Metropolitan Centers: Evaluating Local Implementation of Regional Plans and Policies

One of the emerging strategies in metropolitan regions for integrating transportation and land use is to promote development around higher density mixed use centers (metropolitan centers). Considerable research has focused on the design and performance of centers, particularly those linked to fixed transit (transit oriented development). These studies have focused on urban design, the impacts of centers on behavior and the changes induced by fixed transit investment. However, there has been far less analysis of regional influence on local centers, especially “emerging” centers not served by fixed transit. This project will assess local implementation of metropolitan centers in Denver and Salt Lake City. These regions have adopted regional policies for promoting smarter forms of regional growth, and they rely on regional consensus and collaboration rather than a state growth management framework. A multidisciplinary team from the University of Oregon and the University of Utah will research the range of influences on local government plans and policies. The key question being undertaken by the team is how local plans have evolved over time to incorporate smart growth concepts such as mixed use center, and the relative roles of regional planning, market forces, transit investment, and changing local objectives. The research team will analyze historic city documents, interview key stakeholders, survey local officials and analyze spatial data across a selected set of local government case studies. The research team will document: changes to local plans and policies over time, the factors supporting and constraining these changes, and physical evolution of these centers over time. The goal will be to help local governments and metropolitan planning organizations develop understand the factors supporting and constraining these kinds of planning policies to help improve future implementation.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $169756
  • Contract Numbers:

    NITC 761

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

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

    National Institute for Transportation and Communities

    Portland State University
    P.O. Box 751
    Portland, OR  United States  97207
  • Project Managers:

    Hagedorn, Hau

  • Performing Organizations:

    University of Oregon, Eugene

    Department of Planning, Public Policy and Management, 119 Hendricks Hall
    Eugene, OR  United States  97403-1209

    University of Utah, Salt Lake City

    City & Metropolitan Planning
    201 South Presidents Circle
    Salt Lake City, UT  United States  84112
  • Principal Investigators:

    Margerum, Rich

    Bartholomew, Keith

    Lewis, Rebecca

  • Start Date: 20140701
  • Expected Completion Date: 20160630
  • Actual Completion Date: 20170301
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers Program

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01578145
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: National Institute for Transportation and Communities
  • Contract Numbers: NITC 761
  • Files: UTC, RIP
  • Created Date: Oct 13 2015 6:06PM