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Structured for Success

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The Structured for Success Program

Structured for Success is NACTO’s ongoing effort to assess and optimize internal procedures within city governments.

The goal: build capacity for city staff and departments to deliver projects in a systematic and consistent manner.

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Structured for Success: the Practitioner's Paper

Building off the process and findings of Green Light for Great Streets, in early 2020, NACTO launched a second installment in this program: Structured for Success. In this round of research with city staff across the US, we are evaluating what “success” looks like for a city transportation agency. Through in-depth conversations and outreach with staff across our member city network, we’ll examine which organizational structures and processes agencies can adopt to more consistently deliver high-quality projects.

This work will result in practitioner’s guidance for transportation agencies looking to improve their organizational structure and project delivery processes.

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Green Light for Great Streets: the Agency Accelerator Project

Between June 2017 and June 2018, NACTO explored structural challenges transportation agencies face when working to improve safety and livability on their streets. Through this project, NACTO uncovered patterns and opportunities that cities often use to get more done, faster.

In Phase I, NACTO conducted a comprehensive assessment of the responsibilities, capabilities, and resources of transportation departments across the U.S. During Phase II, NACTO incorporated findings from these assessments during in-depth “Agency Accelerator” work in San José and Pittsburgh, helping each city work through some of the structural challenges impacting their project delivery chain.

As a result of this project, NACTO found that there are clear markers of success within agencies that are most effective at delivering projects:

  • Defined and clear processes for implementation, and well-informed staff
  • Recurring or guaranteed funding sources
  • Project pipelines built around standardized designs that allow cities to expedite work
  • A strategic use of consultants to bolster efforts or train on unusual skills
  • A clear vision, strong political will, and defined metrics for success

Read the report online >>

Read it as a pdf >>

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Structured for Success

Green Light for Great Streets

City transportation departments often work in tangibles: transit lane miles built, bike share stations per square mile, length of pedestrian crossing distances. Just as important as these on-the-ground, measurable elements, are the internal procedures that plan, design, and build them. The...

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