Grants & Opportunities

Grants Webinars Workshops Conferences Publications

Grants

TPCB Peer Program Application
Deadline: Rolling
The Transportation Planning Capacity Building (TPCB) Peer Program is a free resource for agencies in need of transportation planning assistance. The program pays for travel, accommodations, meals, and incidental expenses associated with on-site peer exchanges and offers workshops, roundtables, and webinars to participants free of charge. Interested agencies are encouraged to apply for assistance if they have a clearly identified transportation planning problem to solve and are interested in working with TPCB Program staff to plan and organize an event. TPCB also recently released two reports from peer exchanges in West Virginia and Las Vegas on transit-oriented development (TOD) and statewide and metropolitan transportation planning processes.

EDA Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance Programs
Applications Accepted on Rolling Basis
The Economic Development Administration (EDA) is seeking applications from rural and urban areas that support construction, non-construction, technical assistance, and revolving loan fund projects under EDA’s Public Works and EAA programs. These projects should be designed to leverage existing regional assets and support the implementation of economic development strategies that advance new ideas and creative approaches to advance economic prosperity in distressed communities. A portion of the funding will be designated specifically to assist communities and regions that have felt an impact from the decline of the coal industry. See U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross’ recent announcement making $30 million available to assist coal communities in their economic diversification efforts through the 2017 Assistance to Coal Communities (ACC 2017) initiative.

USDA: Rural Community Development Initiative
Applications Due: July 25
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is accepting applications for a community development initiative targeting rural areas with 50,000 people or less. Grantees will act as intermediaries, providing financial and technical assistance to recipients to develop the ability to take on projects related to housing, community facilities, or community and economic development. A 1:1 matching fund is required. The minimum grant award is $50,000 and maximum is $250,000.

DHS Offering Grant to Fill Nationwide Preparedness Gaps
Applications Due: July 26
The DHS Continuing Grants Program is looking for organizations to create new training programs that bring multiple stakeholders and jurisdictions together for effective disaster response and deliver on the core capabilities of prevention, protection, mitigation, response, and recovery. Programs will need to cover the following nationwide gap areas in disaster preparedness: cybersecurity, economic recovery, housing, and rural and tribal preparedness.  Training programs developed through this grant opportunity will need to accomplish the following objectives:

Strengthening Coordinated Transportation Systems for People with Disabilities and Older Adults
Applications Due: July 31
ACL is seeking assistance to continue their work on involving people with disabilities and older Americans in the design and implementation of transportation systems. The purpose is to ensure that coordinating transportation systems across the U.S. are responsive to the unique needs of these specific populations. They are looking for applications proposing projects that will complete the following outlined priorities:

  1. Build on the partnerships, transportation policy, and ACL programs developed over the last five years;
  2. Continue growing and building peer-to-peer support networks in this area across the U.S.;
  3. Administer a small grants demonstration program to encourage inclusive transportation planning; and
  4. Work with ACL to develop an evaluation program.

HHS Wants You to Help Empower Communities for a Healthier Nation
Applications Due: August 1
The Office of Minority Health in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) are offering awards through the Empowered Communities Initiative to provide support for minorities and/or disadvantaged communities disproportionately affected by the opioid crisis, childhood/adolescent obesity, or mental illness. The project should focus on the successful collaboration of academic medical centers, prevention research centers, teaching hospitals or Tribal epidemiology centers, and community based organizations for disadvantaged populations through the implementation of evidence-based interventions and promising practices with the greatest potential for impact. Each application should address only one of these three focus areas.

HHS Administration for Community Living: Innovations in Nutrition Programs
Applications Due: August 7
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Administration for Community Living (ACL) is awarding competitive grants under the OAA Title IV authority to increase the evidenced based knowledge base of nutrition providers, drive improved health outcomes for program recipients by promoting higher service quality, and increase program efficiency through innovative nutrition service delivery models. Funding will support innovative and promising practices that move the aging network towards evidenced based practices that enhance the quality, effectiveness of nutrition services programs, or outcomes within the aging services network. 

USDOT Seeking MPO to Support Transportation Disruption and Disaster Statistics Program
Applications Due: August 8
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) requires support from a multi-state coalition of state DOTs and other transportation agencies to develop a consistent national Transportation Disruption and Disaster Statistics (TDADS) program. BTS will establish a Cooperative Agreement with an MPO, state transportation department, or university on behalf of a multi-state coalition, in support of TDADS. The vision of the program is a national system that contains data, statistics, dashboards, tools, and visualizations to analyze and understand multimodal interstate and inter-regional transportation system disruptions.

NEH Wants to Fund Your Public Humanities Projects
Applications Due: August 9
The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Public Humanities Project is currently accepting applications for its fall 2017 deadline to fund projects aimed at bringing the humanities to life for communities. NEH encourages applicants to use this grant as an opportunity to bring together humanities scholars, local artists, and the public to develop and build programming that will showcase themes such as history, ethics, or issues in contemporary life. There are five separate competitions that applicants can apply for funding for: 1) community conversations grants, 2) exhibitions planning grants, 3) exhibitions implementation grants, 4) historic places planning grants, and 5) historic places implementation grants.

Grants Available Through HHS to Fight for Elder Justice Awareness
Applications Due: August 14
HHS is looking to fund projects that will increase awareness and communicate best practices for adult protective purposes. The primary purpose of this grant opportunity is to ultimately reduce the harm that elder Americans may face due to abuse, neglect, and/or financial exploitation through education and outreach. Ideal projects will develop materials and programs that speak to current issues surrounding elder justice, or establish/contribute to evidence-based knowledge in the field.

HUD Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grants
Applications Due: August 28
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is offering $5 million for Planning Grants, including Planning and Action Grants. Planning Grants are two-year programs that assist communities with severely distressed public or HUD-assisted housing in developing a successful plan to transform the neighborhood and build the support necessary to implement it. Planning and Action Grants are 3.5-year grants where applicants spend the first two years planning and the remaining time implementing action activities that use momentum to turn planning to successful implementation.

Grants Available to Benefit HIV/AIDS Clients and Target Audiences
Letter of Inquiry Due: September 1
The Kent Richard Hofmann Foundation is offering grants to community-based organizations wanting to join the fight against HIV and AIDS. Grant projects must support HIV/AIDS care and direct services, education, and/or research. They can support developing or established programs, and should have an emphasis on direct benefit to clients or target audiences. The foundation is particularly interested in assisting smaller communities and rural areas. Once a letter of inquiry is submitted, applicants will receive an email response with an invitation to fill out a full application, a request for further information, or a denial.

NEA Seeks Creative Placemaking Proposals for Our Town Grant Program
Applications Due: September 11
The National Endowment for the Arts has published guidelines and the application for the next funding round of Our Town, the agency’s primary creative placemaking grants program. The Our Town grant program supports creative placemaking projects that help to transform communities into lively, beautiful, and resilient places with the arts at their core.
The program offers support for projects in two areas:

  1. Arts Engagement, Cultural Planning, and Design Projects: Projects in this category should represent the distinct character and quality of their communities. They also must involve a partnership between a nonprofit organization and a local government entity, with one of the partners being a cultural organization. Matching grants will range from $25,000 to $200,000.
  2. Projects that Build Knowledge (about creative placemaking): Grants in this category are available to arts and design service organizations and industry or university organizations that provide technical assistance to those doing place-based work. Matching grants will range from $25,000 to $100,000.

USDA: Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI)
Application Due: September 8, 2018
The AFRI Foundational Program is offered to support grants in the six AFRI priority areas to continue building a foundation of knowledge critical for solving current and future societal challenges. The six priority areas are: Plant Health and Production and Plant Products; Animal Health and Production and Animal Products; Food Safety, Nutrition, and Health; Bioenergy, Natural Resources, and Environment; Agriculture Systems and Technology; and Agriculture Economics and Rural Communities. Single-function Research Projects, multi-function Integrated Projects, and Food and Agricultural Science Enhancement (FASE) Grants are expected to address one of the Program Area Priorities (see Foundational Program RFA for details). Additional details available.

HHS Wants to Help Prepare Local Governments to Public Health Crises
Applications Due: October 10
HHS Centers for Disease Control (CDC) wants to prepare communities to rapidly mobilize and respond to specific public health emergencies that exceed the capacity of jurisdictional public health resources. This opportunity is intended to fund public health departments for response to HHS Secretarial declared and nondeclared public health emergencies and other public health emergencies. Awardees would be approved but unfunded until a crisis occurs, enabling them to plan for emergency activation activities. This award complements ongoing capacity-building and response programs by providing a mechanism for CDC to rapidly mobilize and fund jurisdictions for specific response needs for specific public health emergencies. Eligible applicants include city, township, and county governments that have functional public health emergency management programs, legal authority, and already existing public health emergency management capacity.

Webinars

Celebrating 20 Years of Making America a Great Place to Walk
July 26, 2:00 – 3:00 PM ET
It is the 20th anniversary of America Walks and they are celebrating by looking back at the growth of the organization and the walking movement. Join America Walks to hear from some of the founders of the organizations, experts in the walking movement, and their staff for an inside look at how they are making America a great place to walk.

Government Benchmarks 2017: How Does Your Digital Strategy Stack Up?
July 26, 2:00-3:00PM ET
Audience engagement is essential for government organizations to accomplish their missions. But how do you know if your audience is engaged and your campaigns are working? Are you measuring, monitoring and improving on the metrics that matter? Granicus, a cloud solutions provider for governments, analyzed over 1.4 million emails sent from 3,000 public sector organizations to develop the 2017 public sector benchmark metrics. This webinar will offer tips on how to assess the performance of your digital campaign, where you stand in comparison to other public sector organizations on key benchmarks, and best practices for improving key outcomes.

Connecting Communities® Webinar
July 27, 3:00 PM ET
Join this free webinar to learn how guarantees can be used as a form of credit enhancement to channel more private capital to impact investing deals and projects. Leaders from the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) and the Kresge Foundation will share their analysis of how guarantees have been used in U.S. community investing to date, including common features of guarantees based on a database of 58 deals. They will discuss recommendations for scaled use and also address barriers to using guarantees at greater scale in U.S. community investing.The program will highlight specific case studies to show how guarantees have been used to effectively motivate capital to finance projects such as healthcare centers, affordable housing development and preservation, energy efficiency retrofits, and neighborhood revitalization.

NARC Webinar! Cyber Security for Public Agencies: Top Mistakes to Avoid
August 1, 2:00 – 3:00 PM ET
Public sector agencies are becoming increasingly focused on the need to secure government information networks and data. Today’s public officials must be aware of threats such as ransomware, cyber extortion, hacktivism, attacks on critical infrastructure, cyber risk, breaches, and operational failure. Join this NARC and Public Technology Institute webinar to learn about the importance of cyber security for regions. The webinar will explore the current cyber security environment and provide insight on:

NACo Webinar on Harvesting Opportunity: The Power of Regional Food System Investments to Transform Communities
August 8, 3:00-4:00 PM ET
Regional food systems are gaining traction as vehicles for economic development and community resiliency. Join this webinar to learn how investments in agriculture and regional food systems are a leading diversification strategy that coal-reliant communities can use to help offset some of the challenges associated with the declining coal industry. NACo will be offering tools and strategies outlined in a new book by the USDA and the Federal Reserve in developing regional food systems to help stimulate the local economy. They will also be discuss real examples of how coal-reliant communities are integrating agriculture into their economic portfolios.

Workshops/Events

Leading Economically Competitive and Resilient Communities Training Program
See full list of locations and dates
The Delta Regional Authority presents a series of intensive two-day courses focused on economic development and disaster resiliency strategies to enhance the effectiveness of local elected officials, economic development practitioners, and other community leaders in the Delta region. The workshops are held in partnership with the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) and the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA).

Each workshop will consist of a two-day training that covers one of the following courses – Module A: Basic Economic Development Strategies, Module B: Economic Resilience and Disaster Recovery, or Module C: Advanced Economic Development Strategies. The courses require no prerequisites, and participants are encouraged to attend any of the training workshops offered.

New FHWA Courses Available
A new FHWA course, MAP-21 Transportation Performance Management Overview (Including FAST Act Updates) is now available through the National Highway Institute. The one-day instructor-led course, FHWA-NHI-138004, provides an overview of TPM provisions of MAP-21 and the FAST Act; describes the responsibilities that agencies—federal state, MPOs, RTPOs, and transit—have in delivering these requirements; highlights the importance of data in meeting performance management provisions; and shares noteworthy practices. The course is highly recommended for those interested in taking more detailed system-specific TPM implementation training. Practitioners may also be interested in Transportation Performance Management Awareness – Federal Aid Version. This web-based course, FHWA-NHI-138001, provides an introduction to performance management, explains the critical role that the planning process plays in implementing a performance management program, and addresses what performance management means to FHWA.

New NHI Course: The Role of Data in Transportation Performance Management
Signup to Host this Course
The Role of Data in Transportation Performance Management is a two-day instructor-led training course offered by the National Highway Institute (NHI). Its goal is to enable participants to manage, analyze, integrate, and use data from diverse sources to support an effective agency TPM function.

The course will begin with an overview of data management. It then details each part of the data supply chain–covering common needs, considerations, and challenges along the way. During the second day, the sessions will cover issues related to data assessment and data improvement planning. The course material is synthesized at the end of the course, through the creation of a data management and improvement plan. This training can provide a useful starting point for agencies that wish to undertake improvements at all stages of the data life cycle.

Steps to Effective Target Setting for TPM
A new FHWA course, Steps to Effective Target Setting for TPM, is now available through the National Highway Institute (NHI). This two-day instructor-led course explains the elements of target setting and how to establish reasonable, attainable performance targets. Upon completion, participants will be able to explain the key steps and factors in target setting; set targets; identify coordination needs; identify key stakeholder roles; and identify effective communication strategies. The primary audience comprises program managers, planners, and engineers responsible for target setting and transportation plans at state DOTs, MPOs, regional transit agencies, and FHWA and FTA employees who provide oversight and assistance for target setting.

Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Procurement
This National Highway Institute FHWA course will provide an overview of strategies for successfully deploying ITS projects that build on systems engineering principles and practices and will present an approach to defining ITS projects and desired outcomes. The focus of this course is on the procurement stage of the overall acquisition process. For this course, the procurement stage spans from identifying what you need to developing a procurement that helps you get what you need through contractor selection. This course will provide you with tools to develop the key aspects of a request for quote (RFQ), request for proposal (RFP), invitation for bid (IFB), or goods contract advertisement to ensure a successful procurement.

Intergovernmental Partnerships
August 1, 2:00 – 3:30 PM ET
Collaboration between state, county, and local governments is accelerating throughout the country– fueled by new technology and cost constraints. But what makes a great partnership? How can governments build trust and create the right incentives to make every level of government more effective and efficient?

This event will explore how the State of Ohio and local leaders are successfully harnessing data, technology, and know-how to provide all levels of government with the right tools to operate efficiently, make informed decisions, and enable growth. It will also look at cross-sector partnerships that resulted from Columbus’ winning bid for USDOT’s Smart City Challenge, and how a coalition of dedicated public servants is championing mobility and smart cities technology in Ohio’s capital.

Conferences

11th Annual Competition and Call for Communications Concepts with John and Jane Q. Public: Communicating the Value of Long-Term Transportation Planning
Entries due July 24
In 2007, the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Planning and Environment Group launched a new competition looking for fresh and creative methods for communicating technical transportation issues with “John and Jane Q. Public” to share with others within the profession. The inaugural competition had an open theme that solicited communication strategies for technical issues. The contest yielded overwhelming results, with 70 entries received and 11 invited to present at the 2008 TRB Annual Meeting. Since then, the competition has featured a different theme, ranging from a focus on sustainability and climate change to last year’s contest that focused on emergency management.

This year is the 11th annual competition to find top methods for communicating transportation concepts to non-professional audiences. Entries, which should focus on communicating the value of long-term transportation planning, are due by July 24, 2017. Additional information on the contest and entry instructions are available online. The entries will be evaluated by a panel of judges representing technical as well as communication disciplines. The winner will be announced at TRB’s 97th Annual Meeting, January 7-11, 2018, in Washington, D.C.

Ohio Conference on Freight & Midwest Green Fleets Forum & Expo
August 1-4, Columbus, OH
From August 1-2, Clean Fuels Ohio will host the Midwest Green Fleets & Expo that will bring together fleet professionals, government officials, and transportation industry members to discuss fleet best practices and learn how to save money and reduce emissions with alternative fuels & efficiency technologies. From August 3-4, the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) and partners will host the Ohio Conference on Freight that will continue the conversation with plenary sessions and breakouts, drawing over 300 transportation professionals. Attendees may purchase tickets for just one conference or a combined, discounted ticket to both the Midwest Green Fleets Forum and the Ohio Conference on Freight. Both events will highlight the latest in freight-related transportation, economic development, alternative fuels, and smart transportation technology.

Southern Transportation and Air Quality Summit 2017
August 29-30, Dallas-Fort Worth, TX
The Southern Transportation and Air Quality Summit 2017 is an event sponsored by FHWA and EPA Regions 4 and 6 and will be hosted by the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) this summer. The purpose of the summit is to bring together stakeholders from both the transportation and air quality communities to discuss the current and future regulatory environment, technologies, and practices vital to the field of air quality and transportation. The summit is geared to practitioners involved with public agencies at all levels. A host of speakers from within the southern and eastern regions will present a number of key topics, best practices, and latest information vital to transportation, planning, and air quality professionals.

Call for TRB Military Transportation Poster Abstracts
Submission Due: August 31
The Transportation Research Board (TRB) Military Transportation Committee (AT035) is now accepting abstracts for poster presentation at the TRB Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. on January 7-11, 2018. The committee would like you to share “fresh ideas” for military transportation at a poster session and potentially at the AT035 committee meeting.

2017 National Walking Summit
September 13-15, St. Paul, Minnesota
The National Walking Summit is the premier opportunity for community advocates, nonprofit representatives, government officials, and transit, health, and planning professionals to share best practices and stories, increase the visibility of key issues, build support for the walking movement, and create momentum for the work ahead. Attendees will explore the growing power of walking and how through the creation of vital and vibrant communities, we can bridge community divides and overcome existing disparities.

Call for Abstracts! Applying Census Data for Transportation Conference
Conference dates: November 14-16, Kansas City, MO
This conference will focus on the use of census data for transportation applications by exploring the results of current research, sharing experiences of practitioners who are using census data, and defining potential strategies for practical improvements in data use for current and emerging data needs. There is an electronic submittal form at https://s.zoomerang.com/r/Censustrans. Direct all questions to Mai Le at 202-334-2827 or mqle@nas.edu. As part of the conference there is also a student paper competition. Two winning papers will receive up to $1,000 in travel and registration reimbursement.

12th TRB Access Management Conference Call for Abstracts/ Save the Date
July 17-19, 2018 – Madison, WI
Call for Abstracts Due: September 1
Abstract Requirements:

Publications

TRB Straight to Recording for All: Breaking Down Barriers – Funding and Finance Issues and Innovations in Public Transportation
Watch TRB recorded presentations that examine new approaches to funding and financing transit projects, including issues confronting sponsors of public transportation projects and programs and how transit agencies have addressed these issues. Topics include the use of passenger revenue-based Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loans for transit capital projects, a review of how transit project sponsors are partnering with the private sector, and case studies of the funding and finance tools project sponsors are using.

Five Years After Great Recession American Children Still Suffer
As of 2013, 14.7 million children were in poverty, a significant increase from the 12.8 million children in poverty before the recession began. This paper from First Focus examines four factors – health, food security, housing stability, and maltreatment – and reviews the relationship of each to the well-being of children during the Great Recession, analyzing research and data from before, during, and after the Great Recession.

U.S. Foreign Born Population Projected to Reach 18.8% by 2060
According to new Census Bureau population projections reported by Pew Trusts Research, the U.S. foreign born population will set a new record for their share of the total population.

AARP Livability Index
AARP will release a new web-based Livability Index, based on nationally available data, mapping technology, and public policies to assess the livability of communities. The Index will help users better understand their communities and make decisions. Sign up to receive the AARP Livable Communities e-Newsletter.

Building Healthy Places Toolkit
The Urban Land Institute (ULI) released Building Healthy Places Toolkit: Strategies for Enhancing Health in the Built Environment to provide guidance on creating healthy, vibrant communities. The toolkit builds on previous ULI efforts, including the Building Healthy Places Initiative and Healthy Corridors Project.

Local Government Employment Buoys Stagnant Public Sector
The National League of Cities highlights increased local government employment helping prop up public sector jobs in CitiesSpeak. The blog notes that total public sector employment was up 7,000 jobs in February, with local government representing 4,000 of those jobs. Despite these improvements, local government employment remains 512,000 jobs below its July 2008 post-recession peak.

Affordable Housing for Who?
The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) released Housing Spotlight: Affordable Housing is Nowhere to be Found for Millions, focusing on the gap between the number of low income renters and the number of units available in their price range. NLIHC finds that there is a national shortage of 7.1 million affordable rental units available to rental households with incomes at or below 30 percent of area median income (AMI)

APA Issues Post-Disaster Recovery Manual
Over the past four years, the American Planning Association (APA) Hazards Planning Center worked under an agreement with FEMA to develop Planning for Post-Disaster Recovery: Next Generation (PAS 576). This updated manual offers a no-nonsense explanation of the benefits and limitations of planning for unpredictable events.

Affordable Rental Housing Research Study
A study of affordable rental housing conducted by the New York University Furman Center analyzes rental housing affordability trends in the central cities of the 11 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S. This study looks into recent trends in rent levels, rent burdens, affordable units, and the gap between the number of low-income households in need of affordable housing and the number of existing affordable units. Data analysis is based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau, including data from the American Community Survey from 2006 through 2013, and uses geographic information from the Missouri Census Data Center.

Housing and Neighborhood Resources
How Housing Matters provides a new resource on housing and neighborhood issues. Funded by the MacArthur Foundation, the Urban Land Institute will host research and practical information on how housing can contribute to better educational opportunities and outcomes for children; stronger economic foundations for families and communities; and healthier people and neighborhoods.

Smart Gentrification
Jonathan Grabinsky and Stuart M. Butler from the Brookings Institution discuss “smart” gentrification and its role in fighting poverty. Between 1970 and 2010 the number of high-poverty neighborhoods in the U.S. tripled, while only 10 percent managed to escape poverty. While displacement is a possible outcome for existing low-income residents, “smart” gentrification can result in mixed-income communities rather than exclusive high-income communities. Cities like Washington, DC are attempting to regulate gentrification in order to preserve affordability for existing residents. Click HERE for part one, and HERE for part two of this Brookings discussion.

Income Segregation
The segregation of upper and lower income households has risen in 27 of the nation’s 30 largest metros, according to a 2012 report by the Pew Research Center. The report found that economic segregation is positively associated with population size and density, the share of minority residents, and wage inequality. According to the report, cities and neighborhoods are becoming more homogenous and segregated by income, education, and occupation. Click HERE to read more.

Getting to Green: Paying for Green Infrastructure, Finance Options, and Resources for Local Decision-Makers: This report summarizes various funding sources that can be used to support stormwater management programs or finance individual projects. Click HERE for the report.

Coastal Stormwater Management through Green Infrastructure: This handbook is designed to assist coastal municipalities within the Massachusetts Bay and Cape Cod Bay areas to incorporate green infrastructure into their stormwater management planning, and can be useful for other states.Click HERE for the handbook.

CDC Healthy Community Toolkit: Centers for Disaster Control and Prevention (CDC) has developed a Healthy Community Design Checklist Toolkit to highlight the connection between community design and health. Click HERE for tools and resources.

EPA Report: Connectivity of Streams and Wetlands to Downstream Waters: EPA’s Office of Research and Development released its final report, Connectivity of Streams and Wetlands to Downstream Waters. The report summarizes current scientific understanding about the connectivity of streams and wetlands to downstream waters. EPA conducted a review of more than 1,200 peer-reviewed and published documents on scientific evidence regarding the effects that streams, non-tidal wetlands, and open-waters have on larger downstream waters such as rivers, lakes, estuaries, and oceans. The report concludes that streams, wetlands, and other open-waters influence the integrity of downstream waters through both structural and functional connections. This report is meant to inform policy and regulatory decisions, including the Clean Water Rule (Waters of the U.S.) being developed jointly by EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Click HERE for the report.

GAO Publishes Report on Surface Transportation Performance Measures in MAP-21: On Friday, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) published the results of a review on the implementation of the MAP-21 surface transportation performance measures. Click HERE for the final report, entitled Surface Transportation: DOT Is Progressing toward a Performance-Based Approach, but States and Grantees Report Potential Implementation Challenges.

The Innovative MPO: A new report from Transportation for America highlights MPO successes from around the country. This new handbook is designed to give MPO staff, policymakers, technical and advisory committees innovative ways to achieve goals on behalf of their communities. Click HERE for the full report.

DHS 2014 National Emergency Communications Plan: The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released its first updated National Emergency Communications Plan (NECP) since the original in 2008. The NECP is the Nation’s over-arching strategic plan for enhancing emergency communications capabilities and interoperability nationwide, and this update addresses the increasingly complex communications landscape that the public safety community uses. The plan provides a roadmap for improving emergency communications for traditional emergency responder disciplines such as law enforcement, fire, and emergency medical services, while recognizing the importance of engaging non-traditional disciplines including public health, public works, and transportation agencies. The 2014 NECP focuses on three priorities: (1) Maintaining and improving emergency responders’ current Land Mobile Radio systems; (2) Ensuring emergency responders and government officials plan and prepare for the adoption, migration, and use of broadband technologies, including the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network; and (3) Enhancing coordination among stakeholders. Click HERE to view the 2014 NECP and related documents.

NLC Report on Open Data: The capture and analysis of data is transforming the 21st Century. As society becomes more data driven, data has the ability to drive the bottom line for private companies and help the public sector to define where and how services can best be delivered. In City Open Data Policies: Learning by Doing, the National League of Cities (NLC) identifies how cities can take advantage of the opportunities presented by open data initiatives. Click HERE to read a summary of their recommendations and to download the report.

New CEs Available: On October 6, FTA published a joint final rule with FHWA that adds a number of new categorical exclusions (CEs) for FHWA and FTA pursuant to Section 1318 of MAP-21. The CEs were developed based on responses to a stakeholder survey conducted in September 2012 and published in a notice of proposed rulemaking in September 2013 for public review and comment. The new CEs became effective November 5th. Click HERE for access to the new Guidance for Implementation of FTA’s Categorical Exclusions webinar recording.

Ranking Metropolitan Areas by Transit Accessibility: The University of Minnesota has released a report, Access Across America, ranking major metropolitan areas by the accessibility to jobs by transit. Based on 46 of the largest metropolitan areas in the U.S., researchers collected detailed transit route and schedule information for each city followed by calculating the number of jobs a resident can reach by transit and walking between the hours of 7 AM and 9 AM. Cities like Washington, Philadelphia, Seattle, and Denver performed significantly better in the Access Across America transit report than the University’s 2013 Automobile Accessibility report. This report supports the University’s ongoing efforts to develop tools for assessing transportation performance. Click HERE for more information.

Labor Trafficking in America: A new report from the Urban Institute and Northeastern University, Hidden in Plain Sight: Labor Trafficking in America, documents labor trafficking abuses occurring in the major U.S. industries of agriculture, domestic work, hotels, restaurants, and construction. This study chronicles the experiences of labor trafficking victims from the point of recruitment for work, forced labor victimization, attempts to escape and get help, and efforts to seek justice through civil or criminal cases. Interview and case file data detail the ubiquity of trafficking, which occurs both in plain sight and behind lock and key.Detailed recommendations propose next steps for policy and practice. Click HERE for the report.

National Wildlife Federation (NWF) Report on Protecting Communities and Ecosystems During Extreme Weather: The National Wildlife Federation along with the Allied World Assurance Company and Earth Economics have developed a report that focuses on natural defenses from hurricanes and floods in the coastal waters of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, the Gulf of Mexico, and the nation’s extensive network of rivers and streams. Click HERE for the report.

Ranking Metropolitan Areas by Transit Accessibility: The University of Minnesota has released a report, Access Across America, ranking major metropolitan areas by the accessibility to jobs by transit. Based on 46 of the largest metropolitan areas in the U.S., the researchers collected detailed transit route and schedule information for each city followed by calculating the number of jobs a resident can reach by transit and walking between the hours of 7 AM and 9 AM. Cities like Washington, Philadelphia, Seattle, and Denver performed significantly better in the Access Across America transit report than the University’s 2013 Automobile Accessibility report. This report supports the University’s ongoing efforts to develop tools for assessing transportation performance. Click HERE for more information.

Federal Investment in Transportation Infrastructure Creates American Jobs: Even though our decaying infrastructure is creating a significant drag on the economy, both Congress and the Administration continue to delay making long-term decisions about investing in our infrastructure. The Center on Globalization, Governance, and Competitiveness at Duke University developed a detailed report evaluating the cost of inaction from an international competitiveness and job creation perspective. Some findings of the report include: that the U.S. is less competitive than 15 of our major trading partners because of our old and broken transportation infrastructure; underinvestment costs the U.S. over 900,000 jobs – 97,000 are American manufacturing jobs; and that maximizing American-made materials when rebuilding infrastructure has the potential to create even more jobs. Click HERE for the full report.

Going Local: Connecting the National Labs to their Regions to Maximize Innovation and Growth
The Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings has released a report on enhancing the national labs’ impact on regional economies and innovation. The report argues that the frequently rule-bound, “behind the fence” operating style of the Department of Energy (DOE) lab system has likely limited these invaluable institutions’ contributions both to local innovation and growth. Senior Fellow and Policy Director Mark Muro stated that the report argues that the hubs need to engage more with local industry clusters in order to deliver fully on their national mission and it recommends a number of ways to allow for that. Click HERE to read the report and to access additional information.

Small Legacy Cities, Equity, and a Changing Economy
Small Legacy Cities, Equity, and a Changing Economy is a report completed by a group of graduate students from the University of Pennsylvania’s Department of City and Regional Planning in spring 2014. With the Federal Reserve’s Department of Community Development Studies and Education acting as client, the students were tasked with evaluating the extent to which economic revitalization strategies in Wilmington, DE, Lancaster, PA, and Bethlehem, PA had led to equitable outcomes for low- and moderate-income residents. The report also presents city-specific recommendations and proposes a framework for integrating equity as a strategic priority into local economic development efforts. Click HERE to read the report.

Partnership for Sustainable Communities: Five Years of Learning from Communities and Coordinating Federal Investments
EPA released a report that summarizes its collaborative efforts with the U.S. DOT and HUD. These efforts have been aimed at improving the livability of communities, in part through improving access to public transportation and safe walkways. Click HERE to read the report.

AASHTO: Guide for Geometric Design of Transit Facilities on Highways and Streets, 1st Edition
This guide provides a comprehensive reference of current practice in the geometric design of transit facilities on streets and highways, including local buses, express buses, and bus rapid transit operating in mixed traffic, bus lanes, and high-occupancy vehicle lanes, as well as bus-only roads within street and freeway environments. It also covers streetcars and LRT running in mixed traffic and transit lanes, and within medians along arterial roadways. These guidelines are based on a review of relevant AASHTO, TRB, and ITE documents, as well as design reports provided by various transit agencies. They are designed for use by public agencies, practitioners, and developers in need of basic information about planning, locating, sizing, designing, and implementing transit facilities along roadways. Click HERE to purchase the guide.

Role of Regional Planning Organizations in Transportation Planning Across Boundaries
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Office of Planning, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) Volpe National Transportation Systems Center, prepared this white paper. This research examines how RPOs and rural interests are integral partners in transportation planning efforts for megaregions and explores methods for their participation. Click HERE to read the report.

A Guide to Regional Transportation Planning for Disasters, Emergencies, and Significant Events
The Transportation Research Board’s (TRB) National Cooperative Highway Research ProgramReport 777: A Guide to Regional Transportation Planning for Disasters, Emergencies, and Significant Events uses foundational planning principles, case studies, tips, and tools to explain implementation of transportation planning for possible multijurisdictional disasters, emergencies, and other major events. In addition to the guide, there is a research report and PowerPoint presentation describing the project. Click HERE to access the publication.

TRB’s Transportation Research Record Developing Countries 2013
This publication consists of 16 papers that explore travel time and space mean speed of nonmotorized vehicles; a review of India’s national urban investment program; assessment of public–private partnership in traveler information provision; low-mass urban microcars; transition Beijing, China to a transit city; and lessons of bus rapid transit from nine cities in China. Click HERE for additional information and to read the journal.

U.S. DOT Online Resource to Learn about ITS
The Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) ePrimer provides transportation professionals with fundamental concepts and practices related to ITS technologies. This online resource can help practicing professionals better understand how ITS is integrated into the planning, design, deployment, and operations of surface transportation systems. The ITS ePrimer is both a stand-alone reference document for the practitioner as well as a text for education and training programs. Click HERE to access the web-based textbook.

Copyright © 2013 National Association of Regional Councils