Integrating Economic Resilience in Performance-based Transportation Planning

The NADO Research Foundation has released the report Integrating Economic Resilience in Performance-based Transportation Planning (PDF).  Using information from dozens of regional planning and development organizations and their partners, the report suggests a framework for considering economic resilience and the input of economic development stakeholders throughout the planning process—from developing a vision, goals, and objectives through to selecting measures, prioritizing projects, and communicating performance information.  Key takeaways include:

  • Take a systems perspective to understand economic resilience goals, regional prosperity, and transportation’s role. Multiple systems frameworks exist; the rural wealth creation framework is one focused on existing community assets.
  • Embed measurement into the regional planning process, rather than treating it as a standalone task.
  • Measure regional wellbeing across several emphasis areas, track it through plan updates, and use the measures in multiple planning efforts. Repurpose measures used by partners, such as state agencies, where appropriate.
  • Develop transportation project prioritization criteria that implement the vision, goals, objectives, and measures adopted through the planning process.
  • Communicate progress over time in order to make performance measurement a feedback loop that influences future planning and development decisions.
  • Intentionally include economic development stakeholders, including both private sector leaders and intended beneficiaries of development such as low-income residents, throughout the planning process.

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Joe McKinney serves as Executive Director of the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO). Headquartered in Washington DC, NADO provides advocacy, education, research, and training for the nation’s 500+ regional planning and development organizations.

Joe has thirty-one years of experience having served in city, county, regional, national association, and government management since 1991. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Policy Analysis from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is a candidate for a master’s degree in Public Administration from UNC-Chapel Hill.

McKinney has provided congressional testimony on numerous occasions regarding the importance of regional development organizations in helping shape the nation’s economic growth. He is nationally recognized for promoting innovative solutions in areas such as planning and economic development, workforce development, transportation and transit, and aging services.

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