Newsletter: Centering Communities in Infrastructure Development

April 2024 Newsletter: Centering Communities in Infrastructure Development

It’s an exciting time to be working in transportation and infrastructure. Nearly every day, there is news about opportunities and projects that seek to change the century-old status quo in the United States to center community leadership and wisdom in implementing solutions that address equity and climate.

Community-based organizations have always done this intersectional work, leading the way in developing and enacting projects that specifically target the challenges they face, while laying out a path for a better future. The difference now is that for the first time, community leadership is being prioritized with financial support from a once-in-a-generation investment in American infrastructure to back that commitment up.

This is a large part of the work that NUMO is supporting with the Community Connectors Program. The 15 teams selected for the program are mobilizing to address the destructive and divisive outcomes of infrastructure decisions made in the past, such as the construction of national highways through the hearts of communities. We were thrilled to meet the teams in person last November in Atlanta, Georgia, where we got to know each other and began the process of repairing and reconnecting communities. Read our takeaways from the convening here.

We also learned last week that five of the teams are among a cohort that is being awarded funding from the Reconnecting Communities Pilot and Neighborhood Access and Equity discretionary grant programs! A total of $3.33 billion in grant awards will go toward reconnecting communities that were cut off by transportation infrastructure decades ago. Congratulations to:

  • Clean Air + Healthy Future for Albany | Albany, New York

  • Pleasant Hill Reconnection and Commercial Planning | Macon, Georgia

  • Bailey Avenue Corridor Improvements - Bus Rapid Transit Construction and Context-Sensitive Roadway Retrofit | Buffalo, New York

  • Bring Back 6th: Reconnecting, Restoring and Revitalizing the 6th Avenue North Corridor | Minneapolis, Minnesota

  • The National City/Southeast San Diego Greenspace Corridor Project | National City, California

This newsletter includes blogs that look at the innovative ways communities around the country are using grants to reimagine their own futures. We hope you will continue to join us as we track and support these efforts.

READ: Connecting Community Infrastructure Projects Through Technical Assistance and Capacity Building

As communities and local governments around the U.S. work together on creative, collaborative infrastructure projects that fundamentally shift the status quo, capacity building and technical assistance are critical to implementing and sustaining each project’s vision and benefits.

But not all efforts have the funding to support the challenging work of building inclusive coalitions to address intersectional problems. That’s why the 15 teams in the Community Connectors program are using capacity-building grants and connections to technical-assistance opportunities to support their needs and make their infrastructure dreams reality.

NUMO’s Madlyn McAuliffe takes a look at technical-assistance and capacity-building asks in a new blog here.

READ: Learning from Success – Centering Community in Infrastructure Development

Complex problems require innovative, intersectional solutions. Knowing that a one-size-fits-all approach wouldn’t work for them, these communities came together to create far-reaching plans to solve critical infrastructure and social challenges.

NUMO’s Justyn Huckleberry explores how these communities model a new approach here.

New Mobility Atlas Update: A (Last!) Look at Trends in Dockless, Shared Micromobility — and What’s Next

Here’s your chance to view the final update to the NUMO New Mobility Atlas! We are proud to have supported this effort for four years. We’ll still be keeping an eye on shared micromobility, since we believe it is an integral part of any connected, multimodal and low-carbon transportation system.

As for what it all means… NUMO’s Lydia Freehafer digs into the data to understand the trends, why shared micromobility is thriving in Europe and what is on the horizon for mobility policy and access in cities around the world. Learn more here.

*Archived data from this and past versions of the Atlas can be found here.*


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Header image: Brett Sayles/Pexels

Recent Posts

Connecting Community Infrastructure Projects Through Technical Assistance and Capacity Building

To make their innovative infrastructure projects possible, local communities in the U.S. need a civic infrastructure and technical assistance that support their long-term capacity.

Learning from Success: Centering Community in Infrastructure Development

Recent historic investments in U.S. infrastructure have given us the opportunity to alter the status quo to ensure projects benefit the communities they serve, but that requires a shift in the typical approach. Here's what we can learn from these U.S. communities that challenged the infrastructure development status quo.

Community Connectors Kickoff: Key Takeaways from the Atlanta Convening

In November 2023, the 15 Community Connectors grant program teams convened for a workshop in Atlanta, where they discussed values, goals, stakeholder networks and technical-assistance and capacity-building needs for their infrastructure projects. Read the key takeaways.

RELEASE: 15 Communities Selected for Inaugural Community Connectors Program

15 community-focused projects have been selected for the inaugural Community Connectors program.

RELEASE: Applications Open for the Community Connectors Grants Program to Repair Damage of Divisive Infrastructure

The Community Connectors grants program will partner and fund local leaders in the national effort to reconnect communities.