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Tools for Sustainable Communities

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The Partnership for Sustainable Communities (PSC) has compiled the following list of tools to help communities assess, plan, and design sustainable communities. These tools cover a broad range of topics, including community design and planning, transportation and housing, and the environment. The list includes tools developed by the PSC partner agencies - the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) - as well as other Federal agencies and nongovernmental organizations. For information purposes, it also includes several tools that are under development. The Partnership will evaluate and update the list periodically. Note that inclusion of nongovernmental tools on this list does not constitute an endorsement by the Partnership for Sustainable Communities or any of its individual agencies.

Learn more about the Partnership at

Tools for Sustainable Communities
Tool Agency Description
Community Design and Planning

Sustainable Communities Hot Report

HUD-DOT-EPA Partnership for Sustainable Communities (with support from the U.S. Census Bureau) Tool is designed to give community leaders and residents a quick and easy way to determine how well one's community is performing on a variety of sustainability indicators, including transportation, housing, economic development, income and equity. Allows the user to select his/her community and view charts, tables, and maps showing performance trends over time and compare the results with the state, U.S. and other communities.

Sustainable Communities Grants & Technical Assistance

HUD-DOT-EPA Partnership for Sustainable Communities Interactive map includes information on HUD, DOT and EPA grant awards and other assistance provided to communities across the country through the Partnership for Sustainable Communities since 2009.

Smart Location Database

EPA Tool uses characteristics like housing density, diversity of land use, neighborhood design, destination accessibility, transit service, employment, and demographics to measure location efficiency. Planners can use the tool in scenario planning and travel demand studies.

Mixed-Use Trip Generation Model

EPA Spreadsheet tool to help local government staff, consultants, and developers estimate trips generated by a new mixed-use development. The method also predicts trips by walking and transit and estimates the daily vehicle miles of travel associated with the development.

Sustainable Design and Green Building Toolkit for Local Governments

EPA Addresses the local codes and ordinances that affect the design, construction, renovation, and operation and maintenance of a building and its immediate site to help local governments, the development community, and other building professionals identify and remove barriers to sustainable design and green building in their permitting processes.

Smart Growth Guidelines for Sustainable Design and Development

EPA This resource helps communities that seek to locate, design, and develop housing - particularly affordable housing - in a way that reduces household costs, improves residents' quality of life, and invests public resources more sustainably. The guidelines can serve as a checklist for local officials, state or regional policy makers, developers, and community members to ensure that programs, plans, and proposed developments incorporate the elements needed at the location, site, and building levels to result in more sustainable, affordable housing.

Essential Smart Growth Fixes for Rural Planning, Zoning, and Development Codes

EPA Provides policy options that can help rural communities strengthen their economies while preserving rural character.

Essential Smart Growth Fixes for Urban and Suburban Zoning Codes

EPA A toolbox of the most relevant zoning changes that communities can make to their zoning codes and regulations based on common issues and themes confronting urban and suburban governments.

PlaceFit Tool

DOT/FHWA This investigative tool provides access to a variety of existing websites based on livability characteristics that may appeal to an individual user's lifestyle choices. It can help the user identify communities with characteristics that appeal to the user and his/her family's needs when relocating for a job, schooling, retirement, or a variety of other reasons. It also can help the user to compare his/her current community to other communities.

Livable Communities Discussion Board

DOT/FHWA Online public forum for practitioners in public, private, and nonprofit agencies and organizations at the local, State, and Federal levels who are interested in helping communities provide more transportation choices, encourage access to good jobs and affordable housing, support quality schools, and promote safer streets. Participants come from a range of fields, including transportation, land use, housing, environment, and economic development.

Bureau of Transportation Statistics Livability Website

DOT/Bureau of Transportation Statistics Variety of resources to help policy makers and transportation planners in their efforts to better understand, assess and evaluate transportation's role in creating livable communities.

Healthy Community Design Checklist Toolkit

HHS/CDC Four components work together to help include health in the planning process: a checklist, customizable PowerPoint presentation for stakeholder engagement; a tool for creating a health profile of a neighborhood; and a Planning for Health Resources Guide.

Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS)

DOT/NHTSA Website contains data on all vehicle crashes in the U.S. that occur on a public roadway and involve a fatality. Includes State-by-State data analysis and maps, a Highway Fatality GIS Tool, and a query system that provides interactive public access to fatality data.

Highway Safety Improvement Program Self Assessment Tool

DOT/FHWA Tool consists of a number of questions designed to provide those with Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) management responsibilities information to assess their programs, policies, and procedures against many of the recommended HSIP practices in use today.

Bicycle Countermeasure Selection System (BIKESAFE)

DOT/FHWA Tools and resources intended to provide practitioners with the latest information available for improving the safety and mobility of those who bicycle. Allow the user to select appropriate countermeasures or treatments to address specific bicycling objectives or crash problems.

Pedestrian Safety Guide and Countermeasure Selection System (PEDSAFE)

DOT/FHWA Online tools intended to provide practitioners with the latest information available for improving the safety and mobility of those who walk. Provide the user with a list of possible engineering, education, or enforcement treatments to improve pedestrian safety and/or mobility based on user input about a specific location.
Transportation and Housing

National Household Travel Survey

DOT/FHWA Serves as a tool in the urban transportation planning process by providing data on personal travel behavior, trends in travel over time, trip generation rates, national data to use as a benchmark in reviewing local data, and data for various other planning and modeling applications. Assists transportation planners and policymakers who need comprehensive data on travel and transportation patterns in the U.S.

Location Affordability Index

HUD & DOT Tool estimates the percentage of a family's income dedicated to the combined cost of housing and transportation at a given location. Individuals can customize their household profile by entering household income, household size, and the number of commuters.

My Transportation Cost Calculator

HUD & DOT Tool -- which is a component of the Location Affordability Index -- permits individuals to customize their transportation expenses by providing more specific transportation cost information.

Preservation of Affordable Housing Near Transit

HUD Data files for federally assisted projects located in the 20 metropolitan areas included in the report "Preserving Subsidized Housing Opportunities Near Transit." Planners and local practitioners may wish to use the geo-coded data to identify the federally assisted projects near transit that may be at risk during the next five years due to the expiration of existing Section 8 contracts.

Community Planning and Development Maps

HUD Online GIS mapping tool, includes data layers for housing -- including Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) and Home Investment Partnerships (HOME) Program data -- transportation, environment, economic development, and demographic data.

Qualified Census Tract Locator

HUD Allows user to identify whether a specific address is located in a Qualified Census Tract (QCT) for purposes of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program.

Household Carbon Footprint Calculator

EPA Tool uses an online calculator to get a rough "ballpark" estimate of the user's personal or family's greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and explore the impact of taking various actions to reduce one's GHG emissions.

Energy and Emissions Reduction Policy Analysis Tool (EERPAT)

DOT/FHWA Developed to assist state transportation agencies with analyzing greenhouse gas reduction scenarios and alternatives for use in the transportation planning process, the development of state climate action plans, scenario planning exercises, and to measure the reduction potential of various transportation strategies to meet state greenhouse gas reduction goals and targets. The Tool allows agencies to quickly assess policy interactions in hundreds of scenarios. Many states are seeking to perform this type of analysis, but lack the tools to do so, and this tool was developed to fill this gap.

Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flooding Impacts

NOAA The viewer allows coastal communities to see how various levels of sea level rise will affect them. It displays potential future sea levels, provides simulations of sea level rise at local landmarks, overlays social and economic data onto potential sea level rise, and examines how tidal flooding will become more frequent with sea level rise.


EPA National information system that provides an integrated single point of access to data on Superfund sites, drinking water, toxics and air releases, hazardous waste, and water discharge permits.


EPA Website gives the user access to air quality data, primarily from the Air Quality System (AQS) database, collected at outdoor monitors across the U.S. Users can choose from among several ways of looking at the data: download data into a file (or view it on the screen); output the data into one of AirData's standard reports; create graphical displays using one of the visualization tools; and investigate monitor locations using an interactive map. AirData allows the user to display and download monitored hourly, daily, and annual concentration data, Air Quality Index data, and speciated particle pollution data.

National Stormwater Calculator

EPA Estimates the annual amount of rainwater and frequency of runoff from a specific site anywhere in the United States.

Toxics Release Inventory Explorer

EPA Allows user to generate reports on releases, transfers, and waste management that can be displayed by facility, chemical, geographic area, industry (NAICS code), reporting years, or by map.

School Siting Guidelines

EPA Voluntary school siting guidelines that can help local school districts and community members evaluate environmental factors to make the best possible school siting decisions.

School Environment Assessment Tool

EPA Software tool to help school districts evaluate and manage their school facilities for key environmental, safety and health issues. Designed to be customized and used by district-level staff to conduct completely voluntary self-assessments of their school (and other) facilities and to track and manage information on environmental conditions school-by-school.


EPA A collection of tools and resources that provides geospatial data, maps, research, and analysis on the benefits that humans receive from nature, including clean air, clean and plentiful water, natural hazard mitigation, biodiversity conservation, food, fuel, and materials, recreational opportunities, and cultural and aesthetic value.

Cleanups in My Community

EPA Website maps sites across the U.S. where hazardous waste is being or has been cleaned up. Includes Superfund National Priorities List sites and Brownfields properties.


EPA Mapping tool that allows users to create maps and generate detailed reports based on the geographic areas and data sets they choose. Includes data from multiple factors that may affect human and environmental health within a community or region, including: demographic, health, environmental, and facility-level data.

Impervious Surface Growth Model

EPA A simple spreadsheet tool for estimating net impervious surface growth associated with development proposals based on the development location.

Water Quality Scorecard

EPA This scorecard offers policy options for protecting and improving water quality across different scales of land use and across multiple municipal departments.

Green Infrastructure Tools

EPA Website provides a variety of green infrastructure tools, including cost-benefit resources, design and implementation resources, and modeling tools.

National Environmental Public Health Tracking Network

HHS/CDC System of integrated health, exposure, and hazard information and data from a variety of national, state, and city sources. Allows the user to view maps, tables, and charts with data about chemicals and other substances found in the environment, some chronic diseases and conditions, and the user's state.

INVEST - Sustainable Highways Self-Evaluation Tool

DOT/FHWA Self-evaluation tool allows transportation agencies to evaluate the sustainability of their programs and projects.

Sortable Stats (Health)

HHS/CDC Website provides population level data on health risk factors, rates of disease, and death rates in tables and on maps by State, Federal region, and territory.

Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS™)

HHS/CDC Interactive, online database that provides fatal and nonfatal injury, violent death, and cost of injury data from a variety of trusted sources. Researchers, the media, public health professionals, and the public can use WISQARS™ data to learn more about the public health and economic burden associated with unintentional and violence-related injury in the U.S.

Area Health Resources Files

HHS/HRSA Website includes several products: (1) downloadable data sets with demographic and training information for 50+ health professions; (2) a tool that compares a State/county's available health resources and health status indicators to other States/counties; and (3) a mapping tool that enables users to compare the availability of healthcare providers and environmental factors affecting health at the state and county levels. Resources draw from an extensive county-level database assembled annually from over 50 sources. Intended to inform health resources planning, analysis and decision-making.
Food Access

Food Environment Atlas

USDA Website identifies factors that influence food choices and diet quality, such as access to grocery stores across U.S. counties, store/restaurant proximity, food prices, food and nutrition assistance programs, and community characteristics.

Food Access Research Atlas (Food Desert Locator)

USDA Tool offers census-tract-level data on food access and presents a spatial overview of food access indicators for low-income and other census tracts using different measures of supermarket accessibility.

Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass Map

USDA Map shows efforts supported by USDA and other Federal partners and related information on local and regional food systems for the years 2009-2012 to illustrate the local foods landscape in communities across the country. Data includes USDA and other Federally supported local food projects, farmers markets, food hubs, meat processors and more.
Demographic/Economic Data

American FactFinder

Department of Commerce/U.S. Census Bureau Website's Community Facts search function provides demographic information for a geographical area, drawing on data from the Decennial Census and the American Community Survey.

Bureau of Transportation Statistics Livability Website

Department of Labor/Bureau of Labor Statistics Website provides employment and unemployment by sector at the State and metropolitan levels.

Atlas of Rural and Small-Town America

USDA Aggregates data from several different Federal sources and provides statistics in four broad categories of socioeconomic factors: demographics, jobs, agriculture indicators, and poverty trends.

Home Mortgage Disclosure Act Data

Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council Provides information on home loan values, small business lending, and other Home Mortgage Disclosure Act- and Community Reinvestment Act-related data that are available at the census tract level.
Tool Under Development/Timeline Agency Description

Transportation and Health Tool

Estimated release: Fall 2014

DOT and CDC Tool will provide transportation decisionmakers with a perspective on how transportation can influence public health based on indicators like: commute mode shares; Complete Streets policies, plans and projects; DUI/DWI fatalities; exposure to major roadways and vehicle emissions; housing and transportation affordability; miles traveled by mode; physical activity from transportation; road traffic fatalities by mode; road traffic fatalities exposure rate; road traffic injuries by mode; seat belt use; use of Federal funds for bicycle and pedestrian efforts; vehicle miles traveled per capita; and walkability.

Scenario Planning Performance Based Tool

Estimated release: early 2017

DOT Tool will help State DOTs and MPOs integrate scenario planning into the transportation planning process. It will help MPOs develop scenarios for potential regional investment strategies, scenarios for assumed land use distribution of population and employment, scenarios associated with baseline conditions and improving baseline conditions for the national performance measures identified in MAP-21, scenarios associated with constrained and unconstrained revenues, and the evaluation of the potential costs and benefits associated with each scenario.

Livability Performance Measures Tool

Under development

DOT/FHWA The Livability Performance Metrics tool will allow practitioners to search for performance measures relevant to their specific circumstances, community and quality of life goals.  The tool will include specific livability areas of interest such as accessibility, housing, land use, and economics.   

C-FERST (Community-Focused Exposure and Risk Screening Tool)

EPA C-FERST is expected to increase the availability and accessibility of science for risk ranking and understanding the environmental health consequences of community decisions. By incorporating the latest research estimating human exposures to toxic substances in the environment, it will assist communities in identifying and prioritizing environmental health issues and potential actions. The tool provides easy access to maps, information, and location-specific environmental data for decision-making and problem solving. C-FERST and related research that will populate the tool will be used by stakeholders to make informed, cost-effective decisions to improve public health. Currently in pilot phase.

T-FERST (Tribal-Focused Environmental Risk and Sustainability Tool)

EPA Web-based geospatial decision support tool designed to serve as a research framework to provide tribes with easy access to the best available human health and ecological science. Intended to empower tribes by providing access to relevant science that can be used to develop sustainable, cost-effective solutions for reducing environmental exposures and health risks. Using this web-based geospatial decision support tool, tribes may employ a holistic approach to address environmental concerns and plan for the future. Currently in pilot phase.
Environmental Quality Index EPA Future tool to examine the breadth of environmental factors that may contribute to adverse health outcomes and particularly how they contribute to health disparities in low-income and minority populations. Will include air, water, land, built environment, and social determinants data. Currently under development.

Human Well-Being Index

EPA Includes metrics on ecosystem services, social structure, and economic health. Uses eight dimensions to map social well-being: connection to nature; cultural fulfillment; education; health; leisure time; living standards; safety and security; and social cohesion. Currently under development.
Tool Organization Description
Community Design and Planning

Smart Growth Implementation Toolkit

Smart Growth America's Leadership Institute (with EPA funding) These tools provide a step-by-step guide for how to examine the policies, codes, zoning regulations, and development requirements that can affect how a community grows.

LEED for Neighborhood Development

U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) This rating system integrates the principles of smart growth, urbanism and green building/infrastructure practices to rate neighborhood development on how well it reduces vehicle miles traveled (VMT), locates development where jobs and services are accessible by foot or transit, and uses energy and water efficiently.

STAR Community Rating System

STAR Communities Self-reporting framework and rating system for evaluating, quantifying, and improving the livability and sustainability of U.S. communities. Considers the built environment, equity, and health among other topics.

Sustainable Communities Index

Sustainable Communities Collective Website provides data and resources necessary to collect indicators for livable, equitable, and prosperous cities. Provides the methods and data sources required for collecting indicators in the user's city or region and resources for applying these metrics to planning, policymaking and civic engagement.

Smart Growth Scorecards

various Compilation of smart growth scorecards that fall under several categories: municipal level, project specific, and component assessment (bikeability, and walkability).

Sustainable Management Approaches and Revitalization Tools - electronic (SMARTe)

U.S.-German Bilateral Working Group (with EPA funding) Web-based tool that contains resources and analysis tools for all aspects of the revitalization process including planning, environmental, economic, and social concerns. Intended to help users overcome obstacles to revitalization such as absence of vision, lack of funding, or fear of liability.

Green Values® Stormwater Toolbox

Center for Neighborhood Technology Provides technical information on green infrastructure, including stormwater management calculators. Developed primarily for use by planners, engineers and other municipal staff.

Equitable Development Toolkit

PolicyLink Toolkit introduces 28 tools that can help communities and regions promote equitable development, creating healthy and vibrant communities of opportunity and ensuring that low-income communities and communities of color participate in and benefit from decisions that shape their neighborhoods and regions.

Building American Cities Toolkit™

Center For Community Progress Toolkit that helps practitioners think through strategies, identify specific tools to carry out those strategies, and learn about communities elsewhere that have used those tools, to improve the land, buildings, neighborhoods and other areas that make up a city's built environment.

Pedestrian Environmental Quality Index

San Francisco Department of Public Health Observational survey tool to prioritize improvements in pedestrian infrastructure, drawing on published research and work from numerous cities to assess how the physical environment impacts whether people walk in a neighborhood. Quantifies street and intersection factors empirically known to affect people's travel behaviors. Organized into five categories -- intersection safety, traffic, street design, land use, and perceived safety -- with 31 indicators that reflect the quality of the built environment for pedestrians.

Walk Score®, Bike Score®, TransitScore®

Walk Score® Tool rates and ranks cities, neighborhoods and individual locations based on built environment attributes, and assigns scores evaluating accessibility for walking, bicycling and transit.


The Trust for Public Land Comprehensive rating system that measures how well the 50 largest U.S. cities are meeting the need for parks. Uses GIS to provide in-depth data to guide local park improvement efforts. The mapping technology identifies which neighborhoods and demographics are underserved by parks and how many people are able to reach a park within a ten-minute walk.

Complete Streets Assessment Tool

University of Oregon, Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium (Marc Schlossberg) Tool uses mobile GIS mapping technology to evaluate streets and intersections from the perspective of pedestrians, cyclists, and transit users. Designed for use in a facilitated workshop setting with GIS technicians on site to train users in operating it, and synthesizing and displaying data. Intended for use by non-technical community groups, with a dual emphasis on data collection and community coalition building, but it also has potential application for public agencies.

TOD Database

Center for Transit-Oriented Development Tool is a database that provides economic and demographic information for every existing and proposed fixed guideway transit station in the U.S. Intended for planners, developers, government officials, and academics.

Missed Opportunity: 100 Metropolitan Profiles

The Brookings Institution Provides transit accessibility profiles for the 100 largest metropolitan areas. Contains the same static data at the metropolitan scale that was previously available in the "Transit Access to Jobs in Metropolitan America" interactive map.

Community Commons

Institute for People, Place & Possibility (with initial funding from CDC) Website provides an interactive mapping, networking, and learning utility for healthy, sustainable, and livable communities. Registered users have FREE access to: over 7000 GIS data layers at state, county, zip code, block group, tract, and point-levels; contextualized mapping, visualization, analytic, impact and communication tools and apps; and searchable profiles of hundreds of place-based community initiatives (multi-sector collaboratives) working towards healthy/sustainable/livable/equitable communities.
Scenario Planning

CommunityViz (not free)

Placeways A tailored GIS software package that allows users to create and manipulate a virtual representation of a town and explore different land use scenarios.


Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission and the Charlottesville-Albemarle MPO (with DOT/FHWA funding) A GIS- and spreadsheet-based model to assist in creating alternative development scenarios that can be tested with traditional four-step travel demand models.

Envision Tomorrow Plus

Metropolitan Research Center and Fregonese Associates (Reid Ewing) - (with HUD Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant funding) An open-access scenario planning tool that allows users to "paint" development scenarios on the landscape, and compare scenario outcomes using a comprehensive range of indicators relating to land use, housing, demographics, economic growth, development feasibility, fiscal impacts, transportation, environmental factors, and quality of life.

INDEX (not free)

Criterion Planners An integrated suite of desktop and web-based scenario planning tools that allows land use scenarios to be created and evaluated based on 150 performance indicators.

Metroquest (not free)

Metroquest (Envision Sustainability Tools Inc.) A regional scenario planning/analysis tool that allows agency staff and workshop participants to create, evaluate, and compare regional transportation and land use scenarios.

PLACE3S (PLAnning for Community Energy, Environmental, and Economic Sustainability)

California Energy Commission The PLACE3S model (PLAnning for Community Energy, Environmental, and Economic Sustainability) is a GIS-based analytical tool that calculates a range of community indicators.


UC-Davis A model that projects urban growth by using several land uses as inputs. The model relies on fine-grained grid data that represent existing urban, local general land use plans, and all other relevant natural and built features that define the model.

Rapid Fire (not free)

Calthorpe Associates A spreadsheet-based tool that is used to produce and evaluate statewide, regional, county, and jurisdiction-level scenarios. It emerged out of the need for a comprehensive modeling tool that could inform state, regional, and local agencies and policymakers in evaluating climate, land use, and infrastructure investment policies.

UrbanFootprint (not free)

Calthorpe Associates Tool allows for detailed mapping and "painting" of land use and transport futures and can work at regional, subregional, and local planning scales. It includes the ability to analyze scenarios based on a full range of fiscal, environmental, and public health metrics.

Transportation for Communities - Advancing Projects Through Partnerships (TCAPP, SHRP 2 Capacity Project C01)

Transportation Research Board (with DOT/FHWA funding) A decision support web resource, developed based on the experience of transportation professionals and stakeholders, which provides information about the transportation planning and project development processes. Includes assessments to help identify barriers to successful project and plan development and strategies for overcoming them. TCAPP is a beta version of what will become PlanWorks, a FHWA web resource.

SmartGAP (SHRP 2 Capacity Project C16)

Transportation Research Board (with DOT/FHWA funding) A tool for evaluating the impact of various smart growth policies to provide transportation planning agencies with improved tools and methods for more accurately and comprehensively integrating transportation investment decision-making with land development and growth management.

Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventory Methodologies for State Transportation Departments

American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Provides greenhouse gas (GHG) accounting procedures to help state departments of transportation (DOTs) prepare a GHG emission inventory of their operations to understand the manner and magnitude of their contribution to climate change and make informed GHG management decisions.


Center for Neighborhood Technology Website offers interactive emissions calculators, emissions maps, and a wealth of educational content to show how more efficient transit systems can lower greenhouse gas emissions.

Walkable 101: The Walkability Workbook

Walkable and Livable Communities Institute (with EPA funding) A free set of documents and slide presentations providing guidance on everything needed to organize community walkability workshops, conduct walkability audits and prioritize changes for a better built environment.

Walk Friendly Communities - Community Assessment Tool

Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (with DOT/FHWA funding) Form-based tool is intended to recognize existing walkable communities and provide a framework for communities to improve their walkability.

Pedestrian and Bicycle Crash Analysis Tool (PBCAT)

Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (with DOT/FHWA funding) Crash typing software product intended to assist state and local pedestrian and bicycle coordinators, planners and engineers with improving walking and bicycling safety through the development and analysis of a database containing details associated with crashes between motor vehicles and pedestrians or bicyclists.

Bicycle Assessment Safety Index Tool

University of Oregon, Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium (Marc Schlossberg) Tool uses mobile GIS mapping technology to evaluate streets and intersections from the perspective of cyclists for bicycle route planning and evaluation. Designed for use in a facilitated workshop setting with GIS technicians on site to train users in operating the tool and synthesizing and displaying collected data. Intended for non-technical community groups to use with a dual emphasis on data collection and community coalition building, but it also has potential application for public agencies.

Accessibility Audit Tool

University of Oregon, Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium (Marc Schlossberg) Tool uses mobile GIS mapping technology to evaluate intersections from the perspective of compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and beyond. Intended for use by non-technical community groups as well as public agencies and departments of transportation.
Transportation and Housing

Housing + Transportation Affordability Index

Center for Neighborhood Technology This tool provides a comprehensive way of thinking about the cost of housing and true affordability by examining transportation costs at a neighborhood level. It allows the user to view housing and transportation data as maps, charts, and statistics.


Center for Neighborhood Technology Tool that allows the user to discover how transportation affects the affordability and sustainability of where an individual lives.

Transit Savings Report and Calculator

American Public Transportation Association Calculator tool helps the user compare the price of using public transportation with the price of driving a motor vehicle. The user may set variables such as the price of gas and the length of the round trip to match the price of gas in the user's area and the length of the user's trip.

Subsidized Housing Data

National Housing Trust Provides detailed data about privately-owned and Federally-assisted apartment homes so that policy makers and community advocates know where affordable housing is at risk. Data include: state reports of properties with project-based Section 8 contracts expiring over the next five years (including information about property location, housing subsidy expiration date, physical inspection scores, ownership, management, and mortgage terms (if the mortgage is HUD insured)), and state reports of properties with USDA Section 515 loans (affordable rental housing in rural communities).

Out of Reach

National Low Income Housing Coalition An annual report on the Housing Wage (the wage one must earn in order to afford a modest rental home in communities across the country), which captures the gap between wages and rents across the country and estimates the full-time hourly wage that a household must earn to afford a decent apartment at the HUD estimated Fair Market Rent (FMR), while spending no more than 30% of income on housing costs. Provides a side-by-side comparison of wages and rents in every county, Metropolitan Area (Metropolitan Statistical Areas/HUD Metro FMR Areas), combined nonmetropolitan area and State in the U.S.

Preserving Assisted Rental Housing: The National Data Infrastructure

Shimberg Center for Housing Studies, Florida Housing Finance Corporation Website examines who is collecting data related to the preservation of affordable housing in each State, including information regarding the types of properties and other variables for which data are collected.

Health Economic Assessment Tool (HEAT)

World Health Organization Online tool designed to conduct an economic assessment of the health benefits of walking or cycling by estimating the value of reduced mortality that results from specified amounts of walking or bicycling.

County Health Rankings and Roadmaps

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute Annual Rankings measure vital health factors, including high school graduation rates, obesity, smoking, unemployment, access to healthy foods, the quality of air and water, income, and teen births in nearly every county in America to provide a snapshot of how health is influenced by where people live, learn, work and play and to serve as a starting point for change in communities. Roadmaps provide guidance and tools to understand the data, and strategies that communities can use to bring people together from all walks of life to look at the many factors that influence health, focus on strategies that work, learn from each other, and make changes that will have a lasting impact on health.

Active Neighborhood Checklist

St. Louis University School of Public Health Observational tool designed to assess key street-level features of the neighborhood environment that are thought to be related to physical activity behavior, particularly walking and bicycling.

Integrated Transport and Health Impact Modelling Tool (ITHIM)

Centre for Diet and Activity Research Integrated tool for assessing health impacts of transportation through changes in physical activity, road traffic injury risk, and urban air pollution. (ITHIM 1 is an Excel spreadsheet; ITHIM 2 uses Analytical software that must be purchased.)

Livable Communities: An Evaluation Guide

AARP Public Policy Institute A tool used to help residents determine how they can make their communities more livable for older adults. Consists of a series of community self-assessment surveys identifying factors potentially affecting older adults' independence and quality of life.

Funding the Public Transportation Needs of an Aging Population - Excel Analysis Tool

American Public Transportation Association Spreadsheet permits the user to produce projections of trips and national funding requirements for ADA paratransit, dial-a-ride services, subsidized taxi service, volunteer driver programs, and community bus service. It can also be used to create projections for any area such as a metropolitan area or a State. Produced in conjunction with the report, "Funding the Public Transportation Needs of An Aging Population."

Aging in Place, Stuck Without Options

Transportation for America Report focusing on the mobility challenges facing older Americans as they age, including housing and transportation affordability.
Economic Data

Impresa, Inc., Andrew Reamer & Associates Website compiles data sets from a variety of different areas, including employment, income, quality of life, and demographics, indexed by subject and provider.

Innovation and Economic Development tools

Purdue Center for Regional Development, Indiana Business Research Center (with U.S. Department of Commerce funding) Includes several tools to assist the development of regional and local economic development strategies. Innovation Index tool helps the user understand a region's innovation performance and potential based on factors like human capital, economic dynamics, employment, productivity, economic well-being and state context. Cluster Analysis tool allows for analysis of 15 knowledge-based occupation clusters and 17 industry clusters.
Updated: 12/17/2015
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