About The AIAPrograms & Initiatives
AIA Communities by Design in collaboration with the Center for Transportation Studies at the University of Minnesota has developed a study authorized by US Congress to explore the role of design in transportation. Well-designed transportation projects can shape a community in ways that go far beyond the project’s original purposes. Anecdotal evidence and advocacy efforts suggest that well-designed transportation projects positively impact communities. There is neither substantial organized quantifiable or qualitative data, nor is there a comprehensive guide for communities to maximize or integrate the diverse benefits of such projects.
The study’s two main goals are to measure the multiple enhancements well-designed transportation projects can bring to communities, and to provide principles and practices for communities, transportation professionals, designers, and policymakers to adapt to their needs. With funding from the Federal Highway Administration, the American Institute of Architects contracted with the Center For Transportation Studies to carry out the research for this study.
An interdisciplinary team analyzed nearly 30 transportation projects in communities of different sizes and in a variety of locations across the nation. They examined the benefits of well-designed transportation projects to communities in three overall categories:
1. Promoting economic development
2. Protecting public health, safety, and the environment
3. Enhancing aesthetic, architectural, and cultural qualities and improving community planning
These case studies, which formed the basis for the study, covered a broad range of transportation projects, including:
• Community transportation facilities and transit facilities
• Structures and spaces that serve transportation purposes
• Multimodal and intermodal projects, including highways and transit corridors
Report to Congress
Using the research reports available below, Andrew Goldberg prepared an overview summary report for Congress.
• How Well-Designed Transportation Projects Make Great Places (5 MB PDF)
Report to Congress
Prepared by Andrew Goldberg, Assoc. AIA, senior director, Federal Affairs
Research reports for this study include individual reports for each research project and a synthesis that includes the study's key findings and highlights major themes and recommendations of all the research projects.
• Transportation as Catalyst for Community Economic Development, CTS 07-07
John Adams, Barbara VanDrasek
• Enhancing Environment and Health in Transportation Project Design, CTS 07-08
John Carmody, Virajita Singh
• Enhancing Transportation: The Effects of Public Involvement in Planning and Design Processes, CTS 07-10
• Moving Design: Spaces of Transportation CTS 07-09
• Traffic Safety Methodologies, CTS 07-11
• Moving Communities Forward: Synthesis, CTS 07-12
To address the interdisciplinary issues raised by this study, CTS assembled and led a research team drawn from multiple fields including geography, urban design, public policy, architecture, landscape architecture, and civil engineering. Robert Johns, CTS director, provided overall study leadership with assistance from Lance Neckar.
• John Adams
Professor, Department of Geography
• John Carmody
Director, Center for Sustainable Building Research
• Gary Davis
Associate Professor, Department of Civil Engineering
• Ann Forsyth
Former Director, Metropolitan Design Center
Former Professor and Dayton Hudson Chair of Urban Design (now Professor, Department of City & Regional Planning, Cornell University)
• Lance Neckar
Professor, Department of Landscape Architecture
• Carissa Schively Slotterback
Assistant Professor, Hubert Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs
• Virajita Singh
Research Fellow, Center for Sustainable Building Research
• Barbara VanDrasek
Research Associate, Department of Geography
For additional information and updates, please visit www.movingcommunitiesforward.org.