Troy Ernst drives different routes to work, depending on the time of day and the season. He uses Google Maps alerts to navigate around accidents. But there’s no secret route or magic app that can whisk Ernst from his home in Grayson to his job in Atlanta. Most days it takes 50 minutes to an hour to get there, if accidents don’t muck things up. It’s another hour or more to get home… Ernst isn’t the only one wasting time on area highways. Every day, hundreds of thousands of commuters are reminded that Atlanta has some of the nation’s worst traffic. The region ranks high in surveys of traffic delays, commuter stress and other costs of congestion… Transportation experts say highways alone are not sufficient to address the traffic congestion of modern cities. They say light and heavy rail and other transit options should be part of the mix. So should high-occupancy vehicle and toll lanes, “smart” highway technology like ramp meters and advanced “incident management” systems to clear accidents quickly. Atlanta has a well-developed highway system and limited rail service in MARTA. And it has some of those other features, but not enough, said Catherine Ross, a transportation systems planning expert at Georgia Tech. “I think we have a skeletal structure,” Ross said. “We have a good system in many ways. But it’s not a very complex system.”
Professor Catherine L. Ross recently delivered the keynote address, “The Viable City: Infrastructure and Universal Design,” at an international conference in Rome, Italy. Hosting visitors and guests from around the globe, Engendering Cities – Designing Sustainable and Inclusive Urban Environments for All focused on gender sensitive perspective in the interrelated fields of cities, transport and energy and climate change.
Ross addressed the audience in the historic building of the Italian Presidency of the Council of Ministers on September 25, 2014 and gave insight into her long experience in transport policy and research, as well as her interest in gender and diversity.
The two-day conference was organized by genderSTE, a network of European researchers and policy makers supported by the European Commission.
At each Georgia Tech home game during the football season, the Georgia Power Professor of Excellence Award is presented to one faculty member from one of Tech’s six colleges. Dr. Catherine Ross, Harry West Professor of City and Regional Planning and director of the Center for Quality Growth and Regional Development (CQGRD), has been selected to receive one of the six 2014 awards and will be honored at the football game on Saturday, October 11, 2014. Dr. Ross’ picture will appear on the scoreboard, and information about her research will be read to the crowd. Additionally, a contribution will be made to the College of Architecture in her name.
Dr. Ross is an internationally known transportation and urban planner. She is one of the world’s experts on Megaregions and sustainability – bringing together regions and cities around transportation, water, energy, land development and health, and creating places that compete in a global world. Her book, Megaregions and Global Competitiveness (2009), is a leading reference on these emerging geographies.
Her extensive research on regional resilience and sustainability focuses on water, energy and transportation. Her work has been funded by numerous public agencies, the private sector and many local, city, and state governments throughout the country and abroad. Her recent book “Health Impact Assessment in the United States,” was published in 2014 by Springer.
She is a member of the National Academy of Public Administration and a former Urban Land Institute Fellow. In 2009, she advised the Obama Administration on the first-ever White House Office of Urban Affairs.
Georgia Tech’s undefeated football team will be playing Duke on Saturday when Dr. Ross receives her award.
Dr. Catherine Ross, director of the Center for Quality Growth and Regional Development and professor of City and Regional Planning, Dr. Nisha Botchwey, associate professor of City and Regional Planning, and Maria Orenstein of Habitat Health Impact Consulting, have co-authored a new book entitled “Health Impact Assessment in the United States.” The book focuses on Health Impact Assessment (HIA) as a tool for policy in the US, and brings together the theory, evidence, and training resources for incorporating health into routine public practices.
“Health Impact Assessment in the United States” analyzes the goals, tools, and methods of HIA, and the competencies that are central to establishing best practices. It sets out the core principles that differentiate HIA from environmental and similar assessments, fleshing them out with case examples from the U.S. and abroad. Details of each step of the HIA process take follow-through into account, giving readers insights into not only collecting and evaluating data, but also communicating findings effectively to decision-makers and stakeholders.
The HIA has an increasingly vital place in the future of health-related policy, making “Health Impact Assessment in the United States” a valued manual and critical ideabook for students and practitioners in public health, public policy, urban planning, and community planning.
Dr. Catherine Ross, director of Georgia Tech's Center for Quality Growth and Regional Development (CQGRD) and professor of city and regional planning, delivered a keynote address to the "Connected Places: Freight Movement and Megaregions Peer Exchange." The meeting provided an opportunity for private sector industry leaders, decision makers, national experts, elected officials, and academics to share ideas on increasing the efficiency of freight movement within and between regions. Attending the exchange were members of the Federal Highway Administration, Federal Transit Administration, Atlanta Regional Commission, CQGRD, Metro Atlanta Chamber, and the National Center for Transportation System Productivity and Management.
FREDERICK LAW OLMSTED JR. GETS HIS DAY: INDUSTRY LEADERS GATHER TO EXPLORE LEGACY, CONTEMPORARY LESSONS: First of a Two-Part Symposium Focuses on Work of Often-Overlooked Leader In Landscape Architecture, Preservation and Planning WASHINGTON—Oct. 10, 2013—Providing long-overdue recognition of the rich planning and design legacy of Frederick Law Olmsted Jr., the National Association for Olmsted Parks (NAOP) and its partners today will present Frederick Law Olmsted Jr.: Inspirations for the 21st Century at the National Building Museum. Today’s event (hashtag: #FLOJr) is the first of a two-part symposium that, together, will be the most comprehensive presentations to date of the full scope of Frederick Law Olmsted Jr.’s lasting legacy. NAOP is bringing together leaders in their fields to explore Olmsted Jr.’s work and find inspiration and guidance to address contemporary issues in city, regional and environmental planning, landscape architecture and design. “Olmsted Jr.’s visionary work continues to offer insights and models for solving complex issues, such as more sustainable planning of our cities and regions to improve their infrastructure, use of natural resources, and quality of life; provisioning of parks and open spaces, particularly in urban areas; and addressing the challenges in government and professional practice to confront these issues,” said NAOP Executive Director Iris Gestram. “The two symposia will help us develop the resources to more fully reference Olmsted Jr.’s work and apply his vision and solutions to current-day concerns.” Speakers and panelists at today’s event include renowned experts in their fields: award-winning landscape architect Laurie D. Olin; Thomas J. Campanella, professor of urbanism and city planning at Cornell University; Dr. Catherine Ross, a world expert on “Megaregions”; and private philanthropist Daniel Jones, founder of “21st Century Parks,” a Louisville, Ky., non-profit developing one of the largest new metropolitan parks projects in the country.
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has invited Dr. Catherine Ross, Harry West Professor and Deputy Director of Georgia Tech’s National Center for Transportation Productivity and Management, to serve as a plenary speaker and panel member at the 2012 International Transport Forum in Leipzig, Germany.
The panel session will address how an adequate governance structure can be designed to develop and manage a seamless transport project across metropolitan areas or between border cities.
More than 350 policy makers, government officials are expected to be in attendance. Joining ministers of transport, secretary generals and mayors from around the globe, Ross will bring her perspective and thought leadership on connecting cities and regions through research-based transportation decisions.
Ross has worked with government, corporate and nonprofit organizations on research projects in transportation and infrastructure, as well as regional science (megaregions). She is the author of Megaregions: Planning for Global Competitiveness (Ed), Island Press, 2009, and serves as principal investigator on a number of research efforts funded by the United States Department of Transportation to assess the impact of megaregions on both the methodological and operations of current transportation planning practice and administration. Ross consulted with the Obama administration on the first ever White House Office of Urban Affairs and is on the Board of Directors of the Auto Club Group.
The OECD is an international economic organization of 34 countries founded in 1961 to stimulate economic progress and world trade. It is a forum of countries committed to democracy and the market economy, providing a platform to compare policy experiences; to seek answers to common problems; to identify good practices; and to coordinate domestic and international policies of its members.
Architecture Professor Ellen Dunham-Jones and City and Regional and Planning doctoral student Ning Ai have received the 2010-2011 Women of Excellence Award from the Georgia Tech College of Architecture’s National Science Foundation ADVANCE Program.
As ADVANCE Professor in the Georgia Tech College of Architecture, Catherine Ross solicits nominations and presents the Women of Excellence awards. Ross is Harry West Professor of City and Regional Planning and director of the Center for Quality Growth and Regional Development. Awards are presented annually to individuals who have distinguished themselves through professional leadership, mentoring, academic excellence and sustained service on behalf of the Georgia Institute of Technology and to the College of Architecture. Read more about the ADVANCE Program at Georgia Tech.
Catherine Ross, director of the Center for Quality Growth at Georgia Tech In 1947, with little definitive economic and financial information, we made the decision to begin to construct a vast interstate highway system. Today, we would all agree that investment has spurred the remarkable economic success and competitive advantage we enjoy. Our nation and Georgia need a new comprehensive transportation policy for the future. If we were to start today it would still take 10-plus years to construct high-speed rail. Undoubtedly, there are corridors where high-speed rail provides a competitive advantage and their numbers will increase in the future.
Economic growth, distance between cities, congestion in primary freight corridors, population growth, transit networks, connectivity to global gateways, location in a megaregion, location of multinational corporations all suggest high-speed rail is needed in Georgia's future. It is fairly assured there will be high-speed connectivity from Charlotte to Washington and up the Eastern Seaboard. The terminus of that great connectivity could be Charlotte, however. That terminus would not be optimal for Georgia's economic future.
Prof. Catherine Ross posted on the Wall Street Journal and talked about the sustainability challenges that cities are facing and the sustainable practices, such as the Atlanta Beltline project and megaregion-level planning.
Due to the economic recession and high rates of foreclosures, recovery from the recession must include a triple bottom line- people, planet, and profit. The home of 2020 will be closer to work, school, and stores. It will provide you with information and energy savings. Growth will occur in mid-sized cities, such as Charlotte, Austin, and Portland instead of super cities such as Houston. According to Dr. Ross, we must utilize the idea of megaregions in order to be economically viable instead of trying to stand alone and compete.
Catherine L. Ross, Harry West Professor and director of the Center for Quality Growth and Regional Development (CQGRD) at Georgia Institute of Technology, has been invited to the White House, in partnership with DOT and HUD, Clean Energy Forum. Secretary Ray LaHood (DOT) and Secretary Shaun Donovan (HUD) will speak about why action for a clean energy future is of vital importance and will then illicit responses and experiences from stakeholders regarding the issue. Ross has extensive experience in regional planning, infrastructure planning, and development. She is the author of the recently released "Megaregions: Planning for Global Competitiveness," published by Island Press in July 2009. Ross co-authored "The Inner City: Urban Poverty and Economic Development in the Next Century," published by Transaction Press. Ross advises the newly created White House Office of Urban Affairs .It is headed by Director Adolfo CarriÃ³n, Jr., who is charged with reporting directly to President Obama and concurrently to both Valerie Jarrett and to Melody Barnes.
“Regional planning that orches-trates the growth objectives of adjacent cities and towns could be the key to solving sometimes conflicting urban and suburban challenges that revolve around transportation, employment, infrastructure expansion, and environmental stewardship. A strong advocate for a regional approach is Catherine Ross, who has spent two decades exploring ways to make cities, neighborhoods, and regions safer and healthier places.” …
Catherine L. Ross, Harry West Professor and director of the Center for Quality Growth and Regional Development (CQGRD) at Georgia Institute of Technology, has been invited to assist President Barack Obama's recently created White House Office of Urban Affairs as it charts a new course for the nation. The White House Office of Urban Affairs was created for the purpose of coordinating federal agencies that impact urban policies in order to ensure thoughtful and integrated investment in urban areas. The office is also charged with identifying policies that will best leverage the assets of our metropolitan areas.
Adolfo Carrion Jr., director of Urban Affairs, recently stated, "We want to essentially tease out what the elements of a national agenda ought to be." Ross has extensive experience in regional planning, infrastructure planning and development. She is the author of the recently released "Megaregions: Planning for Global Competitiveness," published by Island Press in July 2009. Ross co-authored "The Inner City: Urban Poverty and Economic Development in the Next Century," published by Transaction Press. President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden created the White House Office of Urban Affairs to develop a strategy for metropolitan America and to help direct federal dollars targeted for urban areas. Carrion reports directly to the President and is responsible for coordinating all federal urban programs.
President Barack Obama addressed the urban and political leaders in the afternoon explaining how the federal government can develop policies to improve housing, education and transportation systems in urban areas.
“The president is going to put his muscle behind this,” Ross said in a telephone interview earlier today. “We will now have an urban agenda that we have never had before.”
Ellis was similarly impressed. “It was a pretty heady and exciting discussion,” said Ellis, who was sitting on the front row during the president’s talk and was introduced by Obama. “It was a great day.”
The all-day urban roundtable included the Secretary of Transportation, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, the Secretary of Labor, the Environmental Protection Administrator and the Small Business Administrator.
It also included experts from the Brooking Institution, the Ford Foundation and former cabinet members Federico Pena and Henry Cisneros, plus Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell as well as other people who “have been working in the trenches,” according to Ross.
“It was not the usual suspects,” she said. “There were only three academicians in a group of 25 or so. It was very hands on and implementation-oriented. They want to get the job done.”
The next step will be to go to a select group of urban areas to witness how some cities have been able to revitalize their communities. “They are planning to go around the country to showcase best practices,” Ellis said. “We know they are considering DeKalb County, and we hope they will come.”
Ellis added that much of the message from the president and his team was that “some of the most innovative solutions are from the bottom up,” and that the “federal government wants to be a resource and a partner.”
Ross, who used to be the executive director of the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority and has been working on urban issues for decades, called the entire day “very reaffirming.” She said that it is refreshing to work with an administration that has an urban focus and an urban agenda.
“I feel we have an opportunity to be on the ground floor,” Ross said. “They are so focused, it’s contagious. The president invigorates you, challenges you and excites you. He is very much a motivator.”
When Catherine Ross looks at a map of the Southeastern United States, city limits and state lines start to blur and something else comes into focus. She sees the rough draft of economic salvation, a web of seamless connectivity, metropolitan centers linked by roads, high-speed rail, water resources and thin air. She sees a more perfect union. Ross, director of GEORGIA TECH'S Center for Quality Growth & Regional Development (CQGRD), is one of the leading architects in a growing academic movement focusing on mega-regions as a framework for national planning and public investment, cutting across geographic and political boundaries to meet the economic and environmental challenges of the 21st century... “The global economy begs a different view of the world, and mega-regions allow us to engage in the world that happens around us. They allow us to have conversations in global, national, regional and local communities. They permeate all those levels,” says Ross, editor of the upcoming book, Mega-regions: Frontiers in Spatial Planning, which addresses some of the critical issues of the next 50 years, examining the roles of mega-regions in tackling equity, environmental and economic concerns.
The 2016 Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP) Annual Conference presented a unique opportunity with 14 past and current presidents attending the annual conference in Portland, Oregon. Dr. Catherine Ross served as the first female president of ACSP from 1993 to 1995. Watch below for an interview about Dr. Ross’ perspective about ACSP and her presidency experience. - Jan 16, 2018
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Catherine L. Ross delivered a talk on Transportation and the Economy at the Volpe’s 2014-2015 speaker series. Transportation investment is recognized by many as an engine for economic growth. A high quality transportation network is critical for creating a top performing economy and is a prerequisite for future growth. Volpe's 2014-2015 speaker series, Transportation and the Economy, is bringing together thought leaders and decision makers to discuss key issues related to transportation as an engine for economic growth. - Dec 9, 2014
Catherine L. Ross delivered the Keynote address during the session on Collaboration in Connectivity: Focus on Regions taking place at the International Transport Forum's 2012 Summit on "Seamless Transport: Making Connections" - Jul 11, 2014
Dr. Catherine Ross, director of Georgia Tech's Center for Quality Growth and Regional Development (CQGRD) and professor of city and regional planning, delivered a keynote address to the "Connected Places: Freight Movement and Megaregions Peer Exchange." The meeting provided an opportunity for private sector industry leaders, decision makers, national experts, elected officials, and academics to share ideas on increasing the efficiency of freight movement within and between regions. Attending the exchange were members of the Federal Highway Administration, Federal Transit Administration, Atlanta Regional Commission, CQGRD, Metro Atlanta Chamber, and the National Center for Transportation System Productivity and Management. - Jan 28, 2014
Catherine L. Ross was interviewed Regional Planning Panel Session: Frederick Law Olmsted Jr - Nature, People and Places. - Published on Nov 11, 2013
Media Policy Center Foundation The episodes of “Designing Healthy Communities” explored the question of “How we build where we live and how it affects our health”. - Published in 2009
This episode – “The 60th Anniversary of Regional Planning” – explores how metro Atlanta has prospered in the 60 years since the creation of the first regional planning agency and how those lessons will apply as the area’s explosive growth continues. The show also captures visions from regional leaders on the future of metro Atlanta. – 2009
Dr. Catherine Ross was interviewed by CBS Sunday Morning about the role of transportation infrastructure in city development. – 2009
Dr. Catherine Ross delivered a talk on the 2007 Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) Board Retreat on "Megaregions and Long-Range Planning" - 2007 Dr. Catherine Ross is the Harry West Professor in City & Regional Planning and Civil and Environment Engineering at Georgia Tech. She is also the director of the Center for Quality Growth & Regional Development.
Auto Club Group (ACG), American Automobile Association (AAA), Board of Director, 2011-present
AAA Executive Advisory Board, 2006 - 2011
Alliance of Regional Stewardship, 2004 - present
American Association of University Women, 1990 - present
American Planning Association (APA), 1976 - present
American Public Transportation Association (APTA), 2000- 2005
Association for Commuter Transportation (ACT), 2000 - 2005
Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP), 1978 to present-Past national president
Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations (AMPO), 1999 to present
Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau, 2003 - 2007
Atlanta Rotary Club, 2001 – present
Atlanta Streetcar Board of Directors, 2005 - 2007
Board Member of the Emory University Board of Visitors, 2000 - 2002
Board Member of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, 2001 – 2003
Board Member Georgia Forward, 2011 - present
Board Member of the Intelligent Transportation Society (ITS), 2001 - 2003, Atlanta Chapter
Board of Director Atlanta Chapter of the American Red Cross, 2000 - 2003
Board of Directors Clean Air Campaign, 2000 to 2003
Board of Directors Eno Transportation Foundation, 2001 - 2003
Board of Directors High Museum of Art, 2000 - 2006
Board of Directors Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE), 2001 - 2003
Board of Directors Robert Ferst Center for the Arts, Georgia Tech 2000
Conference of Minority Transportation Official (COMTO), 1983 - 2007
European Urban and Regional Studies, 1996 - 1999
Executive Committee of the Transportation Research Board, National Research Council of the National Academies, 2000 – 2004
Fulton County Criminal Justice Blue Ribbon Commission, 2004 - 2006
High Museum of Art Education Department Board Committee, 2004 – 2006
Home Depot, Sustainable Cities Institute 2010 - present
Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE), 1995 - present
Kent State University Foundation, 2004 – present
Lambda Alpha International Atlanta Chapter, Honorary Land Economics Society, 2010 -
League of Women Voters, 2001 - present
Metro Atlanta Quality Growth Task Force, 2004 - 2005
Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) Board of Directors, 1999 - 2003
Midtown Alliance Board of Directors, 2004 – present
National Academy of Public Administration, 2006 to present
National Academy of Sciences, Transportation Research Board of Directors, 2000 – 2004
National Advisory Board Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS), 2002 - 2004
National Association of Female Executives (NAFE), 2002- 2004
National Transit Institute (NTI),
National Trust for Historic Preservation, 2002 - present
Planners Network, 1980 - present
Planning Accreditation Board (PAB), 2001
President’s Council of Cornell Women, 200-2003
Progressive Redevelopment, Inc. Board of Directors, 2005 –to present
Robert Ferst Center for the Arts Advisory Board, 2001 to present
Sigma Xi, National Scientific Research Society, 1988 to present
Southern Growth Policies Board, 2006
State Smart Transportation Initiative, 2010 -
The Georgia Conservancy, 2004 – 2009
Transportation Planning Excellence Awards Federal Highway Administration, 2010
Urban Affairs Association (UAA), 1990 - present
Urban Land Institute (ULI), 1990 - present (District Council Steering Committee)
Westminster Strategic Plan Committee, 2003 - 2005
Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS) – Atlanta Chapter Women of the Year, 2000
Journal of Planning Literature, 2002-present
International Journal of Urban Science, 2010-present
Progress in Planning Editorial Board, 1995 to 2000
Journal of Planning Education and Research, Editorial Board, 1995 to 1997.