Catherine Ross

 

Harry West Professor, School of City and Regional Planning/Civil and Environmental Engineering
Director, Center for Quality Growth and Regional Development
Deputy Director, National Center for Transportation Systems Productivity and Management

catherine.ross@design.gatech.edu
+1 (404) 385-5130

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Megaregions Research

Biography

Catherine Ross is an internationally recognized expert on transportation systems planning, urban planning and quality growth. She has extensive experience in both the public and private sector and directs Georgia Institute of Technology’s Center for Quality Growth and Regional Development (CQGRD) where she also serves as serves as Harry West Professor and Advance Professor in the School of City and Regional Planning in the College of Architecture. She is a member of the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) and past president of the National Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP). Ross has served on numerous National Academies committees including the Transportation Research Board Executive Committee, University Transportation Centers Program and on the board of directors of the ENOTransportation Foundation. She earned a Masters Degree and a Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning from Cornell University and completed post-doctorate work at the University of California, Berkeley. She has conducted research for numerous governmental agencies, foundations and the private sector. In July 2009,  Ross was selected to advise the Obama Administration on the first-ever White House Office of Urban Affairs. She is the editor of Megaregions: Planning for Global Competitiveness (Island Press, 2009) and the co-author of The Inner City: Urban Poverty and Economic Development in the Next Century (1997).  Her most recent book "Health Impact Assessment in the United States" was published in 2014. Ross has conducted research on transportation and urban planning and how to make cities, neighborhoods and regions safer, healthier places for all to live. She is the author of numerous articles, books, research reports and media publications including the Wall Street Journal, Urban Land Institute, the Atlanta Journal Constitution and speaks regularly to national and international forums.

Educational Background

Ph.D., City and Regional Planning, Cornell University

M.R.P., Regional Planning, Cornell University

B.A., History, Sociology, and Education Certification, Kent State University

Fields

Transportation Planning/Impact Analysis

Transportation and Infrastructure

Land Use and Regional Governance

Healthy Places

Regional Planning

Urban Revitalization

Sustainable Development and Quality Growth

Synergistic Activities

The Megaregion

Most recently,  Ross has emerged as thought leader in the creation of a new theoretical direction “Megaregions”. She has made more than 40 invited presentations on this topic over the last four years both nationally and internationally and is the author of Megaregions: Planning for Global Competitiveness (Ed), Island Press, 2009. She serves as principal investigator on a number of research efforts funded by the United States Department of Transportation to assess the impact of megaregionson both the methodological and operations of current transportation planning practice and administration. This research is developing the pedagogical and conceptual roadmap for identifying and delineating megaregions in the United States. In fifty years more than 400 million people will reside in the United States according to estimates by the U.S. Census Bureau (2006); approximately 70% will reside in or live in close proximity to a megaregion. This population expansion will take place around eight to tenmegaregions, and will place even greater pressures on economic, natural, built, social and infrastructure systems. In both her teaching and research activities Ross integrates sustainability focusing on the increasing urbanization we are experiencing and its implications for redevelopment and future investments.  

Ross's academic work has largely been concerned with the development of metrics to measure the impacts of different transportation investments on the spatial and social structure of urban areas. Recently the work on spatial and social structures has expanded to include metrics to gauge the sustainability and health impacts associated with different transportation plans and technologies. She is one among a very small number of researchers who are currently conducting pioneering work in the field of Health Impact Assessment using (HIA), a relatively new impact assessment tool. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and Pew Charitable Trusts funded much of her work in the health arena. Ross has conducted more than six HIAs. One HIA was conducted for the Atlanta beltline project, currently the largest redevelopment project in the United States. She has published extensively. and across a wide range of outlets.  

Ross is engaged in the conduct of research on bringing freight components into statewide and regional travel demand forecasting. Her recent work on freight movement, port facilities, and economic competitiveness, proposed a megaregion-levelmethodological framework to estimate the economic impact of canal expansion on transportation infrastructure and economic growth in Georgia counties located in the Piedmont Atlantic Megaregion (PAM). Linking freight modeling with commodity flow and economic impact analysis, this methodology not only allows us to discover the freight flows at regional and megaregional level, but also provides detailed information of local economic activities demonstrating the use of megaregion-level analysis at the local level.

Ross has been active in a number of significant initiatives. She was appointed to the “Advisory Committee for the White House Office of Urban Affairs in 2009 by President Obama and contributes regularly to urban initiatives at the federal level. She has been widely recognized for the quality of her work and was the recipient of the “Find the Good and Praise It Award” presented in 1998 by Secretary of Transportation Rodney Slater for her work on the National Personal Transportation Survey Team. She is past president of the National Association of Collegiate Schools of planning (ACSP) and has been named to 2009 Atlanta’s Top 100 Women of Influence by the Atlanta Business League and named to Georgia Trend’s list of Notable Georgians (2009). 

Research 

Research Ambitions

An internationally known transportation and urban planner, Catherine Ross has conducted research and has project experience at the local, national, and international levels. In addition, she co-founded Euquant, Inc., an Atlanta-based economic and planning consulting firm. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Ford Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), PEW Charitable Trusts, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy-China, Federal Transit Administration, and many local, city, and state governments throughout the country.

Research Groups/Labs

Director, Center for Quality Growth and Regional Development

Books

Ross, Catherine L, Orenstein, Marla, Botchwey, Nisha, “Health Impact Assessment in the United States Springer-Verlag: April 2014. ((ISBN-10: 1461473020 | ISBN-13: 978-1461473022)

Ross, C.L. (2009). Megaregions: Planning for Global Competitiveness. Washington D.C.: Island Press.

Boston, T. D., & Ross, C. L. (Eds.). (1997). The Inner City: Urban Poverty and Economic Development in the Next Century (1 ed.). New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers.

Book Chapters

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, C. & Rao, A. (2013) HIA in the U.S.: Pracitice, Policy and Legal Underpinnings. Integrating Health Impact Assessment (HIA) into the Policy Process: Lessons and Experiences from around the World. Oxford University Press.

C. Ross, M. Orenstein and N. Botchwey. HIA in the U.S.: Practice, Policy and Legal Underpinnings. In Integrating Health Impact Assessment (HIA) into the Policy Process: Lessons and Experiences from around the World. Oxford University Press. 2012.

Ross, C.L. and Danner, A. (2010). Beyond the Metropolis: Megaregions and the Global Economy. Building Metropolitan Atlanta: Past, Present, and Future. (pp 21-22). Atlanta Chapter for the Congress for New Urbanism

Ross, C.L., & Marcus, M.J. (2010). Calculating for Health: The Atlanta BeltLine Health Impact Assessment and Study. Building Metropolitan Atlanta: Past, Present, and Future. (pp. 68-70). Atlanta Chapter for the Congress for New Urbanism.

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

Ross, C.L. & Marcus, M.  (2009). Roadways and Health: Making the Case for Collaboration. In Malekafzali, S. (Ed.), Healthy, Equitable Transportation Policy: Recommendations and Research (PolicyLink, Prevention Institute, Convergence Partnership. PolicyLink, Prevention Institute, Convegence Partnership.

Ross, C.L. (2009). Regional Transportation and Development in Atlanta. In Hack, G., Birch, E., Sedway, P., & Silver, M. (Eds.), Local Planning: Contemporary Principles and Practice. Washington, DC: International City/County Management Association.

Leigh, N.G. & Ross, C.L. (2009). Planning, Urban Revitalization and Inner City: An Exploration of Structural Racism. In Birch, E.L. (Ed.) The Urban and Planning Reader, (pp. 21-28). New York:  Routledge

Ross, C.L. & Woo, M. (2009). Identifying Megaregions in the US: Implications for Infrastructure Investment.” In Ross, C.L. (Ed.), Megaregions: Planning for Global Competitiveness. (pp. 53-80). Washington, DC: Island Press.

Ross, C.L., & Doyle, J.L. (2009). The Megaregion and the Future of American Planning. In Ross, C.L. (Ed.), Megaregions: Planning for Global Competitiveness. (pp. 280-287). Washington, DC: Island Press.

Ross, C.L., Barringer, J., & Amekudzi, A.A. (2009). Mobility in the Megaregion. In Ross, C.L. (Ed.), Megaregions: Planning for Global Competitiveness. (pp. 140-165). Washington, DC: Island Press.

Refereed Articles

Catherine Ross, Subhrajit Guhathakurta, "Autonomous Vehicles and Energy Impacts: A Scenario Analysis," Energy Procedia, Volume 143, 2017, Pages 47-52, ISSN 1876-6102, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.egypro.2017.12.646.

Catherine Ross and Fangru Wang, “New potential for multimodal connection: exploring the relationship between taxi and transit New York City (NYC),” Transportation. 2017.

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

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

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

Zhang, Wenwen, Subhrajit Guhathakurta and Catherine Ross, “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, Ross, Catherine, “Identifying Factors that Influence Logistics Clusters’ Competitiveness”, Regional Studies, January 14, 2016.

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

Rao, Arthi; 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 jpe.sagepub.com. 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; Hylton, Peter; Lee, David Jung-Hwi, “Megaregion Planning: State of Practice in Metropolitan Planning Organizations and State Departments of Transportation”, Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board. 2453 (2014): 171-177. 

Amekudzi, A., Smith, M., Brodie, S., Fischer, J. and Ross, C, Impacts of Environmental Justice on Transportation: Applying the Environmental Justice Maturity Model to Benchmark Progress. Transportation Research Record, Forthcoming, in press.

Catherine L. Ross and Myungje Woo. The Identification and Assessment of Potential High-Speed Rail (HSR) Routes from a Megaregion Perspective. Transportation Research Record, in press.

Ross, C., West, H., Smith, S., and Rao, A. (2013) 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, 42-46.

Aggarwal, R. M., S. Guhathakurta, S. Grossman-Clarke, and V. Lathey. 2012. How do variations in Urban Heat Islands in space and time influence household water use?:  The case of Phoenix, Arizona. Water Resources Research 48 (6): W06518.

C. Ross.  Health Impact Assessment of the Atlanta BeltLine. American Journal of Preventive Medicine Volume 42, Issue 3, March 2012, Pages 203-213.

L. Dablanc and C. Ross. Atlanta: A Mega Logistics Center in the Piedmont Atlantic Megaregion (PAM). Journal of Transport Geography, 10.1016/j.jtrangeo.2012.05.001, June 2012.

C. Ross, K. Leone de Nie, A. Dannenberg,L. F. Beck, M. J. Marcus, and J. Barringer. (2012). Health Impact Assessment of the Atlanta BeltLine. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 42(3): 203-213. doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2011.10.019

C. L. Ross, J. Yang, C. Fang and G. Song (2011) Assessing China’s Mega-Region Mobility: In a Comparative Context, Transportation Research Record, 2244: 61-68.

C. Ross, Transport and Megaregions: High-Speed Rail in the United States, Town Planning Review, Volume 82, Issue 3, 2011, Pages 341-357.

Ross, C., Stiftel, B., Woo, M., and Rao, A. (Fall 2010/Winter 2011). Measuring Regional Transport Sustainability: An Exploration. The Urban Lawyer, Vol. 42(4)/43(1), pp. 67-89.

Ross, C. and Woo, M. (2011). Megaregions and Mobility. The Bridge Vol. 41(1), pp. 27-34.

Barrella, E., Amekudzi, A., Meyer, M., Ross, C., and Turchetta, D. (2010). Best Practices and Common Approaches for Considering Sustainability at 9 U.S. State Departments of Transportation. Transportation Research Record, Journal of the Transportation Research Board, Issue Number: 2174, pp.10-18.

Nam, J., Woo, M., and Ross, C. (2010). 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. (in Korean)

Pei, Y.L., Amekudzi, A., Meyer, M., Barrella, E.M., Ross, C. (2010). 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.

Ross, C. (2010). Social, Environmental, and Economic Sustainability. Transportation Research Record, Journal of the Transportation Research Board, pp 73-80.

Ross, C. (2010). Best Practices and Common Approaches for Considering Sustainability at U.S. State Departments of Transportation. Transportation Research Record, Journal of the Transportation Research Board, Issue Number: 2174, pp 10-18.

Ross, C. (2010). 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.

Ross, C., Pei, Y. L., Amekudzi, A., Meyer, M., and Barella, E.M. (2010). Social, Environmental, and Economic Sustainability. Transportation Research Record,Journal of the Transportation Research Board, pp 73-80.

Ross, C., Stiftel, B., Woo, M. and Rao, A. (2010). Measuring regional transport sustainability: an exploration. Urban Lawyer, 42(4):67-90.

Bodea, T., Garrow, L., Meyer, M., & Ross, C. (2009). Socio-demographic and Built Environment Influences on the Odds of Being Overweight or Obese: The Atlanta Experience. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 43(4), 430-444. doi:10.1061/(ASCE)1052-3928(2010)136:1(24)

Morallos, D., Amekudzi, A., Ross, C., & Meyer, M. (2009). Value for Money Analysis in US Transportation Public-Private Partnerships. Transportation Research Record: Journal

Bodea, T., Garrow, L., Meyer, M., & Ross, C. (2008). Explaining Obesity with Urban Form: A Cautionary Tale. Transportation, 35(2), 179-199. doi: 10.1007/s11116-007-9148-2

Garrow, L., Meyer, M., Ross, C., & Bodea, T. (2008). Obesity with Urban Form: A Cautionary Tale. Transportation, 34(2). doi:10.1111/j.1467-9906.2007.00371.x

Amekudzi, A., Thomas-Mobley, L., & Ross, C. (2007). Transportation Planning and Infrastructure Delivery in Major Cities and Megacities. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, 1997, 17-23. doi:10.3141/1997-03

Leigh, N., Realff, M., Ai, N., French, S., Ross, C., & Bras, B. (2007). Modeling Obsolete Computer Stock Under Regional Data Constraints: An Atlanta case study.Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 51(4), 847-869. doi:10.1016/j.resconrec.2007.01.007

Yang, J., & Ross, C. (2007). Implementing Spatial Planning in China’s Market Economy. Urban Planning Forum (in Chinese), 6.

Teaching 

Recent Courses

CP 6311/ CEE 6602 | Introduction to Transportation Planning

CP 6233 | Sustainable Urban Development

CP 6052 | Growth, Regionalism and Cities

Current PhD Students

Fangru Wang

Jessica L. H. Doyle

Peter Hylton

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