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., Hylton, Peter and Wang, Fangru, “Integrating Health into Metropolitan Transportation Planning”, in Transportation, Land Use and Environmental Planning. Elsevier Press, 2020.

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

Ross, Catherine L., and Marcus, Michelle J. 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, pp 68-70, April 2010.

Ross, Catherine L., “Smart Growth: A National Perspective” Dr. Catherine L. Ross, Harry West Professor Georgia Institute of Technology.

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

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

Ross, Catherine L., “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 L., In Cantonese, A. and J. Snyder, (Eds.), “Transportation Planning.” 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 L., Stein, Jay M. (Ed.) “Transportation Infrastructure: Current and Projected Needs.” 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

Ross, Catherine L., Yoo, C. and Stiftel B. “Transport Sustainability in the United States: Leading from Below, ”Journal of Comparative Urban Law and Policy 4 (1,2020): 622-653

Sperling, E. and Ross, Catherine L. “Strategically Aligning Capital Improvement Prioritization to Performance Goals” Transportation Research Record, Article Number 787639, July 2018.

Wang, Fangru, Ross, Catherine L., “Machine Learning Travel Mode Choices: Comparing the Performance of an Extreme Gradient Boosting Model with a Multinomial Logit Model, Transportation Research Board, Transportation Research Record, 0361198118773556, May 2018.

Hylton, Peter, Ross, Catherine L., “Agglomeration economies’ influence on logistics clusters’ growth and competitiveness, Informa UK Limited in Regional Studies Regional Studies, Volume 52, pp.350-361; doi:10.1080/00343404.2017.1327708, 25 July 2017.

Zhang, Wenwen, Guhathakurta, Subhrajit, Pendyala, Ram, Garikapati, Venu and Ross, Catherine L., “A Generalizable Method for Estimating Household Energy by Neighborhoods in US Urban Regions,” World Engineers Summit – Applied Energy Symposium and Forum: Low Carbon Cities & Urban Energy Joint Conference, WES-CUE, Singapore, 19-21 July 2017.

Ross, Catherine L., and Guhathakurta, Subhrajit, “Autonomous Vehicles and Energy Impacts: A Scenario Analysis,” World Engineers Summit – Applied Energy Symposium & Forum: Low Carbon Cities & Urban Energy Joint Conference, accepted: WES-CUE 2017, Singapore, 19 – 21 July 2017.

Wang, Fangru and Ross, Catherine L., “New potential for multimodal connection: exploring the relationship between taxi and transit in New York City (NYC), Transportation (2017). doi:10.1007/s11116-017-9787-x, pp 1-22, Transportation | Planning – Policy – Research – Practice|, Springer, New York 2017, May 30, 2017.

Ross, Catherine L., Woo, Myungje and Wang, Fangru, “Megaregions and regional sustainability,” International Journal of Urban Sciences, Volume 20, Number 3, pp. 19, November 2016.

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

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

Zhang, Wenwen, Guhathakurta, Subhrajit and Ross, Catherine L., “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.

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

Ross, Catherine L. and 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., pp. 71-80. DOI: 10.3141/2452-09; 2014.

Rao, Arthi and 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 (Special issue on Green Health) 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.; Hylton, Peter; Lee, David Jung-Hwi, “Megaregion Planning: the State of Practice in Metropolitan Planning Organizations and State Departments of Transportation”, Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board. 2453: 171-177; 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, Pages 42-46, April 2013.

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

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

Ross, Catherine L. and Woo, Myungje “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.

Dablanc, Laetitia and Ross, Catherine L., Atlanta: A Mega Logistics Center in the Piedmont Atlantic Megaregion (PAM). Journal of Transport Geography, Elsevier, 24, pp 432-442, 2012.

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

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, pp 61-68 (Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, Washington, 2011.

Rajotte, Benjamin R., Ross, Catherine L., Ekechi, Chinyere O. and Cadet, Vladimir N. “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, 2011.

Nam, Jin, Woo, Myungje, and Ross, Catherine L. “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, 2011.

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

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

Barella, Elise, Amekudzi, Adjo, Meyer, Michael D., Ross, Catherine L. and Turchetta, Diane, “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, Issue Number: 2174, pp.10-18, 2010.

Pei, Yi Lin, Amekudzi, Adjo, Meyer, Michael D., Barella, Elise M., Ross, Catherine L., “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.L., and Meyer, M. “Value for Money Analysis in U.S. Transportation Public-Private Partnerships” Transportation Research Record, Journal of the Transportation Research Board, Vol. 2115, pp. 27-36, 2009.

Bodea, Tudor D., Garrow, Laurie Meyer, Michael D. and Ross, Catherine L., “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, Pages 430-444, May 2009.

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

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

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

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, Pages 262-270, February 2006.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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