Aside from cruising State Street on a Saturday night, transportation is not an objective in and of itself, but a means to carry out the functions of daily living, connecting us from where we are to where we need to be. Those functions, which are spatially arrayed across the physical landscape, both influence and are influenced by the transportation systems we build and maintain. These interactions between land use and transportation influence a host of public and environmental values, including air quality, energy consumption, climate change, social equity, fiscal health, and public health.
The University of Utah Department of City & Metropolitan Planning (CMP), in collaboration with the university’s departments of civil and environmental engineering and geography, is proposing the development of a new interdisciplinary graduate certificate program to focus on these overlapping planning issues. The proposed program would provide post-baccalaureate students with in-depth study into integrated land use and transportation planning and a series of allied topics, including: environmental and climate sciences, civil and environmental engineering, public health, urban economics, geography and GIS, and public administration. Ideally, the certificate would incorporate course offerings and other resources from other NITC institutions. Upon approval of the certificate by the Utah System of Higher Education, the CMP department would submit the certificate to the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education so that all residents of Western US states could have access to the certificate program at Utah in-state tuition rates.
The process for establishing this consortium approach for post-baccalaureate education in sustainable transportation would be fully documented to assist with similar curriculum development efforts at other institutions.