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Low-income housing -- United States, Community development -- United States, Rural development -- United States -- Planning


Communities throughout the nation face a variety of interconnected transportation, livability and sustainability challenges that can only be effectively addressed through regional planning collaboration. These challenges are particularly pressing in gateway and natural amenity region (GNAR) communities throughout the western United States. This project engaged graduate students in developing curricular materials to teach planning students, professional planners and community members (1) the core concepts and skills of regional collaborative transportation and land use planning and (2) about the unique transportation and planning-related challenges and opportunities in GNAR communities. It did so through an applied graduate-level studio course taught in fall 2016 and fall 2017, as well as through leveraging the ongoing Zion Regional Collaborative (ZRC). The ZRC is a regional planning effort aimed at enhancing livability and promoting more sustainable transportation and land use decision making along Utah State Route 9, the main transportation corridor leading to Zion National Park in southern Utah. Through using this effort as a laboratory, faculty and graduate students learned about and studied real-world efforts to support collaborative regional transportation and land use planning. Engaging students in the ZRC also provided them an opportunity to gain experience with facilitation, collaborative processes, and key planning and transportation challenges in gateway and natural amenity communities. Building on what they learned from the ZRC, as well as literature reviews, background readings and insights from experts, graduate students in the studio course developed two parallel toolkits. The first toolkit is designed to teach graduate and undergraduate students the theory and practice of collaborative regional transportation and land use planning, particularly in gateway and natural amenity communities, via a set of role-play simulations, scenarios and teaching guidelines. The second toolkit is aimed at community members and professionals, providing a set of tools and resources to assist GNAR communities in addressing their key transportation, land use, and planning-related challenges and opportunities. All tools developed via this project are free and will be made available online. This project also resulted in a number of additional impacts and activities, ranging from providing valuable professional opportunities for graduate students to catalyzing collaborative regional planning efforts elsewhere; these additional impacts and activities are detailed in this report.


This is a final report, NITC-ED-1074, from the NITC program of TREC at Portland State University, and can be found online at:

The project brief associated with this report can be found online at:



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