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BRT-Oriented Development in Quito and Bogotá

Daniel A. Rodriguez and Erik Vergel, with support from William Fernando Camargo Triana

Febrero 2014, inglés

This report summarizes a study that combines different methods to understand the land development impacts of bus rapid transit (BRT) investments in Quito and Bogotá. Intervention and control zones in each zone are used to quantitatively examine changes in the land market in both cities. Outcomes include land market characteristics such as built area added per year (both cities), units added (Quito), and building permits issued (Bogotá). We use qualitative analyses to examine interviews conducted with 44 key informants in both cities to understand the factors that explain the presence or absence of land developments around BRT stops and terminals. The land market analysis reveals heterogeneous impacts in both cities. Although increased building activity tends to concentrate in intervention zones, comparisons with controls suggest that the impacts are very context dependent. Some stops showed very high building activity and others less so. In Bogotá, the highest activity concentrated in zones that had already received the BRT, suggesting delayed impacts from the earlier investments. In Quito there were important differences across different types of development (houses, apartments, offices). Nine themes emerged as important explanations for the (lack of) impacts of BRT investments around particular stops: Calle 100, BRT Terminals Portal 80, Suba and Usme in Bogotá, and La Ofelia, Rio Coca, Quitumbe and El Recreo in Quito. The themes differ in scope and characteristics, but they underscore the importance of accessibility gains provided by the BRT, land market conditions, agency coordination and vision, land availability, and timing of development vis a vis the BRT investment. We also identify the challenges of providing affordable housing in BRT oriented development, and discuss several cases in which land prices increased so that land otherwise suitable for affordable housing became unaffordable due to the investment.

Keywords: built environment, land development, transit oriented development (TOD), bus rapid transit (BRT)