New Paper in TRR

9 01 2012

Framework for Sustainability Assessment by Transportation Agencies

Tara Lakshmi Ramani, Josias Zietsman, Henrik Gudmundsson, Ralph P. Hall, Greg Marsden

Abstract: The application of the concept of sustainability by transportation agencies is often limited by agencies’ understanding of what sustainability means and how it can be integrated into the regular functions of the agencies. This paper presents a flexible approach and framework that can equip transportation agencies with the tools required to understand what sustainability means and incorporate sustainability into the organizational culture. This approach and method can also help agencies lay the groundwork for the use of performance measures so the agencies can progress toward sustainability goals and outcomes. The framework development process was an extension of findings from literature review, case studies, and interviews conducted as part of ongoing research under the NCHRP project Sustainability Performance Measures for State Departments of Transportation and Other Transportation Agencies. The proposed framework can be applied or adapted for use in a range of transportation agencies, including state departments of transportation and metropolitan planning organizations. A key feature of this framework is that it moves away from the traditional sustainable transportation perspective and instead promotes the consideration of transportation from a holistic sustainable development perspective. The framework defines broadly applicable transportation goals that can be broken down into a menu of objectives and performance measures to cover various transportation contexts. The framework is also designed to direct an agency’s strategic planning toward the practical implementation of sustainability through performance measurement.

Citation: Ramani, T. L., Zietsman, J., Gudmundsson, H., Hall, R. P. , and Marsden, G. (2011) Framework for Sustainability Assessment by Transportation Agencies. Transportation Research Record, No. 2242, 2011, pp. 9–18.

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