The Center will develop and execute an Information Exchange and Marketing Plan to provide a framework for expanding outreach and distribution of Center products and services to key transportation stakeholders. The framework will include leveraging existing networks through current partners like the Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations and the Transportation Research Board. Furthermore, the plan will outline methods for using social media platforms and other web-based tools to increase engagement and outreach with other environment and transportation stakeholders. Information Exchange & Marketing Plan
Communities of Practice (COPs) provide forums for invited professionals to discuss and exchange information, experiences, ideas, and best practices on a range of environmental topics related to the planning, design, construction, maintenance, and operation of highway and transit systems. The goal of a Community of Practice is to promote environmental stewardship and encourage innovative ways to streamline the transportation delivery process.
Under this work plan, the Center will host two Communities of Practice. One focused on Stormwater Management and the other focused on Environmental Justice. Each COP will engage regularly through conference calls, emails, webinars, and other web-based platforms. Discussions will be facilitated by Center technical experts and will provide a forum to share experiences and best practices, and will discuss current and emerging issues in Stormwater Management and Environmental Justice. Each COP will be open to varying disciplines within the 52 AASHTO member departments and will identify work products and deliverables.
Under this task, the Center for Environmental Excellence will support the participation of state DOT practitioners in national conferences, and summits, such as the Transportation Research Board annual meeting and committee meetings. The Center will compile a list of potential speakers comprised of state DOT practitioners, members of the Center Technical Working Group including State DOT representatives, MPOs, resource agencies, and other selected experts that are available to make presentations during national conferences and other venues. This task will enable the Center to develop customizable presentations for practitioners to deliver during AASHTO Standing Committees, Transportation Research Board sessions and meetings, and other relevant conferences, summits, and meetings to be identified in collaboration with FHWA.
The Center will maintain the existing website (environment.transportation.org), which is the central location for DOT staff, resource agencies, and other transportation partners and practitioners to access the Center’s resources, products and programs. The website will be regularly updated with news and information regarding environmental legislation, webinars, trainings, innovations and case studies. Additionally, publications, recordings and other information produced through this work plan will be posted to the website. The Technical Working Group will help identify relevant news sources, best practices and other types of content to publish on the website.
The Center will also continue to maintain the Transportation and Environmental Research Ideas (TERI) database – a central storehouse for tracking and sharing new transportation and environmental research ideas. TERI provides a timely, organized, and comprehensive list of research ideas to policy makers and researchers as they make choices in forums such as TRB’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program. Additionally, the Center will maintain the Case Law Updates on Environment (CLUE) and the Programmatic Agreements Library (PAL) databases.
Under the Center’s last Work Plan (April 1, 2017 – March 31, 2018), a two-day Resiliency Peer Exchange was organized and held in Washington, D.C. in November 2017. This event brought together 37 state DOT leaders, including four state DOT CEOs, Deputy Directors, Chief Engineers, and others to discuss how resiliency is being addressed in state DOTs and to engage in facilitated conversations to develop a list of “one key” things that state DOTs can consider to increase resiliency efforts on an enterprise-wide basis. The outcome of the peer exchange was a summary report with a list of recommendations for the Center to take on in the next Work Plan (April 1, 2018 – March 31, 2019).
This task will enable the Center to conduct follow-up resilience-focused work related to the recommendations identified through the peer exchange. The Center will produce a set of digital tools to be used as resources for state DOTs. Understanding that the needs of the state DOTs are on a continuum, these resources will be designed to cover a wide range of topics related to risk and resilience.
The Center will work with the AASHTO Communications Division to identify and produce a series of videos to post on the Center website. The video series will provide an opportunity to highlight best practices and lessons learned through state DOT practitioner interviews. The short videos will be posted prominently on the Center website and will be shown on AASHTOTV as appropriate.
Under this task, the Center will organize and convene a one-day peer exchange for traffic noise practitioners. The peer exchange will be held in conjunction with the TRB ADC 40 summer meeting in Washington, DC (June 2018). AASHTO will produce a summary for the peer exchange and will post the summary, presentations and other materials to the Center website within 90 days of the peer exchange.
This task will enable the Center, in collaboration with FHWA and members of the Center’s Technical Working Group, to develop tools and resources that AASHTO members can quickly access for best practices and lessons learned through their peers. The Center website will serve as the primary portal for sharing information and resources and a new tab would be created under the “Environmental Topics” heading on the Center website. This portal will include webinar recordings, a list of links to additional resources and information from FHWA, EPA, and other applicable resource agencies and additional information as appropriate. Additionally, depending on the information collected during the resource gathering, the Center might elect to publish a Practitioner’s Handbook focused on streamlining. Additionally, the Center will host a one hour webinar to review and discuss the new streamlining-related content available on the Center website.
Working with the Center Technical Working Group, the Center will produce a 3-year strategic plan including mission, vision, goals, and actions that will be taken to achieve the goals. The Center will conduct interviews and surveys of the Center Technical Working Group members to solicit ideas about the strategic plan as well as conduct outreach to the AASHTO Committee on Environment & Sustainability Steering Committee to ensure a broad overview of state DOT viewpoints are captured through the information collection process. The Center will produce the draft strategic plan based on the outreach and discussions with the TWG and the AASHTO Committee on Environment & Sustainability Steering Committee and FHWA. Once the draft has been circulated for review, comments and edits will be incorporated and the final draft strategic plan will be submitted to the TWG for their approval. Once the strategic plan is approved, it will be posted to the Center website.