A Personal Website of Dr. Catherine Ross @ Georgia Institute of Technology


Health Impact Assessment in the United States

Ross, Catherine L., Orenstein, Marla, Botchwey, Nisha
Springer-Verlag: April 2014. (ISBN-10: 1461473020 | ISBN-13: 978-1461473022)

This book focuses on HIA as a tool for policy in the US Brings together the theory, evidence, training resources for incorporating health into routine public practices and provides guidelines for methods and best practices in HIA​

A new public policy initiative is proposed, or a large-scale construction project. What is its potential impact on the health of the population? Are there adverse effects to address, health benefits to be promoted, some combination of both? A Health Impact Assessment (HIA) is a cross-disciplinary means of answering these and other complex questions, so programs, projects, or policies can be adjusted accordingly.

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 book's expert coverage includes:

  • The importance of HIA to policy development.
  • Introduction to public health, community planning, and health assessment.
  • Overview of the core concepts of HIA, with illustrative examples.
  • Step-by-step guide to conducting an HIA, from screening to evaluation.
  • Emerging technologies shaping HIA tools and procedures.
  • Appendices featuring sample assessment sections and other resources.

Megaregions, Prosperity, and Sustainability

Spatial Planning for Future Prosperity and Sustainability

Book under contract with Routledge, 2012-2014

The world’s mega-cities are forming megaregions, which stretch hundreds of miles across countries. As more people and economic activities are expected to continue to concentrate in these regions, countries are developing policies to secure the competitive advantages of these regions necessary for their economic success.

Although existing literature recognizes these trends, little analysis has been carried out at the theoretical level; in particular how and why megaregions form, where they are explicitly located and how they are defined.

This book constitutes a thorough examination of the characteristics of megaregions and reveals current challenges and future opportunities, as well as a guide to developing policies necessary for ensuring future prosperity and sustainable development within them.


Planning for Global Competitiveness

Edited by Ross, Catherine L.
Washington DC: Island Press, 2009. (ISBN-13: 978-1597265867| ISBN-10: 1597265861)

The concept of “the city” —as well as “the state” and “the nation state” —is passé, agree contributors to this insightful book. The new scale for considering economic strength and growth opportunities is “the megaregion,” a network of metropolitan centers and their surrounding areas that are spatially and functionally linked through environmental, economic, and infrastructure interactions.

Recently a great deal of attention has been focused on the emergence of the European Union and on European spatial planning, which has boosted the region’s competitiveness. Megaregions applies these emerging concepts in an American context. It addresses critical questions for our future: What are the spatial implications of local, regional, national, and global trends within the context of sustainability, economic competitiveness, and social equity? How can we address housing, transportation, and infrastructure needs in growing megaregions? How can we develop and implement the policy changes necessary to make viable, livable megaregions?

By the year 2050, megaregions will contain two-thirds of the U.S. population. Given the projected growth of the U.S. population and the accompanying geographic changes, this forward-looking book argues that U.S. planners and policymakers must examine and implement the megaregion as a new and appropriate framework.

Contributors, all of whom are leaders in their academic and professional specialties, address the most critical issues confronting the U.S. over the next fifty years. At the same time, they examine ways in which the idea of megaregions might help address our concerns about equity, the economy, and the environment. Together, these essays define the theoretical, analytical, and operational underpinnings of a new structure that could respond to the anticipated upheavals in U.S. population and living patterns.

The Inner City: Urban Poverty and Economic Development in the Next Century

Boston, Thomas and Ross, Catherine L.
New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers 1997. (ISBN-13: 978-1560009801 ISBN-10: 1560009802)

Michael Porter has argued that a sustainable economic base can be created in the inner city only if it has been created elsewhere: through private, for-profit, initiatives and investment based on economic self-interest and genuine competitive advantage-not through artificial inducements, charity, or government. Porter's ideas have prompted endorsement as well as criticism. More importantly, they have inspired a search for new solutions to inner city distress as well as a reassessment of current approaches. The Inner City defines a core debate in the United States over the future of a racially divided urban America. It is of inestimable importance to policy analysts, government officials, African American studies scholars, urban studies specialists, sociologists, and all those concerned with inner city revitalization.

Book Chapters

Ross, Catherine L., “Regional Growth, Transportation, and Congestion: The Atlanta Problem,” Part 3, Chapter 14 in Planning Atlanta Published by APA Planners Press, 2014 ISBN: 978-1-61190-126-9, December 2014

Ross, Catherine L. and Rao, Arthi, “HIA in the U.S.:  Practice, Policy and Legal Underpinnings.” Integrating Health Impact Assessment (HIA) into the Policy Process: Lessons and Experiences from around the World. Oxford University Press, April 2013

Ross, Catherine L. and Amy K. Danner. 2010. “Beyond the Metropolis: Megaregions and the Global Economy.” Building Metropolitan Atlanta: Past, Present, and Future. Atlanta Chapter for the Congress for New Urbanism: April 2010, pp. 21-22.

Ross, Catherine L. and Michelle J. Marcus. 2010. “Calculating for Health: The Atlanta BeltLine Health Impact Assessment and Study.” Building Metropolitan Atlanta: Past, Present, and Future.  Atlanta Chapter for the Congress for New Urbanism: April 2010, pp 68-70.

Ross, Catherine. “Smart Growth:  A National PerspectiveDr. Catherine Ross, Harry West Professor Georgia Institute of Technology

Ross, Catherine L. and Michelle Marcus. “Roadways and Health: Making the Case for
Collaboration.” In Shireen Malekafzali (Ed.), Healthy, Equitable Transportation Policy: Recommendations and Research (PolicyLink, Prevention Institute, Convergence Partnership, 2009).

Ross, Catherine L. “Regional Transportation and Development in Atlanta.” In Hack, Gary, Eugénie Birch, Paul Sedway, and Mitchell Silver (Eds.) Local Planning: Contemporary Principles and Practice (Washington, DC: International City/County Management Association, 2009).

Ross, Catherine L. and Nancy Green Leigh. “Planning, Urban Revitalization and the Inner City: An Exploration of Structural Racism.” In Birch, Eugénie (Ed.), The Urban and Regional Planning Reader (London: Routledge Urban Series, 2009).

Ross, Catherine, “Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven, But Nobody Wants to Die”, In Atlanta Women Speak (St. Barthelemy Press, 2002).

Ross, Catherine L, “Human Health Burden of Transportation.” In Critical Issues in Transportation 2002 (Transportation Research Board the National Academies, 2001)

Ross, Catherine. “Transportation Planning.” In Catanese, A. and J. Snyder, (Eds.), Introduction to Urban Planning (New York: McGraw Hill, 1988).
The Chapter examines the major theories underlying contemporary transportation planning and outlines future issues.

Ross, Catherine. “Transportation Infrastructure:  Current and Projected Needs.” In Stein, Jay M. (Ed.) Public Infrastructure Planning and Management (Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications, Urban Affairs Annual Review Series, Volume 33, 1988).
The Chapter includes a definition of need, an assessment of the facilities, and an examination of innovative financing methods.

Refereed Articles

Catherine Ross, Myungje Woo and Fangru Wang, “Megaregions and regional sustainability,” International Journal of Urban Sciences, Volume 20, Number 3, November 2016.

Wang, Lan, and Ross, Catherine, “Healthy City Planning and Assessment: Initiation and Trend”, Urban Planning International, Vol.31 No.4, August 2016.

Ross, Catherine, Elliot Sperling, and Subhrajit Subhrajit Guhathakurta, “Adopting a New Energy Economy in the United States”, Energy Procedia 88 (2016), 139-145, Energy Procedia, June 2016.

Zhang, Wenwen, Subhrajit Guhathakurta and Catherine Ross, “Trends in Automobile Energy Use and GHD Emissions in Suburban and Inner City Neighborhoods: Lessons from Metropolitan Phoenix, USA”, Energy Procedia 88 (2016) 82 – 87, Energy Procedia, June 2016.

Catherine Ross, Ph.D. Myungje Woo, Ph.D. Wang, Fangru. “Megaregions and Regional Sustainability”, International Journal of Urban Sciences, Pages 1-19 | Published online: 03 Jun 2016.

Hylton, Peter, Ross, Catherine, “Identifying Factors that Influence Logistics Clusters’ Competitiveness”, Regional Studies, January 14, 2016.

Catherine Ross, Sperling Elliot, “Adopting a New Energy Economy in the United States and Megaregions”, Applied Energy Journal, December 26, 2015.

Dannenberg Andrew L.; Ricklin, Anna; Ross, Catherine L.; Schwartz, Michael; West, Julie; White, Steve, and Wier, Megan L., “Use of Health Impact Assessment for Transportation Planning – Importance of Transportation Agency Involvement in the Process,” Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, No. 2452, Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, Washington, D.C., 2014, pp. 71-80. DOI: 10.3141/2452-09

Rao, Arthi; Ross, Catherine L., “Health Impact Assessments and Healthy Schools,” Journal of Planning Education and Research 2014, Vol. 34 (2) 141-1582, 34: 141 DOI: 10.1177/0739456X14531488 9 May 2014

Woo, Myungje; Ross, Catherine L. and Boston, Thomas D., “Do Megaregions Produce Greater Regional Convergence or Divergence? Implications for Spatial Planning and Infrastructure Investment”, Journal of Urban Planning and Development, 10.1061/(ASCE)UP.1943-5444.0000198 , 04014013. 17 February 2014.

Ross, Catherine L., West, Harry, Smith, S. and Rao, A., “Health Impact Assessment (HIA): An innovative tool for transportation planning, Case Study: health impact assessment of the Atlanta Regional PLAN 2040”, State of Transportation Planning, April 2013, Pages 42-46.

Ross, Catherine L., et al, “Health Impact Assessment of the Atlanta BeltLine” American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Volume 42, Issue 3, March 2012, Pages 203-213.

Amekudzi, Adjo, Smith, Mshadoni, Brodie, Stefanie, Fischer, Jamie, Ross, Catherine, “Impacts of Improbable Justice on Transportation: a Performance-Based Framework for Benchmarking.  Transportation Research Record of the national Academies, Washington, 2012

Catherine L. Ross and Myungje Woo. “The Identification and Assessment of Potential High-Speed Rail (HSR) Routes from a Megaregion Perspective. Transportation Research Record:No. 2307, Transportation Research Board of the National Academies,Washington,2012.

Catherine L. Ross, Policy & PracticeTransport and Megaregions: High-Speed Rail in the United States”, Town Planning Review, Volume 82, Issue 3, 2011, Pages 341-357.

Catherine L. Ross, Bruce Stiftel, Myungje Woo and Arthi Rao. “Measuring Regional Transport Sustainability: An Exploration”, The Urban Lawyer, fall, 2010/ Winter 2011, 42-4/43-1, Pages 67-89.

Ross, Catherine L. and Yang, Jiawen “Assessing China’s Mega-Regional Mobility in a Comparative Context”, Transportation Research Board, ISSN: 0361-1981, Transportation Research Record:  Journal of the Transportation Research Board, Issue Number 2244, 2011, pp 61-68 (Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, Washington.

Benjamin R. Rajotte, Catherine L. Ross, Chinyere O. Ekechi, and Vladimir N. Cadet. 2011. “Health in all Policies: Addressing the Legal and Policy Foundations of Health Impact Assessment”. Journal of Law, Medicine, and Ethics (JLME) Special Symposium Issue, National PHL Conference, pp. 27-29.

Ross, Catherine L., Yi Lin Pei, Adjo Amekudzi, Michael D. Meyer, and Elise M. Barella. 2010. “Social, Environmental, and Economic Sustainability.” Transportation Research Record, Journal of the Transportation Research Board, September 2010, pp 73-80.

Jin Nam, Myungje Woo, and Catherine L. Ross. 2011. “Financing Tools for Urban Revitalization Projects: Analysis of U.S. Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Statues and Case Law”. Journal of the Korea Planners Association Vol. 45(7), pp. 47-65.

Barrella, Elise, Adjo Amekudzi, Michael D. Meyer, Catherine L. Ross and Diane Turchetta, “Best Practices and Common Approaches for Considering Sustainability at U.S. State Departments of Transportation” Transportation Research Record, Journal of the Transportation Research Board, Planning 2010, Issue Number: 2174, ,pp.10-18.

Pei, Yi Lin, Adjo A. Amekudzi, Michael D. Meyer, Elise M. Barrella, Catherine L. Ross, “Performance Measurement Frameworks and the Development of Effective Sustainable Transport Strategies and Indicators” Transportation Research Record, Journal of the Transportation Research Board, Environmental and Economic Sustainability , 2010

Morallos, D.; Amekudzi, A.; Ross, C., and M. Meyer. “Value for Money Analysis in U.S. Transportation Public-Private Partnerships” Transportation Research Record, Journal of the Transportation Research Board, Vol. 2115, 2009, pp. 27-36.

Bodea, Tudor D., Laurie Garrow, Michael D. Meyer, and Catherine L. Ross, “Socio-demographic and built environment influences on the odds of being overweight or obese: The Atlanta experience” Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Volume 43, Issue 4, May 2009, Pages 430-444

Bodea, Tudor D., Laurie Garrow, Michael D. Meyer, and Catherine L. Ross, “Explaining Obesity with Urban Form: A Cautionary Tale.” Transportation, Volume 35, Issue 2, March 2008, Pages 179-199

Amekudzi, Adjo, Linda Thomas-Mobley and Catherine Ross “Transportation Planning and Infrastructure Delivery in Major and Megacities. Transportation Research Board: Transportation Research Record, Journal of the Transportation Research Board, No. 1997, pp. 17-23, 2007

Realff , Matthew J., Steven P. French, Berdinus A. Bras, Catherine L. Ross, Nancey Green Leigh, and Ning Ai, "Modeling Obsolete Computer Stock Under Regional Data Constraints: An Atlanta Case Study", Conservation and Recycling, Volume 51, Issue 4, October 2007, Pages 847-869

Yang, Jiawen and Catherine Ross, 2007, “Implementing Spatial Planning in China’s Market Economy,” Urban Planning Forum (in Chinese), No. 6.

Dannenberg, Andrew L., Ross, Catherine L., et. al, “Growing the Field of Health Impact Assessment in the United States: An Agenda for Research and Practice” American Journal of Public Health, Volume 96, Issue 2, February 2006, Pages 262-270

Ross, Catherine L. and Jessica Harbour “Footprint for an International City:  Transportation and Redevelopment” Georgia State University Law Review Symposium. Georgia State Law Review, February 2006.

Ross, Catherine L. and Nancy Green Leigh. “Planning, Urban Revitalization and the Inner City: An Exploration of Structural Racism.” Journal of Planning Literature. Volume 14, Issue 3, February 2000, pages 367-380.

Peponis, John, Catherine Ross and Mahbub Rashid, “The Structure of Urban Space Movement and Co-presence: The Case of Atlanta.” Geoforum. Vol. 28, No.3-4, pp. 341-358, November 1997.

Peponis, John, Catherine Ross et al., “Regularity and Change in Urban Space:  A Syntactic Analysis of Movement and Co-presence in Atlanta,” Ekistics, 1998.

Ross, Catherine, R. Guensler and P. Stevens, “A Spatial and Statistical Analysis of Commercial Vehicle Activity in Metropolitan Atlanta.”  Transportation Research Record, April 1998. 

Nelson, Arthur, Michael Meyer and Catherine Ross, “Parking Supply Policy and Transit Use: Case Study of Atlanta, Georgia “ Transportation Research Record, Transportation Research Board, Transportation Research Board. No. 1604, 1997. 

Nelson, Arthur, Thomas L. Sanchez, Catherine L. Ross, and Michael Meyer, “Rail Transit in the Suburbs Case Study of Transit Use in Atlanta’s Affluent Northern Tier.”  Transportation Research Record. No. 1571, 1997 

Ross, Catherine and Jeffrey W. Davis “Multijurisdictional Project Evaluation in Chattanooga Urban Area.” Journal of Urban Planning and Development. Vol. 122, No.  2, June 1996.

Boston, Thomas and Catherine Ross. “Location Preferences of Successful African Owned Businesses in Atlanta.” The Review of Black Political Economy. Vol. 24, No. 2 and 3, Fall/Winter 1996.

Ross, Catherine, et. al., “An Analysis of Travel Behavior Using Three Parameter Data Loggers,” Journal of Transportation Engineering. Vol. 121, No. 4, July-August 1995.

Ross, Catherine, and Scott Barker, “The Georgia State Route 400 Extension: Tollway Prototype or Last of a Breed?”  ASCE Journal,1995 Transportation Congress. Summer, 1995.

Ross, Catherine.  “A Planning Agenda,” Journal of Planning Education and Research, Vol. 13, No. 2, Spring 1994.

Ross, Catherine, “Converging Themes: A Look to the Future.” Journal of Planning Education and Research, Vol. 13, No. 3, Spring 1994.

Ferguson, Erik, Catherine Ross and Michael Meyer.  “Transportation Management Associations.”  Transportation Quarterly, Spring 1993.

Ferguson, Erik, Catherine Ross and Michael Meyer. “PC Software for Urban Transportation Planning” Journal of the American Planning Association, Vol. 58, No. 2, Spring 1992.

Ross, Catherine, E. Ferguson, and M. Meyer “Transportation Management Associations and Privatization.” Transportation Research Record, Transportation Research Board. Transportation Demand Management, No. 1346. 1992

Ferguson, E., C. Ross and M. Meyer, “Transportation Management Associations: Organization, Implementation, Evaluation.” Transportation Research Record, No. 1346, 1992.

 Ross, Catherine. Symposium, Guest Editor. “Responses to Suburban Highway Congestion: An Overview”, Journal of Planning Education and Research, Vol. 10, No. 2, winter, 1991.

Ross, Catherine.  “Increasing Minority and Female Representation in the Profession: A Call for Diversity” Journal of Planning Education and Research, V. 9, No. 2, winter 1990.

Ross, Catherine et. al., “Private Sector Provision of Transit Services: A Case Study” American Society of Civil Engineers, Journal of Urban Planning and Development, V. 26, No. 1, May 1990.

Ross, Catherine. “Transportation Planning and Cultural Resources Protection: Examples from Georgia” Southeastern Geographer, V. 116, No. 2, November 1986 - with David Brown.

Ross, Catherine and Jay Stein. “Business vs. Residential Perceptions of a Proposed Rail Station: Implications for Transit Planning,” Transportation Quarterly ,October 1985.

Ross, Catherine. “The Influence of Race and Gender on Perceptions of Community Impact,” Environmental Impact Assessment Review, V. 5, No. 2, June 1985.

Ross, Catherine. “Measuring Transportation System Effectiveness,” Journal of Urban Affairs, V. 5, No. 2, June 1983.