MEASURING WHAT WE VALUE
Prioritizing public health to build prosperous regions
This package of case studies, produced in partnership with the American Public Health Association, showcases a range of strategies that metro area planning agencies can use to strengthen the local economy, improve public health outcomes for all of their residents, promote social equity and better protect the environment.
Download the four case studies below.
A growing number of the metro leaders, elected officials and citizens we talk to are asking questions like: can the people in neighborhoods more likely to be unhealthy easily get out for a walk or bike ride without having to traverse dangerous streets? Do our regional planners effectively consider the impacts on regional air quality as we choose which projects to build? Is the area putting forward the most competitive possible projects to win limited state or federal funding for walking and biking?
A handful of metro areas have found smart, data-driven ways to better conceive, select and build the transportation projects that can help address these looming questions.
Promoting health and economic prosperity through data-driven decision-making
Using a lens of improved economic performance by improving public health, the Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG) adopted several health- and social equity-related performance measures into a rigorous, data-driven process for choosing transportation projects, resulting in more projects that make it safer and more convenient to walk or bicycle.
BROWARD COUNTY, FL
Healthy, safe & prosperous by design: Building complete streets
Prompted by a need for safer streets, the Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) spearheaded an effort to build regional consensus and political support for planning, designing and building more complete streets projects. As a result, 16 of the MPO’s 31 jurisdictions have adopted Complete Streets resolutions or guidelines, and the MPO increased funding for active transportation projects, with 90 individual bicycle and pedestrian projects totaling $120 million awarded funding since 2012.
Prioritizing public health benefits through better project evaluation
Backed by data from comprehensive health studies and growing public demand to make biking and walking safer and more convenient throughout the region, the Nashville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) designed a new scoring and selection process to prioritize transportation projects that can bring health benefits. The MPO’s new approach substantially increased the amount of funding in the their long-term transportation budget dedicated to making it safer and more attractive to walk or ride a bicycle, making strides toward improving the health of the region’s residents.
Healthy competition: Using data and modeling tools to win funding for active transportation projects
To make walking and biking safer, more equitable and more convenient in Greensboro, North Carolina, the Greensboro Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) developed a rigorous evaluation and data-driven selection process to analyze and select the best possible bicycle and pedestrian projects for the metro area’s available funds, and to help the region better compete for the limited, competitive funding controlled by the state.
The development of these case studies was made possible through a contract between the American Public Health Association and Transportation for America funded through cooperative agreement 5U38OT000131-03 between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Public Health Association. The contents of this document are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the American Public Health Association or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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Need help with implementation?
Transportation for America is working for communities like yours nationwide to get better bang for their transportation buck. We can help with developing performance measures and other policies to improve project selection. Request technical assistance from T4America experts here.