Access to Opportunities: Redefining Planning Methods and Measures for Disadvantaged Populations

This project will be made up of two separate studies that together will investigate areas where transportation planning and engineering can better serve disadvantaged and underserved communities. An interdisciplinary team of planning and public health researchers from University of Arizona (UA) will investigate how standard measures and conceptions of walkability hold up across socio-economic contexts. Pilot data from a Center for Disease Control (CDC)-funded project suggest that many standard measures of walkability may miss important elements of the built and social environment that can faciliate or deter walking in disadvantaged communtiies. The project team will collect data using on-street interview methodology developed in Tucson and a mail survey in a sample of cities nationwide. The aim of this study is to produce actionable recommendations about how concepts like walkability should be defined, measured, and applied in disadvantaged neighborhoods. In parallel to this work, University of Texas, Arlington (UTA) engineering, public policy, and social work faculty will work with nonprofits and other service providers to characterize transportation gaps that result from system deficiencies at a regional scale. The project teramwill measure these gaps’ impact on well-being in terms of health (physical and psycho-social), access to opportunities (work, personal, business, etc.), and community connectedness. This program will develop a roadmap for future research that can transform transportation planning practice to better account for disadvantaged communities.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $369257
  • Contract Numbers:

    NITC 1087


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    University of Texas at Arlington

    School of Social Work
    Box 19308
    Arlington, TX  United States  76019-0308

    University of Texas at Arlington

    Box 19308
    Arlington, TX  United States  76019-0308

    University of Arizona

    Tucson, AZ  United States  85721
  • Managing Organizations:

    TREC at Portland State University

    1900 SW Fourth Ave, Suite 175
    P.O. Box 751
    Portland, Oregon  United States  97201
  • Project Managers:

    Hagedorn, Hau

  • Performing Organizations:

    University of Texas at Arlington

    Department of Civil Engineering
    Box 19308
    Arlington, TX  United States  76019

    University of Texas at Arlington

    School of Social Work
    Box 19308
    Arlington, TX  United States  76019-0308

    University of Arizona

    College of Architecture, Planning, and Landscape Architecture
    PO Box 210075
    Tucson, AZ  United States  85721
  • Principal Investigators:

    Adkins, Arlie

    Mattingly, Stephen

  • Start Date: 20170901
  • Expected Completion Date: 20240301
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers Program

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01651389
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: National Institute for Transportation and Communities
  • Contract Numbers: NITC 1087, 69A3551747112
  • Files: UTC, RIP
  • Created Date: Nov 21 2017 2:54PM