The Bartlett School of Planning


Gualtiero Bonvino

Research subject

Thesis title: Transit Oriented Development Land Policy for Transit Funding: an International Comparative Study

Primary supervisor: Professor Sir Peter Hall
Secondary supervisor: Dr Stephen Marshall 
Starting date: September 2009 
Projected completion date: 2014

The aim of my research is to find new ways to fund public transport infrastructures using the property value created around stations. For this reason, I am focusing on the Transit Oriented Development (TOD) approach, because when joined with appropriate value capture techniques it can be a powerful tool for public transport infrastructures funding while increasing the sustainability of urban transport.

Indeed, TOD has been generally defined as “a compact, mixed-use community, centred around a transit station that, by design, invites residents, workers, and shoppers to drive their cars less and ride mass transit more” (Bernick, and Cervero 1997). A key feature of TOD is that thanks to transit accessibility the negative relation density/congestion is broken, and therefore a significantly higher density is sustainable. Moreover, TOD is today the kind of smart growth location increasingly appreciated by both residential and commercial demand. All these factors create property value around station, which could become a significant increase in land value following land-use regulation decisions.

Therefore, main objectives of my research are:

  • To increase knowledge about TOD and its ability to create property value that could be partially re-captured in order to fund transit infrastructure, which is part of the Newman and Kenworthy’s (1999) strategy to overcome automobile dependence (namely the 4th step: transit-oriented infill urban [re]development around new stations to pay for the infrastructure construction costs).
  • To define a grounded hypothesis about new (or optimized) financially self-sustainable land policy package of joined land use and transport planning, which uses value capture techniques for transit funding.

The method is an international comparative study, which aims to analyse how land use planning, transport planning, property development and value capture techniques work and interact in different countries, as each value capture tool works in its “ecosystem” which is made by planning and taxation regulations.


A strong commitment to be actively involved in improving the environment we live in, has always inspired my career decisions. For this reason I decided to study Architecture, specialising in urban planning and to work at Cresme Ricerche (Rome), a leading Italian Research institute on urban policies, territorial analysis, property market and urban economics.

In 2007 I won a prize, as a part of a team, in the Greater Helsinki Vision 2050, an international ideas competition. Looking for a different perspective and new stimuli I moved to Milan working for Jones Lang LaSalle in the Urban Development and Regeneration Team.

But the desire to come back to research, in a more challenging and international environment, brought me at Bartlett School of Planning to do a PhD which I fund working as a freelance consultant.

To challenge some of the ideas developed during my doctoral research, in 2013 I wrote a book with a friend actively involved in local government in Rome. The book focuses on a development vision for Rome, especially in relationship with the sea and the Mediterranean in its cultural, economic, and geopolitical dimensions and challenges, as well as on a possible tailored sustainable development approach for a strategic part of Rome’s outskirts. 

Publications and other work

Book: Editor and contributor in CRESME, 2007, “Living in the suburbs: the experience of the law 167 in Rome” (social housing policy in Rome), Chamber of Commerce of Rome, Rome IT (In Italian).

Article : Bonvino, G., 2010, “London, Urban Regeneration and the Olympic Games”, Urbanistica INFORMAZIONI, May 2010, edited by INU, the Italian National Institute of urbanism (in Italian).

Article: Bonvino, G., 2010, “Knowing the market: the Anglo-Saxon approach” - in the urban regeneration section of Urbanistica INFORMAZIONI, March-April 2008 edited by INU, the Italian National Institute of urbanism (in Italian).

Planning competition: Award in Greater Helsinki Vision 2050 International Ideas Competition. Senior planner in the “Orlando” Team which was awarded with remunerated jury mention in the international ideas competition held in 2007.

Book: Bonvino, G., D’Ausilio, F., “A Capital on the sea, Thirty Years Since the 1983 Seafront Project, Reflection for a New Urban Policy for Rome”, 2013, Palombi Editori, Rome IT (in Italian).