Opportunities to Address Past Inequity to Build Healthier, More Sustainable Communities
Scope of Work
The objective of this project is to examine public investment policies, along with systemic precedents contributing to the inequitable distribution of resources and resulting disparities across California communities. In addition, the project will identify opportunities and potential resources to address these inequities in public infrastructure investment policies and practices. The project will build upon current state initiatives to advance Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing goals and regulations by identifying public infrastructure investment strategies that can complement local and state fair housing plans, and thus help to advance implementation of the state’s legal mandate that all state programs and investments advance fair housing objectives. CARB is interested in learning about how existing and new public investments can be utilized to yield economic, environmental, and social returns to support healthy and sustainable community development.
Historically, racially discriminatory practices placed public services and funding sources out of reach for many residents based on race or ethnicity. Although many of these practices have been outlawed in the past several decades, current policies that shape public infrastructure investments are not providing sufficient investments to adequately develop and provide equal access to clean, healthy, and resilient communities for all people in California. A more strategic approach is needed to reverse the impacts of historical and sustained policies and practices that create and sustain racial and economic inequity in pollution burdens, transportation choices, access to social and economic upward mobility, affordable housing, and other social determinants of health. As California continues to seek solutions to accelerate housing production commensurate with the severe housing shortage throughout the state, it will be equally important to identify investments in all types of communities that avoid exacerbating inequities and advance equitable access and opportunity.
California has adopted multiple policies and programs with ambitious goals to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) and criteria pollutant emissions from the transportation sector. One measure to achieve these reductions is the implementation of SB 375 (Chapter 728, Statutes of 2008), which encourages California Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO) and local transportation and land use agencies to consider the GHG impacts of their planning processes. SB 375 specifically requires MPOs to create sustainable community strategies (SCS) that describe how vehicle-miles traveled (VMT) and associated GHG emissions will be reduced to meet state climate goals.
SB 150 (Allen, Chapter 646, Statutes of 2017) requires CARB to produce a report for the legislature every four years assessing progress made in implementing SB 375. The 2018 SB 150 Progress Report, or Report, indicated that despite MPOs’ efforts to identify strategies to reduce GHGs and VMT, the state is not on target to meet SB 375 goals. In addition, the progress being made to build cleaner and healthier sustainable communities also suggests an unintentional adverse contribution to a growing gap between income groups. The growing gap is exacerbating disproportionate impacts and benefits across under-served communities, partially, through the rising costs of housing and transportation. The Report also pointed out the need to develop “… a State vision and strategy for advancing equity through State transportation, housing, and climate and air quality outreach, planning, and funding activities.“ This statement elevates the need to examine the impacts of transportation and land use policies and investments strategies to understand how these collectively affect under-served communities.
Studies show that targeted investments in under-served communities help these communities become more resilient. For example, an analysis on California’s 2014 Proposition 1 - a bond measure with prioritized investments and defined equity goals to fund water quality, supply, and infrastructure, predominantly in disadvantaged communities (DACs) — found that prioritizing targeted funding and establishing explicit goals offers more opportunities to help build stronger sustainable communities and better serve DACs. One takeaway from this study suggests, setting clear guidelines and implementation strategies is valuable for future steady investments to go where they are intended and fulfill its purpose.
This proposed project will complement the work being performed in two related CARB-funded projects. The first, titled “Evaluating the Potential for Housing Development in Transportation-Efficient and Healthy, High-Opportunity Areas in California” will begin in 2021. The project seeks to understand how California’s current and future housing needs can be met in a way that simultaneously reduces emissions and advances social and racial equity. Specifically, the project will define and characterize transportation-efficient (TE) and healthy, high-opportunity (HHO) areas; identify the areas statewide; locate policies and investments; estimate the impacts of the policies and investments on housing; and evaluate outcomes related to climate, social, and racial equity goals. Moreover, this project will help classify the areas to analyze in this project. The second project, still under development, will identify policy scenarios that can advance the state’s housing production, GHG reduction, social and racial equity, and climate resilience objectives in a coordinated way.
Proposed Scope of Work Elements
CARB seeks to understand how land use and transportation planning and funding policies—at the local, regional, and state levels—have contributed to the inequitable distribution of resources that have subsequently created significant inequities in access to transportation options, to upward economic mobility, and to healthy, sustainable communities. Identifying and organizing this knowledge is necessary for key actors and decision makers to be able to recognize and develop strategies for addressing existing policies and practices that continue to perpetuate under-investment and growing disparities between under-served and non-under-served communities. Project proposals should use spatial and policy analyses to characterize the role of historical land use, housing, and transportation-related funding programs, in creating and exacerbating resource and access inequities. Researchers will also leverage the results of the companion project aimed at identifying places to live across the state with active transportation infrastructure and services, also where residents have access to upward economic mobility.
The results of this project will help propose strategies and policies that state, regional, and local governments can use to identify and address inequitable planning and funding policies. Results will also help to establish planning-related policies along with place-based investments that can begin to reduce inequities in resources and opportunities experienced by under-served communities, and help the state achieve its climate goals.
Project proposals should aim to address these research questions and develop methods to fulfill the relevant tasks.
- How have existing, status quo transportation investments and land use practices impacted under-served communities? (see Task 1)
- Who has and has not historically benefitted from state funding and incentives? Is this historical distribution equitable, and if not, what should be done to make it more equitable in the future? (see Task 1)
- What are state, regional, and local government levers to confront displacement, past inequities regarding transportation investments, and land use practices, such that transit-oriented development can be pursued without risking displacement or the loss of affordable housing? (see Task 3)
- What are the real-world, before-and-after observed impacts of previously implemented place-based state, regional, and local investments? (see Task 3)
- What TE and HHO areas to analyze? (Note, this question will be informed by the findings from the companion project). (see Task 2)
- What are specific strategies to bring more investment to these areas, and what’s the evidence supporting these strategies?
- What are the best strategies to use in different contexts? How should communities be consulted to identify what’s best, needed, and desired?
Task 1: Perform a literature and policy review to develop the historical context
The primary goal of this task is to develop a foundation of knowledge that identifies and explains the transportation and land use planning policies and practices that have contributed to historic dis- or under-investment, lack of access to transportation infrastructure, mobility options, economic upward mobility, and housing, among other social determinants of health in under-served communities. This historical context should also inventory and explain the health, economic, and quality-of-life outcomes and consequences of the policies and practices identified in the literature and policy review.
While there are specific, commonly applied historic policies and practices that have contributed to inequity (e.g. redlining, restrictive covenants, urban renewal), there are also some regional, local, or context-specific policies and practices that are important to understand in order to meaningfully and earnestly undo past inequitable practices. Thus, researchers may elect to propose diverse methods to accomplish this task, such as statewide analysis concentrating in commonalities and exploring those in depth; case study analysis focusing on specific regions or place types; a hybrid of both; or others.
Task 2: Develop screening methods, tools, or other processes for identifying existing transportation, housing, land use policies, and funding practices that are perpetuating inequity in under-served communities
In this task, researchers will utilize the information collected and analyzed in Task 1 to develop methods, tools, or frameworks that state agencies, regional governments, local governments, and others can use to identify if and how transportation and land use policies are creating barriers to investment and access to mobility options, affordable housing, or other elements of healthy, transportation-efficient, and sustainable communities.
CARB is interested in identifying and developing methods, tools, and frameworks to assess the impacts of investments on under-served communities. Project assessment methods that include outreach and engagement to communities are of particular interest. The identification of best practices for community outreach and engagement would help to inform CARB’s efforts to assess the impacts of CARB-funded incentive programs.
The researchers should coordinate with CARB staff and researchers who are conducting the companion project, which is defining and categorizing areas of the state that are not TE and HHO areas. In identifying these areas, the researchers will determine areas that are TE and HHO places to live that do or do not fall into both or either of these categories. Then, researchers for this project can use this information to select areas to use as tests cases for the models they are developing. Collectively, CARB staff and researchers will determine what areas to focus on (e.g. areas that have housing but missed on transportation investments such as mobility options, transportation infrastructure, or others).
Task 3: Identify transportation and land use planning investment policies, practices, and strategies with the potential to bring resources to under-served communities while also contributing to reductions in VMT and GHG emissions
The goal of this task is to identify land use, housing, and transportation-related policies, practices, and investments that can help under-served communities become both TE and HHO communities, while also reducing GHG emissions and VMT.
Each of these policies and practices should be analyzed to characterize strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and limitations, along with the cost and potential scale of impact. Under this task, the research team should focus on three important objectives as they identify the opportunities.First, identify specific policies and placed-based investments at the state, regional, and local level that could assist in fostering more equitable and sustainable outcomes in under-served communities. Second, assess how under-served communities can improve upon their limitations (e.g. access to resources, knowledge, technical support, others) and gain access to the investments, including identifying barriers and opportunities. For example, develop recommendations to guide under-served communities in the relevant pathway, based on assessed needs, to access and build relationships with government agencies and multiple stakeholders. Or, determine the type of investments required for either, TE and HHO communities (based on the area type, for instance, rural, suburban, urban, town, other).Third, researchers should provide recommendations on policies and public investments that are needed but currently unavailable both in land use, housing, transportation, and other additional related areas.
One potential method for operationalizing this alongside the aforementioned companion project might be to assess areas that don’t fit into either category (TE and HHO) and identify policies, strategies, or public investments that could spur inclusive community or economic development opportunities in these communities or neighborhoods.
Beginning this fiscal year, 2021-2022, CARB’s Research Division (RD) will require its contracted research projects to embody racial equity components. The newly instituted initiative calls for all RD contracted projects to adopt racial equity components into their research. In light of this commitment to advance racial equity in research, RD will work closely with contractors to not only increase solicitation awareness, but also find opportunities to connect researchers with non-academic partners. Moving forward, RD staff will work with multiple interested stakeholders to develop additional well-established racial equity components that reflect the policies, programs, and interests of CARB to achieve equitable and healthy sustainable community strategies that meet California’s climate goals. The equity components that we hope to see included in the proposals that we receive through this solicitation include those listed in this section below.
- Quarterly Progress Reports and conference calls including public facing updates posted to CARB website (Template will be provided);
- Consultation calls with CARB and key stakeholders;
- Researchers must undergo a cultural competency training (e.g. implicit bias training, racial equity training) before work begins on community impact assessments or engagement;
- Interim Report: Summary of the literature and policy review from Task 1
- Draft final report;
- Final Report;
- Present research findings at an in-person or virtual seminar (pending health requirements);
- Draft 2-page project overview for public outreach;
- Final 2-page project overview for public outreach;
- All data, analyses and analytical tools generated through the course of this project;
- In addition to the above deliverables, the researchers are encouraged to include the following:
- Equity implications section in the final 2-page project overview and report;
- Non-academic partners in the project budget, such as non-profits or community advocates, or smaller universities with experience in community engagement;
- Compensation for engaged partners (non-academic partners);
- Include a community engagement plan;
- All researchers must undergo a cultural competency training (examples include implicit bias training, racial equity training) and provide a cultural competency statement in the proposal;
- Peer reviewed publications should be publicly available (please budget for this expense);
- Additional deliverables to be determined in consultation with CARB staff.
It is anticipated this project will be completed in 24 months from the start date (early 2022). The estimated budged for this project is $300.000.
In order to increase transparency of how winning pre-proposals are chosen, scoring criteria have been included for each project. Please note that scoring criteria is tailored to each project included in CARB's fiscal year 2021-2022 solicitation. If you are submitting pre-proposals for more than one project in the solicitation, please be sure to review the scoring criteria to get a better understanding of what components of the project are most valued for selection.
- Responsiveness to the Goals and Objectives Outlined in the Proposal Solicitation(15 points) Proposers should demonstrate a clear understanding of the policy objectives and research needs that CARB seeks to address with this project, and should convey their knowledge of the subject. The proposal should spell out, in adequate detail, exactly what the Proposer proposes to do to satisfy the requirements of the Solicitation. The draft proposal must propose work that would satisfy the following two objectives stated in the Research Solicitation: First, examine public investment policies, along with systemic precedents contributing to the inequitable distribution of resources and resulting disparities across California communities. Second, identify opportunities and potential resources to address these inequities in public infrastructure investment policies and practices. In addition, this project will require an analysis of historical systemic inequities (e.g. social, environment, and economic, others) to be leveraged as an important framework to offer comprehensive recommendations in future public investments.
- POLICY RELEVANCE/BENEFITS TO THE STATE(10 points) – Does the proposal describe how the project will provide data, information, and/or products to help CARB accomplish its mission? Findings from this project are intended to accelerate progress toward meeting Senate Bill 375 goals with increased equitable outcomes (i.e. increase reduction in greenhouse gases and vehicle-miles travel through land use and transportation). In addition, advancing housing policies, particularly the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing goals. Will the results of this project help propose strategies and policies that state, regional, and local governments can use to identify and address inequitable planning and funding policies?
- PREVIOUS WORK (10 points
- Policy expertise: (5 points) Do the researchers have relevant experience in transportation and housing policy analysis? Do they discuss how they will build upon previous relevant work that was funded by CARB, other state, federal, regional, or local agencies related to public investment policy? Researchers should describe their level of experience conducting historical systemic analysis to inform public investments and the impacts their previous work has generated.
- Racial equity expertise: (5 points) Does the team commit to cultural competency training (e.g. implicit bias training, racial equity training) as a deliverable and provide a cultural competency statement in the proposal? Does the research team have experience creating, using, or suggesting tools to identify investment barriers for under-served communities? Researchers and relevant partners must demonstrate previous experience in equity, climate resilience, or housing work, and/or developing metrics or evaluation processes.
- EXPANDING EXPERTISE (10 points) – Is the team composed of a multidisciplinary team of experts? Researchers are required to partner with non-academic partners, such as non-profits or community advocates, or smaller universities/colleges with relevant experience in this area.
- TECHNICAL MERIT (20 points) - Describe the submission's technical strengths and/or weaknesses. Proposers should demonstrate the logic and feasibility of the methodology and technical approach to the project, spell out the sequence and relationships of major tasks, and explain methods for performing the actual work. Please factor in how well the draft proposal describes these areas:
- Analysis on systemic inequities in under-served communities.
- Application of spatial and policy analysis in the proposal.
- Suggested tools to identify investment barriers for under-served communities.
- Housing, transportation, and land use policies and programs and tools.
- Incorporation of racial equity components in the proposal.
- The review team will be selecting only one draft proposal for development into a full proposal. If this draft proposal has potential, what areas or topics should be prioritized or better explained in the full proposal?
- LEVEL AND QUALITY OF EFFORT TO BE PROVIDED(15 points) – Does the proposal allocate time and resources in such a way that the objectives of the study will be met? Is supervision and oversight adequate for ensuring that the project will remain on schedule? Is the distribution of workload appropriate for activities such as research, evaluation and analysis, data reduction, computer simulation, report preparation, meetings, and travel?
- COST EFFECTIVENESS (15 points) - Does the cost seem appropriate for the proposed work? Does the proposed work seem feasible within the requested budget? Projects that provide co-funding should be evaluated more favorably.
These include, but are not limited to, land use, transportation, funding, upward mobility, and housing.
 Strategies, policies, or investments in TRP/SCS that contribute to disparities between under-served and non-under-served communities, rather than address it.