Promoting Environmental Justice Populations’ Access to Opportunities within Suburban Boomtowns: An Interdisciplinary, Mixed-Methods Approach to Addressing Infrastructure Needs

Scant research has considered transportation infrastructure development within the context of suburban boomtowns, specifically transportation needs among individuals already at elevated risks for transportation disadvantage, e.g., environmental justice (EJ) populations including lower-income persons and those with disabilities (U.S. Department of Transportation, 2012). This study responds to this knowledge gap by utilizing a community-engaged interdisciplinary approach to assess divergence between economic growth and transportation infrastructure development within a suburban boomtown, and the impact of potential divergence on access to opportunities for environmental justice (EJ) populations. The interdisciplinary team, comprised of social work and civil engineering researchers will measure residents’ perspectives of the transportation infrastructure development in the area over the past decade, the extent to which this development has matched the economic growth, and the implications for access to affordable quality housing, employment, quality public education, as well as engagement in cultural and social activities. The team will utilize a mixed-methods (focus groups, primary surveys, and secondary data), exploratory design to collect responses from a diverse sample of stakeholders. The researchers will compare results within and between environmental justice populations and those who may have greater transportation mobility, e.g., own personal vehicles. Social work will lead the community-engaged component of the data collection, and civil engineering will conduct statistical modeling related to mapping census data onto transit access. The team will produce a regional infrastructure profile, which can inform public policies that support targeted transportation infrastructure development. Moreover, study results more widely will inform the knowledge base regarding the relationship between economic growth and transportation infrastructure within suburban boomtowns, and how to improve their co-development, with a particular emphasis on the planning needs of EJ populations.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $40000
  • Contract Numbers:

    NITC 1263

  • 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

    Box 19308
    Arlington, TX  United States  76019-0308
  • 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

    Box 19308
    Arlington, TX  United States  76019-0308
  • Principal Investigators:

    Cronley , Courtney

    Hyun, Kate

    Crutchfield, Jandel

  • Start Date: 20181201
  • Expected Completion Date: 20191130
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01687327
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: National Institute for Transportation and Communities
  • Contract Numbers: NITC 1263
  • Files: UTC, RiP
  • Created Date: Nov 28 2018 7:27PM