California is a national and international climate action leader. In 2015, the state further charted its course towards an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The state is pursuing a series of reforms to transportation planning in order to hit that long-term target.However, California is also on the leading edges of impacts from climate change. Drought has fundamentally changed a state that has so long depended on imported water and being America’s fruit, vegetable, and nut basket. As public health becomes a national focus, local agencies must respond by incorporating elements of health in their planning and design.Our three Arrowhead Symposium panelists discussed aspects of water, transit access, and public health reminding us of our civic responsibility as planners and architects of the built environment. Mark Gold spoke of the importance of water policy, reminding us, that “we are currently experiencing the biggest drought California has had in over 800 years.” Steven Cliff, spoke of how Caltrans has sought out to better incorporate health into their transit decisions reducing emissions and collaborating with planners, designers environmentalists, state and local offices, natural resources board, department of public health, and the community on their Sustainable Corridor Implementation. Lastly, Jean Armbruster, reminded [...]
The Monday afternoon panel on Managing Transportation Change brought together a unique group of transportation planning experts. Staying true to the Arrowhead theme, the panelists zeroed in on different elements of change in California’s growing transportation system, including infrastructure, policy, and management.In 2013, Senate Bill 743 forever changed the way California agencies looked at automobile congestion under the California Environmental Quality Act. Fred Dock, Transportation Director at the City of Pasadena, kicked off the panel by reflecting on his experience implementing SB 743 in Pasadena. Dock, who brings over 35 years of transportation planning and engineering experience to the table, discussed the ups and downs that come with implementing such drastic changes at the municipal level, specifically focusing on changing congestion metrics from level of service (LOS) to vehicle miles traveled (VMT). Fred attributed Pasadena’s success to the City’s willingness to shift the emphasis from individual intersection performance and automobile dominated policies to greenhouse gas reduction strategies and alternative modes of transportation.Garth Hopkins, Assistant Division Chief at Caltrans, followed Fred with a thoughtful discussion on Caltrans’ internal transformation after the release of the State Smart Transportation Initiative (SSTI) findings. The SSTI, charged with improving sustainability, productivity, and accountability of state [...]
What strategies can planners and other urban managers use to envision, communicate, and implement change in cities? Both the general public and individuals within an organization have a tendency to be averse to change and risk.Compensating for risk aversion and uncertainty is often necessary for a single actor to successfully implement change, but what happens when change is brought by a multitude of forces?In this session, John Keisler, Innovation Team Director with the City of Long Beach and Paul Moore, Principal at Nelson Nygaard discuss the need for change in urban environments.John Keisler introduced organizations and people as organisms that must change to survive. Both require leaders to help them change when they either cannot or will not. Keisler argued that change requires a vision and a good leader to both shape and share a vision.To realize visions, organizations also need missions and objectives to identify key strategies to accomplish the overarching vision. Keisler identified two common barriers to change that affect both individuals and organizations. The first is technical change, which includes the adoption of new applications and may occur quickly. The second is cultural change, which occurs more slowly and is more difficult to implement as it involves history, [...]
As we conclude the many engaging and thought-provoking discussions had at the 2015 Arrowhead Symposium, we cannot help but share a bit of this year's magic with you. This year we explored how policy, technological, and environmental change will shape the future of urban and regional planning. We considered three themes: civic innovation, open data, and an accelerating pace of change. It was the 25th annual installment of the Arrowhead Symposium, which is always an intimate, invite-only gathering and a deep dive into some aspect of the transportation-land use-environment connection.We've put together three stories to offer a glimpse into this year's Symposium discussion:1. Changes Facing Urban and Regional Planning2. Refocusing Planning: The Mainstreaming of Public Health and Environmental Goals3. Managing Transportation ChangeWe're quite grateful to all of our sponsors, speakers, and attendees for making it such a good experience.