Livability in State Departments of Transportation

University Montana State University
Principal Investigators Tiffany Allen
David Kack
PI Contact Information Western Transportation Institute
Montana State University
PO Box 174250, Bozeman, MT 59717
• (406) 994-2461,
• (406) 994-7526,
Funding Source(s) (Amounts provided by each agency or organization) Small Urban and Rural Livability Center – $18,000
Total Project Cost $18,000
Agency ID or Contract Number SURLC 17-004
Report Date March 2017
Brief Description of Research Project The term “livability,” as it relates to transportation, is not well defined at the state level. The nation-wide discussion of livability increased with the creation of a national level, joint Interagency Partnership for Sustainable Communities between the U.S. Department of Transportation, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Environmental Protection Agency. This initiative has identified six principles of livability (US HUD, USDOT, US EPA, 2009), including: 1) Provide more transportation choices; 2) Promote equitable, affordable housing; 3) Enhance economic competitiveness; 4) Support existing communities; 5) Coordinate policies and leverage investment; and 6) Value communities and neighborhoods. The goal of this project was to determine if State DOTs had defined “livability,” and if so, are they incorporating it in their policies, procedures, and projects in a meaningful way.

Researchers reviewed the websites of 51 State DOTs, including the District of Columbia, to learn if the DOT has a definition of “livability” or “livable community.” If a definition of livability was found, then these sources (i.e. website, literature) were also reviewed for information on how the definition and livability principles are being implemented. In addition, if a definition of livability was found and information was found on how the State DOT is implementing livability principles, researchers also reviewed and searched each website to learn whether or not progress on implementing livability principles and goals is being tracked or measured.

Describe Implementation of Research Outcomes (or why not implemented)


Results from this research should help state DOTs define livability as it pertains to their plans and projects.
Impacts/Benefits of Implementation (actual, not anticipated) Impacts not yet determined, as this project was just completed.
Web Links  Small Urban & Rural Transit Center Report-
State DOT Livability Report_FINAL