The National Academies

NCHRP 08-36/Task 139 [Completed]

Planning Research Digest
[ NCHRP 08-36 (Research for the AASHTO Standing Committee on Planning) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $125,000
Research Agency: RAND Corporation
Principal Investigator: Hyun-A Park
Effective Date: 6/21/2016
Completion Date: 6/13/2018



In 2014 the TRB Committee on Planning for Small and Medium-Sized Communities (ADA30) conducted a nationwide survey of information and research needs among planning practitioners. The survey was intended to help the committee develop an understanding of planners’ research needs and attitudes toward research, identify information that practitioners need to perform at higher levels, and to inform the emphasis, goals, and objectives of the committee’s research efforts.


Findings drawn from the 283 survey respondents from federal, state, regional, and local entities, as well as private firms, suggest that planning professionals believe research is important and necessary, and have the strongest interest in research that is practical, such as that which focuses on successful practices and case studies. Respondents, however, also called attention to the demands on their time and the value they place on the ability to access research findings quickly and easily—findings that are clear, comprehensible, and brief.  Their emphasis is on the need for a digest presenting what is considered to be emerging important and innovative thinking on a variety of critical issues in the planning field.


Project Objective


This project provides public- and private-sector planning professionals at staff, managerial, and executive levels with an easily accessible, searchable online resource for keeping updated on research and innovation in the planning field; however, the resource also benefits transportation executives outside of planning, such as engineers, public involvement specialists, and others who wish to efficiently maintain an up-to-date knowledge of current thinking in the planning field.


This resource would be accessible on https://trbtoolsofthetrade.org/, the website maintained by the Committee on Planning for Small and Medium-Sized Communities. The committee would be responsible for maintaining and updating the resource.


     The Final Report is now available. 

     The link to the website: https://www.planningdigest.com/


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