Research Projects

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Research Projects

STATUS: Complete YEAR: 2020 TOPIC AREA: Transportation planning, policy, and finance CENTER: PSR

Geospatial Approaches to Enhancing MPO Community Engagement

Project Summary

Project number: PSR-20-SP98
Funding source: USDOT
Contract number: 69A3551747109
Total cost: $31,215
Performance period: 10/1/2019 to 8/31/2021

Project description

Metropolitan planning organizations are responsible for overseeing urban planning in every major urban region in the country. In recent years the importance of building engagement with constituents to create more equitable and inclusive urban planning models has become a heightened priority. This white paper explored the benefits and best practices that would be needed to incorporate Geographic Information System (GIS) data visualizations into MPO outreach plans to further this goal. Key considerations included legal outreach requirements, current outreach goals, and implementation of GIS-based outreach. The researchers found that GIS data visualizations contain many elements that support and promote outreach that meets legal standards of the California Brown Act as well as federal ADA and Civil Rights requirements. Furthermore, GIS data visualizations offer unique opportunities for MPOs and constituents to engage in collaborative dialogues where MPOs can both disseminate information and collect constituent opinions and data in both synchronous and asynchronous manners. Recommendations for the incorporation of GIS data visualizations in MPO outreach plans include building cross-departmental collaboration between GIS teams, project leads, and outreach teams; leveraging existing relationships with stakeholders and community organizations especially among hard-to-reach communities; and increasing and developing social media engagement with constituents.


Tom O'Brien
Director, METRANS CSULB Programs
6300 State University Drive
Suite 255Long Beach, CA 90815
United States
[email protected]