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Prioritizing Transportation Investments With an Equity Lens

How do we decide what types of transportation investments to make, and where to make them?  More and more, decision makers are relying on a performance-based planning process, which uses data to track performance measures that are designed to move us toward a set of policy goals, like decreasing greenhouse gas emissions or speeding up travel times. There is a developing practice of using racial equity as one of these measures, which will help improve mobility outcomes for people from marginalized communities. This was a key recommendation in MPC’s Our Equitable Future policy roadmap.

MPC research assistant and UIUC masters student Agustina Krapp investigated how equity is being used to prioritize investments at metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) representing the 40 largest metro areas in the US. Her research shows the state of this national practice, and makes recommendation for how we can improve.

This research was adapted as a Planning Advisory Service (PAS) memo by the American Planning Association. PAS memos provide information and technical guidance on a wide variety of planning issues, and are widely read by practicing planners across the United States.

This work is supported by The Chicago Community Trust.