New York — The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO), which represents more than 50 major U.S. cities, announced a year-long initiative, Green Light for Great Streets, to identify the factors that slow the implementation of transformative transportation projects in cities across the country. With the support of Greenfield Labs, Ford Smart Mobility LLC’s business model incubator, NACTO will work closely with a number of pilot cities throughout the year, and present a series of recommendations to dramatically improve the efficiency and effectiveness with which cities implement innovative street designs and transportation improvements.
For cities to thrive and to be safe, sustainable, and equitable, city governments must be nimble, innovative, and structured to deliver results. Today’s transportation departments are tackling more than routine street maintenance: they’re re-imagining streets as public spaces designed to move people, sustain local economies, and support vibrant communities. At the same time, cities across the U.S. are also realizing that they must re-evaluate and often re-structure their transportation departments to deliver needed transportation and public realm projects at the scale and pace that the public needs and deserves.
Green Light for Great Streets will encourage urban design excellence by helping cities make changes that allow them to move from individual project delivery to a comprehensive program with a pipeline of transformative projects. With this work, city goals — like building a city-wide high-capacity transit network or redesigning streets to support increased pedestrian activity — will be achievable on a broad scale, rather than implemented on what is now often now a piecemeal basis.
NACTO, with the support of Greenfield Labs, will conduct a benchmarking analysis of city organizational structures, processes and capacity, diagnosing common impediments to progress and analyzing proven strategies for aligning a city’s resources around actionable goals. Building on this foundational research, NACTO will work closely with selected pilot cities to identify and address specific structural challenges that impede project and program delivery.
“We know that better street design can save lives while also improving mobility,” said Linda Bailey, NACTO Executive Director. “But the whole network needs to change to benefit everyone. We’re excited to help cities establish ways to quickly implement proven street designs for safer, more equitable, and more livable cities.”
“The Ford Smart Mobility City Solutions team is collaborating with cities around the world to identify and understand transportation issues, and develop mobility solutions that can help ease congestion, reduce our environmental footprint and transform urban ecosystems,” said Erica Klampfl, Greenfield Labs Director, Ford Smart Mobility. “Standing still is not an option anymore and the research Greenfield Labs is conducting with NACTO will help cities identify the roadblocks that prevent them from implementing critical solutions to transportation issues.”
Greenfield Labs is a research and innovation team within Ford Smart Mobility LLC, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ford Motor Company. Greenfield Labs works to apply human-centered approaches to building new products and services that serve the real and pressing needs of cities and the people in them.