OTREC well represented at D.C. livability conference
Ten OTREC researchers, staff, and students participated in the Transportation Research Board and University Transportation Center Transportation Systems for Livable Communities Conference last week in Washington, D.C. The conference brought together researchers and practitioners from transportation, housing and public health.
Highlights of the conference included an insightful discussion on defining livability. Despite inconclusive debate on the definition, participants agreed that for the concept to be embraced it can neither be dictated nor prescribed. Performance measures also were a recurring theme of the two-day conference. Concepts explored included: re-evaluating outdated measures such as volume-to-capacity ratio and level of service to better reflect different modes, shifting thinking from mobility to accessibility and proximity, and data standardization and measurement methodologies. To complete the livability picture, the multigenerational and socioeconomic considerations need to be included.
The following four OTREC research projects were highlighted during the conference poster session:
- Implementation of Active Living Policies by Land Use and Transportation Agencies: Jennifer Dill, Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium, Portland State University; Deborah Howe, Temple University
- Yes, They Do Walk in Suburbia: Suburban Multifamily Housing and Trips to Strips: Nico Larco, University of Oregon
- “Fix This Tool”: Empowering Citizens to Spatially Assess their Active Transportation Environment: Marc Schlossberg, Ken Kato, Christo Brehm, and Dana Maher, University of Oregon
- Universities as Catalysts for Retrofitting Communities Toward Livability: The Sustainable Cities Initiative: Marc Schlossberg and Nico Larco, Sustainable Cities Initiative
The conference validated much of OTREC's current research and provided further evidence that we are moving livability research in the right direction. OTREC's livability research focuses on tools for decision-making, planning and design, economics and performance measures.
Presentations are posted on the TRB conference Website. Conference tweets are on Twitter at #utclivability.