-use development around stations. In developing these guidelines, the studio team produced TOC typologies applied to existing stations, comparable examples of TOC in other cities, and a TOC implementation plan.

“Collaborating with the Bloustein students to develop Transit-Oriented Community Guidelines for the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority continues to be one of the most rewarding efforts undertaken in 2019,” said Adelee Marie Le Grand, AICP, Vice President, Transdev and Chief Strategy Officer in Service to New Orleans Regional Transit Authority. “The students were diligent, insightful, and professional; the work product we received in 12 weeks would have taken a consultant months to complete. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with Bloustein.”

In their report, the students noted that establishing TOC typologies is essential for understanding how areas around transit stations exist today, and how they can become TOCs in the future. To define these typologies, the studio team utilized a combination of quantitative and qualitative research methods. They developed a TOC index based on factors critical to TOC, and then met with various stakeholders to gain local knowledge on existing challenges and opportunities in New Orleans. This methodology led to the establishment of typologies driven by data and local knowledge. In order to achieve the vision for each typology, the studio team then devised recommendations organized into three categories: transportation, land use, and design.

Students participating in the project were Rahul Dagli (MCRP ’20), Ben Eskin (MCRP ’20), Jerome Gonzalez MCRP ’19, Aashna Jain MCRP ’19, Michael Lucia MCRP ’19, Maggie Mysliwiec (MCRP ’20), Katie Shepard MCRP ’19, Rebecca Son MCRP ’19, Daniel Swain (MCRP ’20), Michael Swan (MCRP ’20), Andrew Wainwright MCRP ’19, Noura von Briesen (MCRP ’20), and Yasha Zarrinkelk MCRP ’19. Barbara Faga, Professor of Professional Practice in Urban Design, served as advisor to the studio.


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