Regional Livability Workshop Process and Results
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) began the workshop planning by dividing the country into five regions. A city and organization in each region was then identified to host the workshops. The regions, meeting dates, and host locations are listed below.
- Southern region — April 5, 2011: Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Co-hosted with the Atlanta Regional Commission at Loudermilk Center in Atlanta, Georgia.
- Plains/Midwest region — April 7, 2011: Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma. Co-hosted with the Mid-America Regional Council of Governments at their offices in Kansas City, Missouri.
- Northeast/Mid-Atlantic region — April 27, 2011: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and New York. Co-hosted with the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization at the John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
- Pacific region — May 3, 2011: Washington, Oregon, Nevada, California, Hawaii, and Alaska. Co-hosted with the Sacramento Area Council of Governments at their offices in Sacramento, California
- Mountain region — May 5, 2011: Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico. Co-hosted with the Denver Regional Council of Governments at the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Region 8 Office in Denver, Colorado.
Boston workshop discussions.
The meetings brought together regional leaders on livability from metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), transportation agencies, city governments, county governments, private developers, public developers, State departments of transportation (DOTs), nonprofit organizations, housing agencies, community developers, transit agencies, environmental and resource preservation, and others. To identify participants with relevant experience that could provide valuable input during the workshops, the following activities were conducted in order to develop a potential participant list:
- Reviewed prior project work in the area of livability in transportation to identify relevant best practice examples. Using existing firsthand knowledge on best practices in the areas of livability, transportation planning, and projects that have worked to integrate these two ideas, potential participants were identified from a broad range of databases. Sources included prior livability research, prior corridor, streets, and planning projects, awards from the interagency partners and nonprofit groups, and other industry contacts. Additional efforts were made to identify and ensure participation from small town and rural practitioners, housing agencies, developers, and resource agencies, as well as areas outside of planning within State DOTs.
- Regional representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and FHWA identified regional leaders. Based on existing knowledge of best practice examples in the areas of environmental and resource preservation, housing, and transportation, regional offices from EPA, HUD, FTA, and FHWA were asked to contribute participant suggestions within their particular workshop region.
- Combined consultant and Federal list to generate final invitation list. Drawing from the suggested participants from the previous project work and research, and Federal regional office members, a list of initial invitees (40 to 50 people) was compiled for each region. This list considered geographic location (urban, suburban, and rural) and topic of expertise within a given focus area. The final list represented a balanced group of individuals who could speak readily to their organization and region's efforts regarding livability in transportation. If initial invitees were unable to attend, invitations were extended to alternates that did not receive an initial invitation.
Each meeting had between 27 and 30 participants, plus 13 to 20 Federal participants from FHWA, FTA, EPA, and HUD, and representatives from the Center for Disease Control (Atlanta), and National Park Service (Denver).
Prior to each meeting, participants received read-ahead materials including The Role of FHWA Programs in Livability: State of the Practice Summary paper, a workshop logistics packet, and a link to the FHWA/FTA Livability in Transportation Guidebook. These materials helped to prep participants for a hands-on working session, including limited presentations, large-group discussions, and small-group brainstorming and strategy development. During discussions, participants noted issues from the perspective of their agency, from their own perspective, and any relevant regional issues and/or successes. Below is the general agenda for each meeting.
||Welcome and Introductions
||Setting the Stage for Livability
||Identifying Challenges to Livability
|9:45 am-12:00 pm
||Lunch (on your own)
||Regional Livability Planning Strategies
||Closing and Next Steps
After each meeting, participant feedback was collected and their suggestions were shared with FHWA and incorporated into subsequent meetings whenever possible.
Complete summaries of each workshop are provided in subsequent sub-sections in order of their occurrence. Appendix B includes all workshop PowerPoint presentations in the same order.