Grants & Opportunities

Grants Webinars Workshops Conferences Publications


Walmart Community Foundation’s Community Grant Program
Applications: Accepted on Rolling Basis
The Walmart Foundation Community Grant Program offers up to $5,000 for local governments and nonprofit organizations to help create impact in communities. Grants can be awarded to organizations working in one of the following areas: hunger relief and healthy eating, health and human service, quality of life, education, community and economic development, diversity and inclusion, public safety, and environmental sustainability.

The Home Depot Foundation’s Community Impact Grant Program
Applications: Accepted on Rolling Basis
The Home Depot Foundation offers grant awards up to $5,000 to nonprofit organizations and tax-exempt public service agencies in the U.S. that are using the power of volunteers to improve the community. Priority is given to projects serving veterans and/or diverse and underserved communities. Projects should be volunteer friendly, have a strong and lasting impact on the community, and keep the safety of volunteers in mind. Grants are given in the form of Home Depot gift cards for the purchase of tools, materials, or services and are required to be complete within six months of the approval date.

USDA Rural Business Development Grants
Deadline: Rolling
The USDA is currently accepting applications for Rural Business Development Grants. This competitive grant is designed to support targeted technical assistance, training, and other activities leading to the development or expansion of small and emerging private businesses in rural areas which will employ 50 or fewer new employees and have less than $1 million in gross revenue. Rural public entities including, but not limited to, towns, communities, state agencies, nonprofits corporations, federally-recognized tribes, institutions of higher education, and more are eligible to apply. There is no maximum grant amount; however, smaller requests are given higher priority. Generally, grants range from $10,000 to $500,000.

EDA Planning Program and Local Technical Assistance Program
Deadline: Rolling
The Economic Development Administration (EDA) is looking for applications that assist with the development of economic development plans and studies designed to build capacity and guide economic prosperity and resiliency in regions. The Planning Program helps with short-term state planning investments for the creation and retention of high-quality jobs. The Local Technical Assistance Program strengthens the capacity of local governments to undertake and promote effective economic development programs through feasibility studies and impact analyses.

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
Deadline: Rolling
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.

Surdna Foundation Grants
Deadline: Rolling
The Surdna Foundation seeks to foster sustainable communities in the United States – communities guided by principles of social justice and distinguished by healthy environments, strong local economies, and thriving cultures. They seek to dismantle the structural barriers that limit opportunity for many, helping to create communities that are prosperous, culturally enriching, and sustainable. The foundation makes grants to nonprofit organizations for both project and general support through one of their three program areas: sustainable environments, strong local economies, and thriving cultures. Letters of inquiry are accepted on a rolling basis and are reviewed within 90 days. After review, the staff will determine whether you will be invited to submit a full proposal, which will be reviewed by their board of directors in March, July, or December.

Join the Inaugural Regional Food Economies Fellowship Program!
Applications Due: April 2, 8:00 PM ET
Informational Webinar: March 20, 12:45-1:45 PM ET
The Wallace Center is looking for 6-8 fellows for its Regional Food Economies Program – an initiative that will help provide models for successful engagement between regional food systems and community and economic development stakeholders. Those selected will receive a $15,000 stipend and additional financial support for travel, meeting expenses, and tool/resource development to help food systems practitioners with best practices and lessons learned. Each fellow will be selected based on their experience and existing efforts to build the case within stakeholder groups, including their regional planning and development group (e.g. economic development agencies, regional councils, councils of government, MPOs).

Pool Safely Grant Program
Applications Due: April 2
In accordance with the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act, the Consumer Product Safety Commission is accepting applications for the Pool Safely Grant Program (PSGP). This program provides state and local governments with assistance to help implement enforcement and education programs, with the goal of preventing drownings and drain entrapment in pools and spas. Last year’s grantees were the City of Bridgeport, CT ($74,973.00); District of Columbia Department of Health ($170,250.00); Florida Department of Health, Broward County ($250,000.00); Florida Department of Health, Lake County ($155,061.00); and City of Stamford, CT ($131,252.00).

Administration for Community Living’s Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects Grants: Employment of Individuals with Disabilities
Applications Due: April 2
The purpose of the Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects (DRRP) are to plan and conduct research, demonstration projects, training, and related activities to develop methods, procedures, and rehabilitation technology that maximize the full inclusion and integration into society, employment, independent living, family support, and economic and social self-sufficiency of individuals with disabilities. Applicants must propose a development project that is aimed at improving the employment outcomes of individuals with disabilities. In carrying out a development project under this program, a grantee must use knowledge and understanding gained from research to create materials, devices, systems, or methods beneficial to the target population, including design and development of prototypes and processes.

Medica Foundation Grants for Mental Illness and Chemical Addiction Programs
Applications Due: April 6
This initiative seeks proposals for programs that help people with serious mental illness and chemical addictions recover and lead productive lives. The Medica Foundation funds programs focused on a continuum of care and provide intensive, person-centered, multidisciplinary services using evidence-based screening, assessment, diagnostic, treatment, and/or prevention services. Projects may also include programs to address the mental/chemical health needs of people with physical, intellectual, developmental disabilities, and/or co-occurring disorders. The focus of this funding area is to address gaps in current behavioral health service, integrate physical and mental healthcare, and provide supportive and intensive case management services.

AoA’s National Eldercare Locator Program
Applications Due: April 9
The Administration on Aging (AoA) will hold a competition for a new cooperative agreement to continue operation of the National Eldercare Locator. The Eldercare Locator will be available to people in 56 states and territories to provide information and referrals nationwide. The Locator is a call center with live information specialists helping older adults and their caregivers link to the aging network of trustworthy national, state, tribal and community-based organizations. This new program announcement seeks to advance the Locator to better serve current and future older adults and those who care for them.

National Endowment of the Arts’ Challenge America Program
Applications Due: April 12
The Challenge America program offers support primarily to small and mid-sized organizations for projects that extend the reach of the arts to underserved populations – those whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability. Age alone (e.g., youth, seniors) does not qualify a group as underserved; at least one of the underserved characteristics noted above also must be present. Please provide details about the underserved audience you select in your application. Grants are available for professional arts programming and for projects that emphasize the potential of the arts in community development.

SAFER Grants
Applications Due: April 27
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Grant Programs Directorate implements and administers the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grants. SAFER grants provide financial assistance to help fire departments increase frontline firefighters. SAFER offers grants to support: 1) hiring offirefighters and 2) recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters. Three hundred grants are expected to be awarded to fire departments of national, state, local, and tribal governments representing the interests of volunteer firefighters.

2019 National Urban and Community Forestry Grant Program
Applications Due: April 30
Towns, cities, and regions are encouraged to conduct tree canopy assessments or tree inventories, set community forest goals and policies, and adopt management plans to promote consistent, stable forest management programs. Research, studies, technology, and policy development are needed to better understand and monitor current forestry threats, diminish tree loss, maintain forest health, and sustain a community’s forest ecological services. Proposals may include, but are not limited to, networks of diverse communities and scientists that will integrate threats such as flooding, extreme heat, and drought. Social and policy studies can help reveal the institutional best practices needed for threat prevention, response, and citizen engagement.

Appalachian Regional Commission’s Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization
Applications Due: May 1
POWER (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization) is a congressionally funded initiative that targets federal resources to help communities and regions that have been affected by job losses in coal mining, coal power plant operations, and coal-related supply chain industries due to the changing economics of America’s energy production. The POWER Initiative supports efforts to create a more vibrant economic future for coal-impacted communities by cultivating economic diversity, enhancing job training and re-employment opportunities, creating jobs in existing or new industries, and attracting new sources of investment. POWER investments will focus on four areas: building a competitive workforce, enhancing access to and use of broadband services, fostering entrepreneurial activities, and developing industry clusters in communities.

USDA Community Connect Grant Program
Applications Due: May 14
The Community Connect Broadband Grant Program (Community Connect Grant Program) is designed to provide financial assistance for services in rural, economically-challenged communities where broadband service does not currently exist. Grant funds may be used to: deploy service at the Broadband Grant Speed to critical community facilities, rural residents, and rural businesses; construct, acquire, or expand a community center; and equip a community center that provides free access to service at the Broadband Grant Speed to community residents for at least two years. Grants will be awarded on a competitive basis for entities to serve all premises in eligible rural areas at the Broadband Grant Speed to ensure rural consumers enjoy the same quality and range of broadband services as urban and suburban communities.

Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI)
Applications Due: June 21
The purpose of the CRISI Program is to assist in funding capital projects that improve passenger and freight rail transportation safety, efficiency, and reliability. Programs eligible for funding under this grant program include deployment of railroad safety technology, capital projects, highway-rail grade cross improvement projects, regional rail and corridor service development plans and environmental analyses, and any project necessary to enhance multimodal connections or facilitate service integration between rail service and other modes. Eligible applicants include states, a group of states, an interstate compact, a public agency or publicly chartered authority established by one or more states, and a political subdivision of a state.

Innovative State and Local Public Health Strategies to Prevent and Manage Diabetes, Heart Disease, and Stroke
Applications Due: June 30
HHS grants support the design, testing, and evaluation of novel approaches to address evidence-based strategies aimed at reducing risks, complications, and barriers to prevention and control of diabetes and cardiovascular disease (CVD) in high-burden populations. Work will occur in state and local/city/county health departments with a population of 900,000 or more where significant reach may be achieved. Consortia of smaller local/city/county health departments may submit one application that, together, includes a population of 900,000 or more. High burden populations are those affected disproportionately by high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, or prediabetes due to socioeconomic or related factors.

USDA: Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI)
Applications Due: September 8
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.

Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, Partners for Fish and Wildlife 2018
Applications Due: September 30
The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative targets the most significant environmental problems in the Great Lakes ecosystem with federal funding and program implementation. One goal is to improve habitat and wildlife protection and restoration. Using appropriations from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Partners for Fish and Wildlife (PFW) Program anticipates funding wetland (both coastal and interior) and associated upland habitat restoration and enhancement projects for conservation of native Great Lakes fish and wildlife populations. Restoration projects will be completed on privately owned (non-federal/non-state) lands. Emphasis will be placed on, but not limited to, completing projects within the watersheds of Great Lakes Areas of Concern and in coastal zones. Projects must advance their mission, promote biological diversity, and be based upon sound scientific biological principles. Applicants seeking funding under this program should review the program strategic plan and contact the PFW state coordinator PRIOR TO applying for funding.


Public-Private Partnerships: Delivering Broadband Solutions for America’s Communities
March 21, 2:00 – 3:00 PM ET
Join BroadbandUSA for a practical conversation on broadband public-private partnerships and how to create successful partnerships for different types of projects and communities. Learn about the successes, challenges, and risks as well as specific details on implementation and management steps. Speakers will highlight their experiences with public-private partnerships in deploying broadband networks, implementing smart cities, powering the Internet of Things, and creating digital inclusion projects.

Assessing Economic Impacts of a Carbon Price
March 21, 2:00 – 3:00 PM ET
While national decisionmakers are divided on environmental policy, state and local leaders are taking the initiative to address climate change. In D.C., a coalition of organizations launched a campaign to introduce a carbon fee and dividend program. If adopted, the proposed carbon fee of $20 per ton of greenhouse gases emitted would start in 2019, rising $10 per year until reaching $150 per ton in 2032. The study, sponsored by the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, shows the effects on carbon emissions, revenue, and economic impacts (including GDP and employment) for the District as a whole and individual sectors of the economy. In this webinar, Scott Williamson of the Center for Climate Strategies will explore the proposal and an economic analysis of potential impacts.

Engaging Workers in Creating Good Jobs
March 22, 3:00 PM ET
How can workers, especially in lower-wage frontline jobs, contribute to improving their jobs in ways that benefit them, their families, and their employers? In this webinar, you will learn ways that workers are making their voices heard on a range of policy and practice issues. New technologies and organizing tools will be explored that address many common concerns in new ways such as improving scheduling, expanding leave policies, and increasing worker rights knowledge. Examples of how these tools have been used to in improve job quality results will be discussed.

One Step on the Path to Walkable, Healthy Food Access
March 22, 3:00 – 4:00 PM ET
In too many neighborhoods, local stores do not carry fresh produce or other healthy options. Often, getting to places that offer healthy food is dangerous and inconvenient due to unsafe walking conditions and lack of access to public transit or private vehicles. Almost 20 percent of Americans experience significant transportation barriers to accessing healthy food. Cities, towns, and counties have a variety of policies and strategies available to help overcome those transportation barriers by promoting walkable, bikeable, transit-accessible food access. This webinar will share policies and strategies that consider the route, travel mode, and destination to improve safe, convenient, active transportation to healthy food options, a concept known as Safe Routes to Healthy Food.

The Promise of Smart Transportation Networks
March 23 10:00 – 11:30 AM ET
The Center for Technology Innovation at Brookings will hold a forum on smart transportation and discuss a white paper, Smart Transportation in China and the United States. How many lives could be saved through the use of autonomous vehicles? How many billions of dollars of GDP generated? Experts will examine which technological developments have the potential to turn current systems into smart transportation networks, with an emphasis on China and the U.S. They will also discuss the ways in which public opinion and policy frameworks differ between these countries and what unique challenges are faced in deploying smart transportation networks.

2018 USDOT Webinar Series: What’s New in Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Deployment
March 27, 1:00 – 2:00 PM ET
USDOT ITS Joint Program Office will host a new three-part webinar series highlighting the latest trends and developments in ITS deployment. To measure the deployment of ITS technology nationally, the USDOT’s ITS Deployment Tracking Project surveys transportation agencies in the largest U.S. cities on a regular basis. The ITS Knowledge Resources Portal summarizes the benefits, costs, deployment levels, and lessons learned for ITS deployment and operations from over 20 years of ITS evaluation studies, research syntheses, handbooks, journal articles, and conference papers tracking the effectiveness of deployed ITS.  The webinar series will provide an overview of these resources to support informed decision making on ITS investments, highlight recent additions to the survey, and solicit feedback from participants on how best to redesign the portal to improve its usability and value.

The 2018 County Health Rankings State Reports: How to Use Data from These New Reports to Improve Health and Increase Equity
March 27, 3:00 PM ET
This year’s County Health Rankings release will include enhanced state reports that focus on persistent gaps in opportunity that contribute to poor health outcomes. Building on our strong foundation of calling attention to the many factors that influence health, these reports highlight data on social and economic disparities based on place and race and ethnicity, in addition to providing evidence-informed strategies and examples of communities taking action to address equity. Be sure to review your state’s 2018 report, which will be available on the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps website on March 14, and come to the webinar with questions.

Gaining Insights from Freight Data
March 27, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM ET
This webinar will focus on U.S. and European organization efforts to gain deeper insights from freight data, with a focus on how freight data has supported the development of freight plans, stakeholder engagement, and infrastructure investments. Insights will be shared by Tim Strow, senior transportation project manager at the Maricopa Association of Governments, and Tom Cherett, professor at the University of Southampton.

Knowledge Management Resource to Support Strategic Workforce Development for Transit Agencies
March 27, 2:00 – 3:30 PM ET
Based on TCRP Report 194: Knowledge Management Resource to Support Strategic Workforce Development for Transit Agencies explores the importance of knowledge management (KM), which is an organization’s process for collecting, storing, and sharing organizational information and knowledge, and provides guidance on implementing KM strategies in transit agencies. The presenters will discuss action plans for developing particular aspects of KM, analysis of KM strategies at several transit agencies, and a catalog of KM technology tools and resources, which are all available in the report.

NARC Webinar! Bridging the Divide Between Urban and Rural Areas
March 27, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM ET
Strong urban-rural connections are crucial for creating prosperous and economically vibrant regions. This webinar will focus on the ways in which rural areas contribute significantly to regional economies and the benefits that accrue when there is a strong economic relationship between urban and rural areas. Join Christiana McFarland, NLC’s research director, and David Shabazian, manager of the Sacramento Area Council of Governments Rural-Urban Connections Strategy (SACOG-RUCS), for a discussion on the economic relationship between urban and rural areas, using SACOG-RUCS as a prime example of what happens when regions bridge the urban-rural divide.

TAM Webinar Series: Major Capital Replacements
March 28, 2:00 – 3:00 PM ET
FTA will host a webinar to review how two different agencies handle major capital replacements in their TAM planning processes. The webinar will feature presentations from Cobb Community Transit and Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA). The webinar will highlight, among other topics, incorporating new assets and major capital replacements into TAM plans and inventories.

Performance-Based Transportation Investment Webinar
March 28, 2:00 – 3:00 PM ET
Under President Trump’s infrastructure proposal, state and local governments would be responsible for covering most of the costs. To make the best investment decisions, policymakers will need to know how much a project will increase efficiency and boost the regional economy. This REMI webinar will discuss how to use economic impact modeling to evaluate the potential performance of transportation investments.

The Cloud: Using Information to Engage Your Community
March 28, 1:00-2:30 PM ET
We live in a time when citizens are looking for new ways to engage with their communities. While most communities have made some inroads with digital communications, there are unprecedented opportunities to expand civic engagement beyond the town hall. This ICMA webinar will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of various forms of digital communications and describe strategies and techniques for bringing your government to the citizens in the digital world where they live. This webinar will feature:

Building Healthy Places: Strategies for Partnership Development in Rural Counties
April 12, 1:45 – 3:00 PM ET
Neighborhood structure and the built environment are both social determinants of health that play a critical role on the wellbeing and equity of a community. Forming strong cross-collaborative partnerships in the community development sector is a key strategy in building and maintaining a safe, healthy and equitable community, especially in rural neighborhoods where human and capital resources are lacking. Join NACo and The Build Healthy Places Network for an informational webinar that highlights the importance of forming collaborative partnerships with community development sectors in rural communities and will explore strategies and tools to guide this process.


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 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.

Ridership Forecasting with STOPS for Transit Project Planning
May 14-16, Atlanta, GA
June 12-14, Seattle, WA
The National Transit Institute is offering a course on transit ridership forecasting using FTA’sSimplified Trips-on-Project Software package (STOPS) in both Atlanta and Seattle. FTA developed the course to provide training on STOPS and its usefulness in transit project planning. The course is intended for travel forecasters looking to understand STOPS in detail as well as transit planners looking to become more proficient in the use of travel forecasts to inform planning decisions. The three-day course covers: how STOPS works; how to use STOPS for individual projects; and how to use ridership forecasts to prepare a narrative about the benefits of transit projects.


NARC 52nd Annual Conference & Exhibition
June 3 – 6, Orlando, FL
Join the National Association of Regional Councils (NARC) and MetroPlan Orlando for our 52nd Annual Conference and Exhibition, which will take place in Orlando, Florida from June 3-6, 2018. Representatives of regional councils and MPOs — leadership, professional staff, board members, local elected officials, and program staff — will come together to share best practices, attend informative sessions on program, legislative, and regulatory issues. Speakers include experts from the public and private sector, congressional and state lawmakers, individuals from universities and non-profit organizations, and regional council staff.


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.

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