Yesenia Perez

Program Manager of Climate Equity

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For decades, discriminatory practices like redlining have systematically denied economic services, investments, and opportunities to communities of color, triggering cycles of disinvestment and neglect. Inequitable transportation infrastructure policies compounded these inequities, with redlined communities of color often targeted for highways and industrial facilities, disrupting communities and saddling residents with higher levels of pollution. Central to these systemic injustices is that marginalized communities rarely have a say in the transportation planning and decision-making processes that impact them.

Advancing clean transportation and mobility initiatives that are effective and equitable must start with a deep understanding of the existing gaps, barriers, and needs of communities that have been underserved by our existing transportation system.

This report, Roadmap to Equitable Community Transportation: Best Practices for Conducting Mobility Needs assessments, highlights common methods for conducting needs assessments and guides community engagement partners and transportation planners in determining how to design a mobility needs assessment process for their communities.

Policy Recommendations

Greenlining identified seven best practices that uphold equity in community engagement and planning

  • Build intentional, deep relationships with community based organizations (CBOs) and community leaders
  • Integrate a multi-sector approach
  • Compensate community members 
  • Empower community through exposure to new mobility technologies and services 
  • Integrate art and storytelling into community visioning activities 
  • Celebrate community involvement 
  • Share and collect feedback from the community on final results of the needs assessment

To learn more about the importance of centering community voice and power when advancing transportation and mobility access, read our Greenlining Mobility Framework and Why Community Power is the Greatest Innovation in Transportation blog.

For more recommendations on equitable collaboration between community based organizations and transportation planners, read our Beyond Engagement: Equity Principles to Guide State Departments of Transportation and Community Collaboration report and Equity Beyond Engagement: Making Federal Dollars Work for Frontline Communities blog.

Yesenia Perez

Program Manager of Climate Equity