2020 Transformative Transit-Oriented Development (TTOD) Planning and Design Competition Proposal Deadline


November 6, 2019

Competition Overview

MassINC’s TTOD Planning and Design Competition connects student teams with Gateway City planning/development teams and community-based organizations (CBOs)/advocacy groups to create an innovative plan or project that will connect important places of activity and growth with high-capacity transit hubs. 

Each proposal can be a visionary plan, pilot program, or tactical project in transit-oriented districts—the half-mile areas around multimodal train stations or bus hubs. Each proposal and final project should clearly demonstrate how it will catalyze the virtuous fiscal, environmental, and equitable growth benefits we identify in our 2018 TTOD report. We also encourage submissions that prioritize improving access to rail and other public transit and non-motorized active transport options (e.g., walking, biking, scooter).

Competition Timeline & Events (in bold)

  • October 1, 2019 — Q&A Session (3 PM ET) Register above for this Session
  • November 6, 2019 — Proposal Deadline (11:59 PM)
  • First week of December 2019 — Pitch Clinic (time and location TBD)
  • December 16, 2019 — Announce finalists
  • January 2020 — Project kickoff
  • March 31, 2020 — Final projects due (11:59 PM)
  • April 6-8, 2020 — Judges critique and select winner(s)
  • Week of April 20, 2020 — Finalists and winner(s) recognition at State House forum
  • Summer 2020 - Project implementation (where applicable)

Winner Prizes

  • Feature on all finalists and winners on MassINC website and other communications
  • Feature in a Gateways Podcast
  • Admission to a TTOD National Event in 2020
  • Recognition at a 2020/2021 TTOD Regional Forum
  • Connection with potential funders and other implementation support (where feasible)

Application Components

  • Student team of at least three students. All team members must be actively enrolled during the Fall 2019 and Winter 2020 semesters. If students are enrolled at different colleges or universities, the application must address how the students will manage collaborating with each other.
  • Letter of support from student team’s faculty advisor(s). If the team consists of students from differentm schools, all must be working with the same faculty advisor.
  • Letter of support from your Gateway City planning and/or development team, indicating contact person with the city.
  • Letters of support from at least two CBOs and/or advocacy groups, indicating contact person with each organization/group.
  • Summary of proposed intervention (proposal), written and submitted by the student team with signatures from city and CBO/advocacy group representatives (one signature from each supporter).
  • Demonstrated attention to the TTOD points:
    • Relevance - Has the project team demonstrated understanding of selected city’s challenges in improving regional connectivity, mobility, and accessibility through the city’s transit-oriented district?
    • Innovation - How unique and forward-thinking is the proposed intervention compared to existing options for improving people’s connectivity, accessibility, and mobility in the given context? Or does the intervention apply existing or simple solutions in new ways?
    • Feasibility - How realistic is the scope, scale, and budget of the intervention? How does it fit with the city’s budget and other priorities and plans?
    • Participation - Has the group included marginalized groups in early discussions, project planning/design, and predicted outcomes? How will CBOs be involved throughout the process?
    • Equity - Does the intervention leverage the city’s transit-oriented district to improve regional mobility, connectivity, and access for people of many ages, abilities, classes, and cultures? Does it consider the city’s additional needs beyond jobs and housing, such as cultural activities, social services, and educational opportunities?

Proposals must be no more than two 8.5”x11” (letter-sized) pages, 10 pt. Times New Roman, single spaced. Maps, team member bios, and other reference documents can be submitted as separate attachments, no more than 10 additional pages.

Scoring Factors

  • Diversity of disciplines among student team
  • Diversity and inclusion among student team, city participants, and participating CBOs
  • Strength of recommendation letters
  • Depth and breadth of public engagement
  • Time and cost feasibility of the proposed plan or intervention
  • Integration of the abovementioned points

Please submit all proposals & attachments as PDF files to

Registration deadline: 

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Type of event: 

Partner Events

Learning area: 

Commun. Org. & Planning


MassINC Gateway Cities Innovation Institute