If annual events are exciting (think: March Madness, tax returns), then quadrennial are exceptionally so (Leap Day, World Cup). Decennial events, however, are a true occasion. This year, for only the 24th time in American history, the federal government is undertaking its constitutionally mandated count of everyone living in the United States – the U.S. Census.
It’s been a busy period of travel for me, starting with a scenario planning conference in Connecticut and moving onto a resilience conference in Washington, DC. During November 13th-15th, 2019, I took part in TRB’s 2nd International Conference on Resilience to Natural Hazards and Extreme Weather Events . Overall, the conference focused on best practices for adapting transportation networks to better withstand natural disasters.
Scenario planning – a flexible and indispensable methodology for considering alternative futures and identifying appropriate planning responses – is a growing area of practice for EDR Group. As we explain in our Emerging Topic page on scenario planning, it is a useful tool for guiding infrastructure investment plans in the face of uncertainty related to sea level rise, technology adoption, economic growth, and just about any uncertain factor you can imagine.
Tags: #scenario planning
Last week I attended the TRB Transportation Planning Applications Conference in Portland, OR. To those familiar with the TRB Annual Meeting, TRBAppcon (as it’s called) is a smaller and less formal event with a greater emphasis on showcasing practical techniques and approaches to transportation planning.
This week I am in beautiful Portland, Oregon attending the Transportation Research Board’s Transportation Planning Applications Conference, which showcases practice-ready transportation planning applications. At the corner of research and practice, the conference is a great opportunity for participants to share innovative methods of policy analysis and technical transportation planning. I am particularly excited to join workshops, panel discussions, and lightning talks on topics like freight data, multimodal performance measures, and data visualization.
The Port of Long Beach – along with its neighbor the Port of Los Angeles – is the nation’s largest gateway for international container trade. EDR Group recently completed the Port of Long Beach Economic Impact Study, which quantifies the massive economic impacts of this critical economic engine and its role in the national economy. The study assesses the full range of Port activities, including not only cargo operations, but also cruise passenger services, retail, tourism, and real estate functions. The media has taken note, with stories appearing in publications like the Long Beach Business Journal and Maritime Executive. The study is available on the Port of Long Beach web site.
Last week at the TRB Annual Meeting, I presented to a packed lectern session on the topic “Shared Mobility, Ridehailing, and Emerging Transportation Trends.” Covering diverse topics such as microtransit regulation, the effect of shared mobility on driver behavior, and strategies for reducing empty vehicle miles, the lectern session drew well over 250 attendees – a standing room only affair!
This fall, Hurricanes Florence and Michael presented a story that is sadly familiar. Disaster strikes, the waters recede and reveal the damage. A national conversation on resilience ensues. Will we be prepared next time? Can we be stronger than the storm? In adapting our infrastructure for a changed climate, the impetus for action is clear. However, translating resilience from buzzword to action is a generational challenge for planners. Understanding the history and meaning of the concept is a good place to start. Here goes.
Scott Middleton is the newest member of the EDR Group team. Before joining, Scott worked as an analyst and planner at the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Volpe National Transportation Systems Center and completed graduate studies at MIT. At MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning, he completed a master’s thesis that investigated rider behavior and preferences in on-demand ride services (e.g., Uber, Lyft, Waymo). He plans to contribute to EDR Group’s growing body of work in this exciting new discipline.