Analyzed land use, economic, transportation, and community characteristics, as well as cultural, natural, and environmental resources for the Brandywine Valley National Scenic Byway. Engaged stakeholders and the public in using corridor characteristics to develop concepts for the State Route (SR) 92/SR 100 area through a design charrette, Byway Advisory Committee and Board meetings, stakeholder interviews, and a website. Developed goals, design concepts, and strategies to guide future decisions for this area of the Byway.
“ReNew Dayton” Sustainability Action Plan
Developed a plan for the City of Dayton, Ohio that outlines target outcomes, strategies, actions, performance metrics, responsibilities and timeframes to move the City towards a more sustainable future. Assessed prior City efforts, determined strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, documented relevant national and regional best practices, and facilitated core team and interdepartmental “Green Team” meetings, visioning sessions, stakeholder interviews, and a charrette style set of meetings and public workshop to engage stakeholders in plan development.
Dine’Bit’ah Scenic Byway Interpretive Plan
Supported the preparation of an Interpretive Plan for the Diné Biítah “Among the People” Scenic Byway. Conducted community interviews and contributed to the development of maps, kiosks, and narratives that "tell the story" of the byway
Mountains-to-Sea State Trail Master Plan
Developed a Master Plan for the Mountains-to-Sea State Trail (MST), an approximately 1,000 mail system of trails that will link the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to the Outer Banks. The MST Master Plan describes sections of the remaining 400 miles of trail to be designated, establishes priorities for logical sub-sections for planning, makes implementation recommendations, outlines potential partners and their roles, identifies funding strategies and sources, and provides tools and resources for segment managers.
Assessed efforts in Iowa, Massachusetts and Oregon to advance the health and economies of local communities through pedestrian programs and activities. Case studies describe the initiatives, how efforts began, and the partnerships that were developed. Recommendations are provided for cultivating leaders and partners, applying holistic methods, while meeting the tailored needs of individual communities, and working across staff, agencies and stakeholders to deliver cross-sector, interdisciplinary solutions and success.
Delaware Climate Change and Resiliency Framework Development
Led technical assistance activities with Delaware DOT (DelDOT) to develop goals, strategies, and action items for integrating the state's key climate change approaches into planning and project delivery through a Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS) approach. Summarized state climate change policies and agency CSS guidance, conducted national research, prepared a gap assessment, and facilitated an interagency workshop to develop a unified framework and action items to incorporate climate change and resiliency planning into DelDOT policies and procedures.
Statewide Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Program "Travelwise"
Supported the development of "TravelWise," Utah's statewide TDM program. Defined TDM strategies, developed educational and promotional materials, and coordinated implementation efforts. Prepared a Strategic Plan with recommendations to establish and institutionalize TDM efforts in Utah and to identify essential short-term activities.
SHRP2 C-40A - EcoPlan: Geospatial, Ecological Tools and Data
Supported development of an integrated, geospatial, ecological screening tool for early transportation planning that informs the environmental review process by providing the transportation community with the means to identify and analyze environmental impacts at a regional scale. Designed the beta testing protocol, helped develop the Eco-Plan Website Usability Testing Plan, conducted website functionality testing and usability testing, and helped prepare the final report.
CAT/CAMPO (Go Raleigh) Bus Transit Development Plan and 2012 Short Range Transit Plan
Supported development of a 2035 Bus Transit Development Plan and Three-Year Implementation Plan for Capital Area Transit (now Go Raleigh). Developed a community-based plan that presents a vision and specific action items for implementing a comprehensive regional transit system. Conducted interviews, surveys, interactive public workshops, flyers, and online and social media tools.
NCDOT CIA/ICE Process Research, Guidance, and Templates
Planning Communities is working with the NCDOT Human Environment Section to conduct a review of procedures, guidance, and templates associated with Community Studies documents (Community Impact Assessments (CIAs). As part of this process improvement effort, the firm is preparing updated report templates and guidance for specific aspects of the CIA process, including farmland impacts, Environmental Justice and Title VI populations, Limited English Proficiency (LEP) populations, multimodal and Complete Streets, access, accessibility and mobility, community cohesion, and barrier effects. Future phases of the project will include an online application and database for preparing the reports.
FHWA Newtown Pike Extension Livability and Environmental Justice Case Study Videos and Brochure
Developed documentary videos and brochure highlighting efforts by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, local jurisdictions, and Federal Highway Administration to address proposed transportation project and historic, recurring impacts to low-income neighborhoods near downtown Lexington during planning and environmental studies, right of way acquisition and construction. Researched the history of the project and area, developed brochure content and graphic layout, led community interviews and discussion groups, prepared script for narration, and produced a brief overview video and a longer video for instructional use.
Safe Routes to School Action Plan - Wilson, NC
FHWA Community Vision Metrics Tool
Developed an online searchable database of livability performance measures. The database was designed as a user-friendly practitioner resource for establishing performance measures as part of the visioning and goal setting process. The tool development included extensive academic and practice research, practitioner interviews and peer exchange to identify measures and best practices.
Southeast Raleigh Community Asset Mapping and Guide City of Raleigh, North Carolina; Southeast Raleigh Assembly 2008-2009
Planning Communities led the community consultation process, conducted an existing conditions review and needs assessment, and helped develop a guide to community facilities and services throughout Southeast Raleigh, a 54 square mile area. This project compiled existing mapping and captured assets not traditionally mapped. Planning Communities conducted a series of meetings and utilized a questionnaire tool to determine what resources citizens find important to their communities’ health, safety, mobility, and social/cultural well-being, as well as where there are gaps or missing resources that could strengthen local communities. The firm helped review and compile available GIS data and conduct an extensive GIS and photo inventory throughout the project area. A guide to the community assets throughout Southeast Raleigh was produced to support capacity building efforts and investment in Southeast Raleigh.
Regional Transit Development Plan
Supported the development of a Regional Transit Development Plan, which resents a vision to address regional transit needs. Led stakeholder and community outreach through interviews, media relations, website management, workshop facilitation, surveys, and government relations.
FHWA PlaceFit Online Tool
Planning Communities worked with the Federal Highway Administration to develop an online tool that supports place-based decision making. The tool compile resources, including rankings, indices, and data sources, that provide information about communities under multiple dimensions of quality of life. The tool will be structured as a user-friendly online search application, sorting resources based on an individual user’s unique quality of life preferences. Through this approach, the tool allows members of the general public to view resources that address the factors they consider to be most important in the decision of where to live. Key tasks included research, resource reviews, outreach, and tool development.
Defining Community Context Tool
This research task involved the development of a community context planning tool to help practitioners as they begin transportation planning and development projects. After developing the structure of the tool, Planning Communities crafted a searchable online database to make the tool more user-friendly and customizable. As part of the tool development process, Planning Communities conducted extensive testing and peer exchanges to gather input and to aid in tool refinement.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) is in the process of developing a strategic plan to guide Department operations, practices, and decision-making in line with the multidimensional concept of sustainability. This “Sustainability Blueprint” will outline the principles of sustainability, intended outcomes that reflect these principles, specific strategies that can be implemented to achieve sustainable outcomes, and performance measures that can be used to gauge progress and effectiveness over time. Planning Communities is supporting this initiative through research and outreach activities. Outreach approaches have included facilitated meetings with top NCDOT managers, interviews with representatives of key sustainability initiatives, and surveys and interviews with external stakeholders.