Request for proposals: Visual storytelling of transportation sector GHG reduction scenarios

Smart Growth America (SGA) is looking for an individual or small firm with experience in data visualization and visual storytelling to support a new effort that analyzes the need for both vehicle miles traveled reduction and vehicle electrification to meet greenhouse gas emissions goals. These visuals and animations should be interactive and will be displayed on a WordPress-based website.

Our deadline has been extended. Proposals should be submitted directly to Steve Davis, [email protected], by Friday, March 29, 2024, at 11:59 p.m. EST.


America’s transportation sector contributes the largest share of carbon emissions of any sector in the economy. Advocates and decision-makers have focused on fleet electrification while largely ignoring the threat that increasing vehicle miles traveled (VMT) has on climate and other environmental and equity goals. The U.S. continues to sprawl, lengthening commutes and undercutting environmental gains that transportation electrification would otherwise deliver. We need assistance with visualizing our data that captures how both electric-fleet conversion and VMT-reduction will reduce transportation emissions quickly enough to ensure acceptable levels of global warming. We’re looking for creative support to successfully disseminate our study in a way that is engaging to the media, environmental advocates, and decision-makers.

Final product

SGA is conducting an analysis to chart the total carbon budget for keeping global warming below the 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) benchmark. Within this analysis, SGA is:

  • Calculating the share of the carbon budget tied to the transportation sector.
  • Developing vehicle miles traveled (VMT) reduction, vehicle fleet composition, and mode shift dependent scenarios that lay out the cost, impacts, and tradeoffs associated with the various scenarios if implemented.

From this analysis, SGA will work closely with the consultant who will take our work and create novel visualization and storytelling of the analysis. The selected candidate will be expected to create interactive materials that display our analysis in a way that is engaging and clear to advocates and decision-makers. The presentation will be developed:

  • To be interactive for users of the presentation;
  • In a way that it can be hosted on SGA’s Transportation for America WordPress-based website;
  • And oriented to engage a diverse audience across a local to national spectrum, which includes advocacy groups, decision makers, journalists, transportation practitioners, and the general public.

Exclusive rights will be assigned to Smart Growth America, though the contractor will retain rights for any personal or professional use.

The selected partner must ensure the final deliverables are fully accessible over a cellular data connection on an internet website compatible with at a minimum Microsoft Edge (version New Edge or higher), Firefox (version 114 or higher), Safari (version 16 or higher), and Chrome (version 114 or higher) desktop browsers and a mobile web browser with Webkit layout engine or other comparable mobile web layout Engines.

Public-facing interface of the final deliverables and associated outreach materials must be:

  • Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended in 1998 (29 U.S.C. § 794 (d)) compliant;
  • Accessible in Spanish; and
  • Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 Level AA, or its successor, compliant.


Up to $12,000 is budgeted for this contract. Cost will be considered as part of the assessment of proposals. We do not expect to need travel or other reimbursements in this contract.


Smart Growth America will provide the selected contractor with the analysis, branding guidelines, and samples of recent reports. Creative direction in the design and overall product will be the responsibility of the contractor with input and feedback provided by staff at Smart Growth America.

Desired qualifications

SGA is seeking a diverse pool of candidates. Black, Indigenous, people of color-led and female creatives are especially encouraged to apply. Applicants will be selected based on the following desired criteria:

  • A proven ability to communicate complex ideas into simple, understandable graphics and visual materials that can be accessible to a wide range of audiences;
  • A sample of previous work that demonstrates an ability to visually communicate data and technical information clearly and creatively;
  • Subject matter understanding of and commitment to climate justice and transportation preferred.

How to submit a proposal

Interested applicants should submit proposals to Steve Davis at [email protected] by Friday, March 29. Proposals should be succinct and include the following:

  • A short one- or half-page letter describing your approach, interest in the project, and any similar work.
  • A draft budget for the project.
  • Some samples of recent work relevant to this project’s scope.
  • Proposed project timeline
  • List of references
  • Key staff

Proposals will be reviewed after the deadline of Friday, March 29, 2024.

About Smart Growth America

Smart Growth America (SGA) is a national non-profit organization that is dedicated to advancing equitable, sustainable land use, development, and transportation. The organization empowers communities through technical assistance, advocacy, and thought leadership to create livable places, healthy people, and shared prosperity. We work with elected officials at all levels, real estate developers, chambers of commerce, transportation, and urban planning professionals, and residents to improve everyday life for people across the country through better development.

About Transportation for America

Transportation for America, a program of Smart Growth America, is an advocacy organization made up of local, regional and state leaders who envision a transportation system that safely, affordably, and conveniently connects people of all means and ability to jobs, services, and opportunity through multiple modes of travel.

Climate Change Transportation