Skip to content U.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway AdministrationU.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway Administration
Office of Planning, Environment, & Realty (HEP)

Rural and Small Community Planning

This site provides links to a wide variety of information resources to support transportation planning efforts in communities and areas outside those regions covered by Metropolitan Planning Organizations. Information here is intended to support studies of rural demographic and travel patterns and trends, analysis of transportation alternatives to address rural transportation issues, and coordination for prioritizing and funding rural transportation strategies.

Why Is Rural Planning Treated Separately?

Institutional arrangements and transportation issues can be very different in rural areas than in metropolitan areas with populations of over 50,000. In metropolitan areas, the responsibility for planning lies with designated Metropolitan Planning Organizations; in small communities and rural areas, no one official body is so designated. In some states, the State Department of Transportation conducts planning for these areas, while in other states, Rural Planning Organizations or local governments do so. In addition, rural areas sometimes face transportation issues of a different nature than those encountered in metropolitan areas.

Updated: 10/20/2015
HEP Home Planning Environment Real Estate
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000