Reports and Publications

Federalism and the Role of Regions – A Major Opportunity for the New Administration and Congress (2020)
This National Association of Regional Councils transition memo outlines what regional councils are, what they do, and how they can play a greater role with federal support. The memo highlights how regions have demonstrated their role in the federal system, providing examples of federal funding at the regional level. It then provides several suggestions for how the role of regions can be expanded.

Fleets for the Future Final Report (2018) 
This guide provides a final report on the fleets for the future (F4F) program. Led by the National Association of Regional Councils (NARC), F4F was comprised of five regional councils, thirteen Clean Cities Coalitions, and five industry and technical advisors, led by Cadmus. With their various extended networks and relationships, all the project partners worked in unison to consolidate bulk orders of alternative fuel vehicles AFVs and infrastructure regionally and nationwide.

Gaseous Fuel Vehicle Procurement Best Practices Guide (2017)
This guide briefly summarizes the basic attributes and benefits of both gaseous-fuels and their respective vehicle technologies, then explores best applications and why, highlighting the relationship between upfront premiums, fuel use, and vehicle maintenance to total cost of ownership (TCO). The guide also provides information about fueling infrastructure options and offers planning guidance. It reviews steps that lead organizations will need to undertake to build a successful cooperative purchasing initiative, including how to assess which vehicles/platforms will have the greatest cross-jurisdictional appeal; gaseous fuel-related specification criteria; purchasing processes that may consist of multiple stakeholders and their roles and obligations; potential modifications to maintenance facilities; and suggestions concerning engagement of private sector fleets to identify potential synergies and mutual benefits.

Electric Vehicle Procurement Bests Practices Guide (2017)
This guide is meant to help fleets and regionally-based buying cooperatives in understanding the benefits of deploying electric vehicles (EVs), as well as EV-specific considerations involved in the procurement process. Topics below cover both battery electric vehicles (BEV), which run solely on electricity as well as plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV), which use batteries to power an electric motor and use another fuel, such as gasoline, diesel, or fuel cells, to power an internal combustion engine.

Guide to Financing Alternative Fuel Vehicle Procurement (2017)
This document lays out the common strategies available for public and private fleets attempting to finance an investment in alternative fuel vehicles. While not all options are available to all fleets, the intent is to educate fleet managers on the best practices and challenges associated with implementation of each strategy.

Fleet Transition Planning for Alternative Fuel Vehicles (2017)
This document presents general fuel-neutral guidelines on planning a coordinated bulk procurement of AFVs. It discusses stakeholder engagement efforts, goal setting, prioritization of vehicle procurements, and planning for implementation of a successful procurement.

Solar Ready II Final Report (2016)
Solar Ready II (SRII) was a partnership of the National Association of Regional Councils, Mid-America Regional Council, and Meister Consultants Group. SRII used the broad impact and influence of ten regional councils to provide direct assistance to local governments, helping them implement best management practices (BMPs) to reduce soft costs and measurably improve solar market conditions.

Regional Solar Deployment Handbook (July 2015)
Through the Solar Outreach Partnership program, NARC created this handbook as a comprehensive guide to implementing solar energy at the regional level. The handbook identifies seven key strategies that regional councils can use to successfully drive solar adoption in their jurisdictions. Focused on regionally-specific actions, tools and case studies, this handbook seeks to be a practical resource for understanding the complexities of solar energy and learning how other regional councils have worked on solar throughout the country.

Identifying Gas Shale Development Concerns and Opportunities (2013)
In partnership with NARC, the University of Colorado-Denver’s Buechner Institute for Governance released a report, Local, Regional, and State Government Perspectives on Hydraulic Fracturing-Related Oil and Gas Development, that presents findings from a 2011-2012 pilot study survey conducted across multiple states to highlight concerns associated with hydraulic fracturing-related oil and gas development. The survey findings highlight the different concerns of local government and non-local governments with respect to hydraulic fracturing-related oil and gas development in six areas: Short and long-term economic Impacts, land-use and local control, community capacity and social dynamics, emergency management, and environmental concerns. While the pilot study does not offer definitive policy positions, it provides evidence to support future research that investigates the unique concerns and needs of communities and local governments in a debate traditionally held at the state and national level.

A Survey of Regional Planning for Climate Adaptation (October 2012)
NARC worked in partnership with the University of Colorado at Denver as part of the Building Community Resiliency project funded by the Sectoral Applications Research Program under U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to create A Survey of Regional Planning for Climate Adaptation. This report details how regional planning organizations are responding to climate change. Through the survey, NARC sought to pinpoint the extent to which regional planning organizations are planning for and working to adapt to climate change. This report analyzes those results and provides recommendations derived from the survey findings and additional feedback. NARC designed the report to help regional planning organizations, local governments and other interested parties better understand the role regional planning organizations play in climate change planning.

Profiles in Regional Solar Planning: A Handbook and Resource Guide (September 2012)
The Guide is intended to provide guidance specifically to regional planning organizations on the unique roles they can play to move solar energy deployment forward in their regions. By focusing on case studies and regionally-specific tools, the Guide seeks to be a practical and applicable resource for taking full advantage of the opportunities in regional solar energy deployment. The Guide was prepared by NARC, as a part of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) SunShot Solar Outreach Partnership (SolarOPs), working to increase the use and integration of solar energy technologies in regions and communities across the country.

Pathways Out of Poverty: Regional Best Practices: Full Report (September 2012)
This Pathways Out of Poverty program, funded by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Employment and Training Administration through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, was designed to address pressing economic needs in communities across the country by training and placing disadvantaged individuals in jobs with opportunities for advancement along career pathways in green industries.  NARC and its Pathways Out of Poverty team partners developed this report to share the outcomes and results of their U.S. Department of Labor-funded project. It includes lessons learned, promising practices and other key information for regions and local governments interested in replicating similar jobs training and placement programs.

Integrating Public Health and Transportation Planning: Perspectives for MPOs and COGs (June 2012)
NARC released a report of efforts made by metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) to integrate public health factors and considerations into their transportation plans. Additionally, the report offers options through which an MPO can work with its Council of Governments (COG) to integrate alternative planning activities into transportation and public health.

Green Infrastructure Assessment: Survey Overview (February 2012)
NARC is partnering with Virginia Tech University on a project U.S. Forest Service project, Green Infrastructure Assessment: Mapping and Evaluating the Support System for Green Infrastructure Planning in the United States. As part of the Assessment, NARC conducted a survey of regional planning organizations’ experiences with green infrastructure planning and implementation. The survey illustrates regional planning organizations’ key roles in green infrastructure projects driven by a variety of needs and funded by a variety of government and private sources.

Regional Aviation Systems Planning: A Case Study (October 2011)
NARC recently completed six case studies of different regions and their engagement in regional aviation systems planning as a part of their comprehensive transportation planning. These case studies include: Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, The Houston-Galveston Area Council, The North Central Texas Council of Governments, The Puget Sound Regional Council, The Southern California Association of Governments, and The Transportation Planning Board of Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.

2010 Regional Centers of Excellence in Green Infrastructure: Final Report (July 2011)
NARC in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service provided small grants to the Houston-Galveston Area Council in Houston, TX and the Land-of-Sky Regional Council in Asheville, NC to serve as national models of land conservation and natural resource protection. This report summarizes the projects carried out by the two regional planning organizations during their Regional Centers of Excellence project and other overall success of NARC’s second Regional Centers of Excellence award.

2009 Regional Centers of Excellence in Green Infrastructure Final Report (January 2010)
The Bay-Lake Regional Planning Commission (BLRPC) in Green Bay, WI and the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) in Philadelphia, PA were selected as NARC’s first Regional Centers of Excellence. Through a partnership with the U.S. Forest Service, NARC awarded BLRPC and DVRPC to engage in a variety of activities promoting regional green infrastructure planning. This report summarizes the activities carried out during the project period.

Integrating Air Quality and Transportation Planning: A Resource Compendium (September 2009)
As part of a cooperative agreement, NARC, the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency conducted a series of workshops to tackle the most pressing challenges in balancing healthy air and transportation investments.  NARC has compiled the contents of fourteen workshops held between 2001 and 2009 into one document that will prove to be useful to regional councils and metropolitan planning organizations nationwide.

Streamlining Cross-Linking Transportation and Evacuation Planning: A Resource Guide for Metropolitan Planning Organizations and Regional Councils (September 2009)
Through a year-long agreement with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration Office of Planning, NARC developed a project to address streamlining cross-linking and coordination of evacuation planning efforts by regional councils and metropolitan planning organizations in instances of manmade or natural disasters. NARC and its Advisory Council held two workshops and developed this resource guide.

Building Planning Capacity between Public and Private Sector Partners in the Freight Industry: A Resource Manual for Public and Private Freight Planning Interests (September 2009)
Through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, NARC and its Technical Advisory Group held a series of peer to peer exchanges and webinars for public and private stakeholders in the freight industry. NARC then developed a Resource Manual to create more effective and efficient regional level freight-specific infrastructure planning.

A Workshop on Integrating Land Use and Transportation Planning: An Examination of Best Practices (September 2008)
NARC, with assistance from the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration and Resource Systems Group, held a two-day workshop on Integrating Land Use and Transportation planning hosted by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) on September 11-12, 2008. The workshop was geared toward developing the capacity of high level community and transportation planning officials to integrate current and future trends in land use into their transportation plans, thereby giving their regions more options and opportunity.