Economic Evaluation

Downtown, Los Angeles

Better Planning with More Comprehensive Transportation Cost Analysis

Transportation planning decisions often involve trade-offs between various economic impacts, including direct user costs, and various external costs imposed on other people. All of these impacts should be considered in planning analysis.

December 23, 2019 - Todd Litman

Complete Street

Defending Multi-Modalism

An efficient and equitable transport system must be diverse to serve diverse travel demands. Planners need better tools to quantify and communicate the benefits of walking, cycling and public transit to sometimes skeptical decision makers.

December 5, 2016 - Todd Litman

Car Bike Lane

Responding to Bike Improvement Skeptics

Communities can receive high economic returns from appropriate bicycle facility invesments. It is important that advocates have solid arguments for responding to skeptics.

October 12, 2015 - Todd Litman

Transit Oriented Development

Study: Public Transit Provides Significant and Diverse Benefits

A new Mineta Transportation Institute study finds significant, measurable net benefits from U.S. public transit services.

July 16, 2015 - Mineta Transportation Institute

Measuring Transport System Efficiency

There are various ways to define transport efficiency which can lead to very different conclusions as to what transport policies and projects are best overall. Conventional planning tends to evaluate transport system performance based on mobility, which assumes that faster travel is always better. A new planning paradigm evaluates transport system performance based on accessibility (people's ability to access services and activities) which leads to very different definitions of efficiency and very different conclusions about how to improve transport systems.

January 1, 2013 - Todd Litman

How Would MLK, Jesus or Che Plan?

<p style="margin-top: 6pt" class="MsoNormal">I spent last week at the <a href="">Asian Development Bank</a> (ADB) headquarters in Manila, in the Philippines, where we are starting on an exciting but humbling project: developing a more comprehensive framework for transport project evaluation. Among other factors, this project will develop better methods for incorporating <a href="">social equity</a> impacts into transport planning. This is important in any community, and particularly in developing countries where many people are extremely poor. What transport policies and planning practices respond to their needs?</p>

January 17, 2011 - Todd Litman

Valuing The Precious Hours Of Our Lives

<p style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt" class="MsoNormal"> <span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: small">Time is a limited and valuable resource. As much as possible, people should spend the precious hours of their lives in the most satisfying and productive possible ways. This has important implications for transportation planning, since most people spend a significant amount of time in transport, and travel time savings are often the greatest projected benefits of transport projects such as roadway and transit service improvements.</span> </p>

June 14, 2010 - Todd Litman

Healthy Community Planning - What's It Worth?

<p style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt" class="MsoNormal"> <span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: small">We live in a wonderful age! Scientists have proven that many simple, affordable, and often enjoyable activities make us healthier and happier: breath fresh air, avoid dangerous driving, be physically active, eat fresh fruits and vegetables, maintain friendships, play games, and avoid excessive stress. Even chocolate, red wine and sex are perscribed, in moderation, for health sake. </span> </p>

April 15, 2010 - Todd Litman

A Trillion Dollars, Or Cents Per Day

<p> <span style="font-size: small; font-family: Calibri">The current U.S. healthcare reform proposal is often described as costing a trillion dollars. That will make it difficult to pass. However, the same program could legitimately be described as costing residents just cents per day (or, “less than a cup of coffee”), which would enhance its chance of success (a trillion dollars over ten years is $100 billion annually, about $320 annually per capita, or less than $1 per day, which can legitimately be called “cents per day”). </span> </p>

July 27, 2009 - Todd Litman

Junior Designer

Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates

Executive Director/Administrator of City Planning

Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Agency/City of Chattanooga

Assistant Planner

City of Willits

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Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.