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The Transportation Research Board of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, supported by the U.S. Department of Transportation, invites your participation in the first Conference on Advancing Transportation Equity (CATE) to be held September 7-9, 2021 in Washington, D.C. We welcome contributions from all areas of transportation practice and research,  including those that address links between transportation and housing, telecommunications, health, policing, or economic development. We are also interested in receiving submissions from those working on the front lines of transportation equity and justice within community-based and non-profit organizations. Participants will represent a wide range of lived and professional experiences and discuss how diverse perspectives are included in policy development, project selection, and mitigation to advance transportation equity. 

CATE will offer an agenda for participants to attend traditional panel and technical sessions. The conference will include sessions using accepted submissions from this Call for Abstracts that are socially interactive, engaging, and enable creative learning and sharing opportunities.  It will also include virtual participation opportunities for presenters and attendees. 

l SUBMIT AN ABSTRACT l

Overview
It is now well established that the benefits and burdens of transportation infrastructure investments do not fall evenly across all groups. Automobile access affords the ability to reach a wide variety of opportunities relatively quickly. High-quality public transit, walking, and cycling access often depends on securing relatively expensive housing in highly desirable areas. But most urban and rural areas across the United States require automobile use to achieve meaningful levels of activity participation. People of color and low-income people in both rural and urban communities are less likely to own cars and more likely to depend on slower public transit modes. People with disabilities, youth, older adults, and single-parent households, all face additional barriers and constraints as they travel throughout cities and regions to meet their daily needs. The end result is that individuals are prevented from reaching their full potential due to transportation-related issues.

Issues of representation, diversity, and inclusion, also hamper progress. While people of color, immigrants, and women make up the majority of the front line workers in transportation systems, they are often not equally present at the professional, engineering, and management levels. Our transportation systems and networks reflect our education and development decisions over the last hundred years. This conference, with numerous standing committee co-sponsors, was initiated to better understand these issues and lead the research and policy development to address them.

Two major crises--global climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic--have accentuated some of these inequalities and revealed significant consequences. New technologies like micromobility, automated vehicles, and ridehailing are also beginning to transform our transportation systems in unequal and unpredictable ways. In that context this conference is the continuation of a longer effort and process to understand how transportation systems both contribute to and address inequities and inequality. This is more than just direct transportation policy and technology but the intersection of local, regional state and national decisions and priorities and policy. It needs to be the product of community expertise as well as technical and academic research and analysis. 

Call for Abstracts - Papers, Presentations, Panel Sessions, and Non-traditional Submissions
In the context of understanding the broad issues of transportation equity and how it both defines and is defined by transportation systems and policy, we are seeking presentations of innovative work in the topic areas listed below as well as other related areas. We will consider individual submissions, as well as three or four presentations submitted together as part of a session organized around a particular theme. We will also consider non-traditional submission such as photos, artwork, and other creative mechanisms enabling social and transportation equity practices. 

The overarching conference theme is Bridging the Divide: Connecting People, Research, and Practice. The theme speaks to the broad chasm between academic research and real-world planning practice related to transportation equity. It also addresses the disconnect between the transportation equity analyses that agencies conduct and conditions on the ground. Accordingly, we seek contributions from researchers, practitioners, and others that emphasize concrete outcomes and examples of advancing transportation equity goals and objectives. Specific thematic areas include, but are not limited to:

  1. Program and project descriptions and reflections related to collaboration and outreach mechanisms. These could include:
    • Public-private partnerships
    • Education and communication campaigns
    • Finding alternatives and equitable distribution  
    • Efforts to provide meaningful and substantive participation in transportation planning and operation
    • Integrating equity in long-range planning, performance management, safe routes to schools, and more.
       
  2. Framing the future of equity research to help steer the field towards issues that are emerging and critical to a community or agency.
     
  3. Transportation equity in the real world. These submissions will relate to the experiences of community-based and non-profit organizations who are engaged in efforts to advance transportation equity.
     
  4. Studies and analysis of current or future transportation equity conditions using either qualitative or quantitative data including: 
    • Publicly available data like census demographics, job locations, and transportation network information
    • Gentrification/displacement/housing affordability
    • Impacts of laws, regulations, and policies
    • Impacts of new technology on equity conditions
       
  5. Identifying good practices, methods and tools for measuring progress towards equity through transportation and system performance strategies with specific emphasis on:
    • Equitable transit-oriented development
    • Safety and enforcement
    • All hazards transportation resilience
    • Climate resilience
    • Americans with Disabilities Act applications
    • Non-motorized modes
    • Public transit service planning
    • Broader economic development
    • Education and workforce development to account for equitable transportation
    • Serving people experiencing homelessness

Key Dates

Abstract Submission Deadline      February 19, 2021
Notification of Accepted Presenters      March 15, 2021
Registration Opens      October 2020
Paper Submission Deadline  October 1, 2021
Presentation Submission Deadline  August 24, 2021


Evaluation Criteria
Abstract submissions will be evaluated based on the following criteria: 

  • Quality: Abstract is easy to comprehend and concise. The proposed presentation or session will advance thought leadership or research methods on the topic. The proposed session topic will contribute to an understanding of transportation innovations or emerging industry trends, or state-of-the-art practices in transportation equity.
  • Novelty: Research is novel and innovative. It takes the field in a new direction and/or looks at existing problems from different perspectives. 
  • Relevance: This particular subject/issue is important today or is just on the horizon. It will further the dialogue or thinking. It is timely and relevant to the symposium topics and attendees.

Submittal Requirements: Papers, Presentations, Panel Sessions, Non-traditional 
Each submittal will contain the following information:

  • Title
  • Author(s) name and affiliation
  • Contact information
  • Faculty advisor and affiliation, if a student
  • Four or more keywords describing topic
  • 100-word biography of the primary author
  • Format - virtual presentation or in-person

Specific submittals will contain the following information

  • Non-traditional presentation/demonstration, such as photos, artwork, and other creative mechanisms will be considered with a 250-word description
  • Papers and Presentations submissions should include a 400-word abstract or summary 
  • Panel Sessions should include  250-word description of the session itself, along with regular abstract submissions for all presentations that it will include (4 maximum).
  • Workshops and Roundtable Sessions should include 250-word description of the session along with the time desired
  • Posters proposal should include  250-word description 

The file should be titled with the author’s last name, followed by title of paper (e.g. ANDERSON_Transportation_Equity.pdf) and submitted online.