New guide and webinar: “The How and Why of Measuring Access to Opportunity”

Transportation systems link people to their daily destinations as well as broader opportunity. And transportation agencies across the country are increasingly interested in measuring how well their systems do this. Many practitioners are not sure where to start on that ambitious goal, but a new guide from the Governors’ Institute on Community Design is designed to show them how.

The How and Why of Measuring Access to Opportunity: A Guide to Performance Management is a brand new guidebook on the data, tools, and methodologies transportation officials need to measure access to opportunity, as well as how to integrate these measurements into their planning and investment decisions. The new guidebook provides background on the changing priorities in transportation performance management, how some transportation agencies are already incorporating measures of access into their programs, and discusses the data and tools available to support measuring it. This guidebook might also be useful to elected and civic leaders, policymakers, and stakeholders who wish to work with transportation agencies to address these important priorities.

The Why and How of Measuring Access to Opportunity: A Guide to Performance Management

Access to jobs, education, healthcare, and other essential services may be regarded as the primary purpose of transportation. Not surprisingly, transportation agencies across the country are increasingly interested in considering this as a key part of measuring system performance. Unfortunately, many transportation practitioners are not sure how to measure how well their system links people … Continued

Resilience summit discusses how states can help vulnerable populations prepare for and recover from disaster

Hurricane KatrinaThousands of people were unable to evacuate during Hurricane Katrina due to lack of access to transportation. These individuals were disproportionately elderly, low-income African Americans. Photo by Andrea Booher, via the FEMA Photo Library.

A community is only as resilient as its most vulnerable residents. States can do more to define who is most at risk in the face of natural hazards, and can begin to take steps to address these populations’ needs.

That was the takeaway from the panel of environmental justice experts who spoke at the Governors’ Institute on Community Design State Resilience and Economic Growth Summit in Washington, DC, last week. The panel discussion was part of a a two-day event that brought together experts on disaster recovery and long-term resilience to discuss best practices and new strategies for states.

“You can’t just talk about the general population and resilience and expect resilience to spread to all communities,” began Matthew Tejada, Director of the Office of Environmental Justice at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). “It’s important that we save a special place to talk about resilience for those communities that are overburdened, that are vulnerable.”

State and local partnerships prove essential at State Resilience Summit

080609-F-6967G-196Flooding in places like Lake Delton, WI prompted the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation to focus on local disaster recovery strategies. Photo by Paul Gormond, via Wikimedia Commons.

How can states partner with local authorities to improve disaster resilience, while also addressing local economic, environmental and equity concerns?

An expert panel tackled this question earlier this week at the Governors’ Institute on Community Design State Resilience and Economic Growth Summit in Washington, DC. The two-day event brought together experts on disaster recovery and long-term resilience to discuss best practices and new strategies with state and federal leaders. The Governors’ Institute on Community Design is an initiative of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Transportation administered by Smart Growth America.

In a day two breakout session on “The Role of State and Local Partnerships”, participants heard from leaders on the challenges of building strong state-local partnerships for resilience implementation.

Innovative partnerships drive economic discussion at State Resilience Summit

netherlandsA project in the Netherlands combined flood mitigation with local housing development. Photo by Royal Netherlands Embassy.

When state governments focus on resilience, who should be their key partners? How can unconventional stakeholders lend their support to the process?

Those questions took center stage today at the Governors’ Institute on Community Design State Resilience and Economic Growth Summit in Washington, DC. The two-day event is bringing together experts on disaster recovery and long-term resilience to discuss best practices and new strategies for states. The Governors’ Institute on Community Design is an initiative of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Transportation administered by Smart Growth America.

Massachusetts announces a “common vision” for housing, transportation, and the environment

Boston from above
Boston from above.

This post is crossposted from the Governors’ Institute on Community Design, a program run in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Smart Growth America.

In fiscally challenging times, states can achieve more when their agencies work together toward common goals. Massachusetts is doing exactly that.

Yesterday at a Multi-Family Housing Summit in Boston, three members of Governor Deval Patrick’s cabinet announced their common vision for growth in Massachusetts. The vision highlights the housing, transportation, and environment agencies’ strong commitment to plan ahead for future growth and the Commonwealth’s Sustainable Development Principles.

Smart Growth America's Top 12 of 2012: Helping governors support state economies

From left to right: Parris Glendening, President of Smart Growth America’s Leadership Institute and former governor of Maryland; Christine Todd Whitman, former governor of New Jersey; James Lee Witt, former director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency; and Tom Ridge, former governor of Pennsylvania.

We’re doing a special blog series highlighting some of Smart Growth America’s favorite accomplishments from 2012. This is the second of twelve installments.

In July, the Governors’ Institute on Community Design kicked off a new partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The announcement marked the beginning of a new, collaborative effort between the three agencies and the Institute, which was established in 2005 and is administered by Smart Growth America.

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick introduces new workforce housing initiatives, adopts GICD recommendations

The following is crossposted from the Governors’ Institute on Community Design.

In July 2012, the Governors’ Institute on Community Design met with Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and his Administration to identify policies and tool to meet the State’s housing needs. Last week, Governor Patrick announced an ambitious housing policy initiative that builds on those strategies.

Request for proposals [update]

As part of our work with the Governors’ Institute on Community Design, Smart Growth America is seeking to augment our team with a contractor to act as technical experts at Governors’ Institute workshops. Smart Growth America is accepting proposals from firms interested in being part of a grant application to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, for grant EPA-OP-OSC-12-01. The estimated project period for the grant will begin April 1, 2012, and may be up to five years.