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University of Utah wins grant for sustainable transportation research

The work of the partnership focuses on integrating land use and transportation, creating safe conditions for all users, and investments in transit and non-motorized infrastructure.

January 19, 2012 — U.S. Department of Transportation has announced a $3.5 million grant to a four-university consortium, including the University of Utah (the U), for research and education on sustainable transportation topics.

The consortium—called the Oregon-Utah Transportation Research and Education Consortium (OUTREC)—also includes the University of Oregon, Portland State University, and the Oregon Institute of Technology (OIT).

This new, two-year grant to OUTREC builds on prior work done by the three Oregon schools.

The addition of the University of Utah to the consortium brings considerable experience and strength to the group’s research capacity, and creates a broad Western regional dimension.

“This partnership brings together the best researchers from Oregon and Utah to address the problems that affect us all,” said Keith Bartholomew, associate professor of city and metropolitan planning at the U, and Utah campus leader in the consortium. “Our expertise in areas such as transit-oriented development and carbon emissions reduction, along with our history of successful and creative public engagement in planning processes, makes our respective states natural partners.”

Research and educational programs under the grant will focus on improving health and safety for transportation users; increasing the efficiency and understanding of cycling, walking and transit; integrating multimodal transportation with land use decisions; taking long-term action on transportation emissions and climate change; and making the best use of data performance measures and analytical tools.

“An important component is that the program is fully integrated into the academic missions of our campuses,” says Bartholomew. “The majority of researchers are faculty who teach, and we bring our work into our classrooms to engage students in the research process, which is vital for educating the professional planners of tomorrow.”

Each project under the new grant will require a one-to-one match from non-federal sources, doubling the effect of each federal dollar awarded. Projects under the grant will be awarded competitively and will begin this coming fall.

OUTREC is one of 22 grant recipients, out of 63 applicants. The grant competition challenged university transportation center leaders to demonstrate the ability and experience to produce the country’s best transportation research and educational programs.

Find out more about OUTREC research and programs at


The Department of City & Metropolitan Planning at the University of Utah is a vibrant community of students and faculty committed to exploring and guiding quality planning and development of our cities and metropolitan regions.