Promoting Sustainability through Transportation Infrastructure: Is There a Disconnect Between Policy and Design?

As communities seek to promote sustainability, transportation infrastructure becomes an essential component of the discussion. It is possible, however, that advancements in one area, such as provision of sidewalks and bike lanes to promote public health and improve air quality, may conflict with advancements in other areas, such as promoting higher water quality through the reduction of impervious surfaces. This two-part project investigates the extent to which these two potentially competing elements of the discussion are in dialogue with one another, using innovation diffusion as a theoretical backdrop to the analysis (Rogers 2003). The first part of the project is a review of the relevant literature. The project will then conduct interviews with planners and engineers to explore the ways in which communities in the Kansas City metropolitan area are addressing these issues through both policies and practices.