Request for proposals: Complete Streets Leadership Academy workshop instructors

Smart Growth America (SGA) is seeking consultant workshop instructors (individual consultants or dedicated individuals within firms) to support SGA staff in facilitating three upcoming several-month Complete Streets Leadership Academy technical assistance programs in California, Connecticut, and Tennessee. Proposals are due Friday, September 30. Contracts will begin ASAP upon selection and run through July 31, 2023.

While SGA will work collaboratively with the selected consultant instructors to refine each program’s curriculum based on expertise provided, SGA is particularly seeking consultants with the ability to plan and instruct workshop content and/or facilitate discussions in at least one of the following areas:

  • Roadway design and engineering using a Complete Streets approach.
  • Direct experience planning and implementing “quick-build” projects.
  • Inclusive virtual and in-person community engagement for short-term transportation projects.
  • Transportation equity and anti-displacement strategies.
  • Coordination between transportation and land use strategies to support equitable access to jobs and necessities.
  • Navigation of state and federal DOT processes to support the establishment of new programs and initiatives.

Program background:

Through support from the CDC, Smart Growth America will facilitate three Complete Streets Leadership Academies between November 2022 and July 2023. Complete Streets Leadership Academies are technical assistance workshop programs designed to help state DOTs and local communities work together to put Complete Streets into practice, engage in peer learning, and improve cross-jurisdictional coordination. 

Each Academy program will include participation from the state DOT, state health partners, and multidisciplinary cohorts from three local communities within the state:

  • California Complete Streets Leadership Academy: localities include the Cities of Berkeley, San Leandro, and South San Francisco
  • Connecticut Complete Streets Leadership Academy: localities include the Cities of Waterbury, Bristol, and Middletown
  • Tennessee Complete Streets Leadership Academy: localities include the City of Memphis, Metro Nashville (Davidson County), and the City of Chattanooga

Each state program will include a series of both virtual and in-person workshops taking place over approximately 30 hours beginning in late 2022 and wrapping up by June 2023. During the workshops, participants will learn about Complete Streets best practices and discuss policy and procedural barriers to Complete Streets at the state and local levels. Throughout the workshops, participants will collaborate to plan and install “quick-build” temporary Complete Streets demonstration projects on state highways using proven safety countermeasures and approaches such as “tactical urbanism” and creative placemaking in the three local jurisdictions. Each local jurisdiction will receive a sub-award of $10,000 directly from SGA for materials for their demonstration project.

While the workshop presentation and discussion topics will be refined in partnership with the state and local points of contact for each Academy program, general topics covered typically include:

  • Level-setting on what a Complete Streets approach involves.
  • Site selection for quick-build projects.
  • Inclusive community engagement at all stages of projects.
  • Performance measures for Complete Streets at the program and project level.
  • Designing Complete Streets quick-build projects, and considerations for making changes permanent.
  • Creative placemaking and approaches for activating public space.
  • Communication and storytelling to support Complete Streets efforts.
  • Maintaining momentum and cross-jurisdictional coordination after demonstration projects.

Scope of work:

  • Participate in planning calls with the state DOT and local points of contact throughout the program, as well as internal planning calls with SGA.
  • Work closely with SGA to refine the overall workshop curriculum. 
  • Develop, present, and facilitate up to five 2-hour workshop modules on specific topics identified in collaboration with SGA (likely a combination of in-person and virtual sessions). 
  • Attend workshop sessions as needed (whether presenting or not) to support the facilitation of breakout exercises.
  • Provide occasional direct support and guidance to the state DOT and localities on an as-needed basis as they plan the quick-build projects.
  • Review written deliverables (project case studies and brief recommendations) produced by SGA at the conclusion of the program.

Program timeline:

While the program schedules and mix of in-person versus virtual workshops are still being determined, the Leadership Academy workshops will begin in late 2022, with planning beginning in September. The workshops will take place over approximately 6 months, and the demonstration projects themselves will be installed toward the end of each program in mid-spring 2023.

Full and open competition policy:

SGA strives to ensure full and open competition, guarantee the objective performance of contracts, and eliminate the possibility for unfair competitive advantages, and therefore SGA uses a competitive process for procurements that exceed $15,000.

Proposal selection shall be based on overall value to SGA considering responsiveness to the solicitation, price, quality, deadlines of delivery, warranties, accountability and fulfillment of the service, and other relevant factors. SGA will also consider other benefits associated with the procurement in the selection process including but not limited to the opportunity to use small, disadvantaged, and minority-owned firms, the opportunity to select procurements that have environmental benefits, the opportunity to support transit and walkable neighborhoods, and other factors that align with SGA’s mission.

Proposal submission:

Interested applicants should submit your proposal via email to Rayla Bellis at [email protected] by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Friday, September 30, including:

  • A brief letter of interest that articulates your understanding of a Complete Streets approach. Please Include your DUNS number if applicable
  • Proposed instructor(s) bios with a 1-2 page summary of area(s) of expertise and relevant past work
  • A short narrative proposal that includes specific proposed workshop presentation/discussion topic(s) based on the goals and needs outlined in this RFP 
  • List of references
  • Proposed budget, including instructor hourly rate(s) and estimated hours to fulfill the scope, broken down by activity. Actual contract hours will be determined in collaboration with SGA after selection

SGA will hire between 1-3 instructors per state depending on the scope of expertise offered in each proposal. Each proposal should identify which state(s) the proposal refers to: California, Connecticut, and/or Tennessee. SGA is seeking consultant instructors who possess a strong working understanding of the specific state’s context, such as relevant state and local laws, state DOT organizational and decision-making structures, or local community needs. Consultant instructors who are based in the state in question are preferred, but not required if the proposal demonstrates significant experience working in that state context. Proposals for multiple Leadership Academy states from firms with multiple regional offices are welcome, but proposed instructors will be considered on an individual basis. 

Send any questions to [email protected].

Selection criteria:

SGA is seeking a diverse pool of instructors. Individuals and small firms as well as minority- and women-owned businesses are encouraged to apply. Applicants will be selected based on:

  • Past experience (refer to the preferred areas of expertise listed in the Overview section above), including a preference for experience working in the state(s) in question and experience instructing and facilitating workshops.
  • Cost of services.
  • Availability to start work immediately and participate fully in the program schedule.


View a pdf version of this RFP.

These Complete Streets Leadership Academies are supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under cooperative agreement OT18-1802 supporting the Active People, Healthy NationSM Initiative, a national initiative led by the CDC to help 27 million Americans become more physically active by 2027. Learn more.

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