Addressing the sustainability and mobility challenges ahead will require cities to think creatively and strategically about their capacity, resources, and tools. In exploring and analyzing the structural challenges faced by transportation agencies across North America, NACTO hopes to shed some light on ways that cities can meet these challenges with increasing clarity, efficiency, and vision.
Throughout the course of this project, many cities expressed interest in receiving continued support in thinking and working through their thorniest structural challenges. The questions explored in this work have direct implications for the challenges facing city transportation departments across North America, such as: What agency structures or project delivery processes can help (or hinder) project delivery? What resources do DOT directors need to increase agency efficiency? How should agencies communicate, internally and externally, about goals and priorities? Is there a “secret sauce” for creating an effective transportation agency? When does it make sense for a city to create a DOT or otherwise consolidate transportation
In addition to facilitating ongoing knowledge-sharing opportunities like the Designing Cities Conference, and capacity-building programs like Leadership NACTO, NACTO would like to develop a resource document designed to identify big structural questions, highlight existing practices, and recommend theories of change. NACTO proposes convening a group of cities that have successfully implemented processes that support effective project delivery to guide the development of that resource, and plans to hold workshops and trainings for other cities on how to use it. Through this and all of NACTO’s work, the organization continues to look for opportunities to expand and develop cities’ expertise to build safer, more sustainable, vibrant streets.
NACTO thanks the Ford Greenfield Labs team for funding and providing valuable insights on this work, our gracious and enthusiastic city partners in San José and Pittsburgh, and the innumerable people we spoke with throughout the NACTO network who shared their time and knowledge with us in the execution of this project.