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Human Environment Digest

January 14, 2016

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Welcome to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Office of Human Environment bi-weekly email digest. This digest shares the latest information from a range of Federal and non-Federal sources, addressing transportation and its relationship to the human environment. Through this information exchange, FHWA hopes to foster dialogue at all levels and continue to further the state of the practice on these important topics.

For more information on any of these topics, see the FHWA Related Links on the sidebar.

*The information provided in this mailing does not necessarily reflect the view of the Federal Highway Administration or the U.S. Department of Transportation.



The Obama Administration Announced the Third and Final Round of Promise Zones Competition

On December 18, 2015, the Secretaries Castro of HUD and Vilsack of USDA announced the opening of the third and final round of Promise Zone Competition. Promise Zones are high poverty communities where the Federal government partners with local leaders to increase economic activity. The application deadline is Tuesday, February 23 at 5:00 PM ET.

Applications Are Being Accepted for the 2016 Sustainable Cities Design Academy

The American Architectural Foundation's (AAF) Center for Design and the City is now accepting applications for the 2016 Sustainable Cities Design Academy. The AAF provides a limited number of local leaders with sustainable design technical assistance during a 2 1/2-day design working shop in Washington, DC. The application deadline is Thursday, January 28 at 5:00 PM ET.

Applications Are Being Accepted for Best Intergenerational Community Awards

Generations United and Metlife are accepting applications for the 2016 Best Intergenerational Community Awards. An intergenerational community is where individuals of all ages are valued, and this is reflected in the age-friendly structures, facilities, and services found within the community. Applications are due January 15.

FTA and Smart Growth America are Accepting Requests for TOD Technical Assistance Workshops

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and Smart Growth Americaare accepting requests for transit-oriented development (TOD) technical assistance workshops. Applications are due by January 19 at 5:00 PM ET.

"Partners for Places" Spring 2016 Grant Cycle Now Open

The Funders' Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities (TFN), in partnership with the Urban Sustainability Directors Network, announced the opening of Round Eight of Partners for Places. This is a matching grant program to promote opportunities for building partnerships between local government and place-based foundations. Applications are due January 29 by 11:59 PM in any time zone.


Photo of couple walking baby and bike-share bikes parked in rack.

USDOT Extends Mayors' Challenge

Due to the positive feedback and increased sign-ups, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) announced the "Mayor's Challenge for Safer People, Safer Streets" would be extended by 6 months, to September 2016. To sign up for the challenge, email For more information, visit the Mayors' Challenge website.

New Safe Routes to Parks Fact Sheet Available Online

To assist communities in making it easier to access physical activity, the Safe Routes to School National Partnership and the American Planning Association developed a Safe Routes to Park plan. This new fact sheet highlights the three components of the new plan: the park, park access, and infrastructure.

PBIC Released New Nonmotorized Travel Analysis Toolkit

The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center's (PBIC) "Nonmotorized Travel Analysis Toolkit" allows users to explore analysis tools, review supporting materials, and practice with example data sets. Users can upload their nonmotorized transportation data and begin analyzing using the available tools.

Economic Development

Photo of traffic on a highway.

New Report Available Titled "Transportation Investment for Economic Development: Making the Case"

Transportation Research Board (TRB) Circular 202, "Transportation Investment for Economic Development: Making the Case," examines the presentations made during a peer exchange in August 2015 in Detroit, Michigan. The meeting focused on opportunities for collaboration between State Departments of Transportation and their State economic development counterparts.


Drawing of an EKG l ine with traffic pictures at the top

FTA Blogs About Transit and Health

On January 7, Federal Transit Administration's (FTA) Acting Administrator Therese McMillan wrote a blog about the health benefits of using public transportation. Research shows that those who regularly take transit walk more that those who do not. The blog also highlights the Transportation and Health Tool and encourages readers to explore how transportation positively impacts health in their communities. The tool was developed by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).


Flowers along the side of a road

FHWA's Fostering Livable Communities Newsletter January Edition Now Available

The January edition of the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) "Fostering Livable Communities Newsletter" is now available online. This newsletter highlights projects across the county that promote livability. This edition highlights bicycle and pedestrian investments that promote data collection and safety.

New Climate Change and Transportation Infographic Published by FHWA

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) published a new infographic about climate change and transportation. The infographic displays various ways in which transportation is affected by climate change and the actions the transportation sector can take to mitigate emissions as well as adapt to the changing climate.

FHWA's Successes in Stewardship January Newsletter Now Available

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) published the January edition of its "Successes in Stewardship Newsletter." This edition focuses on the FHWA's Climate Change Resilience Pilot Program.

HUD Releases Choice Neighborhoods Grantee Report

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published a report that highlights the accomplishments of the Choice Neighborhoods grantees from 2010 to 2014. HUD's Choice Neighborhoods grant program helps communities transform struggling neighborhoods with distressed public housing and HUD-assisted housing.

University of Minnesota Releases "National Transit Map - United States: Methodology Report"

The University of Minnesota published a report that examines the availability and performance of transit service in each of the U.S. Census-defined urbanized areas. The analysis uses 2013 data from the U.S. National Transit Database.

Public Involvement

A group of people representing the public

A 1-Day Course is Available on Creating Livable Communities through Public Involvement

The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC) is offering a 1-day in-person course titled, "Creating Livable Communities through Public Involvement." To request this training course, email for more information.

Updated: 1/19/2016
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