Sustainability Metrics and Mapping Tool for Environmental Assessment of Rail Infrastructure in Illinois

Launched in 2009, the High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail Program aims to provide 80% of Americans access to an improved national rail network within the next 25 years. Under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), all proposed rail projects are subject to an environmental evaluation process. While the NEPA process is designed to protect the environment and promote community involvement, it can be lengthy and expensive.

This webinar will present a comprehensive “sustainable rail scorecard” and mapping tool for environmental impact assessment of rail infrastructure in Illinois. The objective was to integrate the latest development in environmental impact CUTR logo indexstudies and provide a system view of sustainability metrics in a one-stop, spatial planning database accessed through an online interface. Transportation professionals and environmental planners can use this application to consider a wide range of impacts early in the decision-making process, before significant funds and time have been devoted to project design.

Presenter Dr. Ning Ai’s research and teaching interests focus on urban environmental planning and its integration with land use, industrial ecology, and sustainable economic development. Her previous work experiences include the application of GIS in environmental protection, urban sustainability indicators, and socioeconomic impact analysis of natural disasters.

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Listen to a recorded version of the December 11 webinar.

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Author / Presenter:

Ning Ai


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