Priority Development Areas

Priority Development Areas offer a targeted strategy for capitalizing on existing assets, like transit stations and walkable downtowns, to foster sustainable economic development.

As public resources grow scarcer, it becomes even more critical to strategically invest in existing places, especially those that deliver the strongest returns and the most sustainable growth.

Many communities already have the building blocks for sustainable economic development: high-frequency transit stations, freight rail facilities, historic main streets, and walkable neighborhoods. The challenge lies in prioritizing these assets above other needs.

Our report Prospering in Place makes the case for targeting resources to Priority Development Areas (PDAs). This can incentivize communities with undervalued transportation assets to embrace transit-oriented development and cargo-oriented development as land-use strategies. Metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) can set the tone by orienting resources towards key projects in location-efficient places. Transportation, housing, and economic development programs can be coordinated to accelerate sustainable, place-based improvements.