The National Academies

NCHRP 08-181 [Pending]

Impacts of Climate Change and Extreme Weather on the Mobility of Socially Vulnerable Populations

  Project Data
Funds: $500,000
Contract Time: 30 months
Staff Responsibility: Dianne S. Schwager


Climate change and extreme weather can cause severe disruptions to human mobility and disproportionately affect socially vulnerable populations. The mobility and recovery challenges for socially vulnerable populations can result in short- and long-term consequences, socially, economically, and otherwise. More specifically, as climate and weather-related events worsen, which could happen, mobility is further compromised and access to life-saving resources and services, such as health care, food, jobs, school, civic activities, and social engagements, is diminished. 

Failure to address transportation disparities for socially vulnerable populations will perpetuate and widen existing inequities. Intentional strategic planning and investments in transportation are critical to improving equity and justice for socially vulnerable populations.  In fact, recent federal initiatives promote a greater focus on equity in transportation planning and investment and were designed to build a safer, more resilient, and more equitable future.

While state departments of transportation (DOTs) are required to improve transportation planning and conduct risk analyses to make resilient infrastructure investments, only some states have initiated meaningful efforts to increase equity and reduce risks for vulnerable populations. Research is needed to support the development of transportation plans, programs, and investments to mitigate the disproportionate impacts of climate change and extreme weather and improve the mobility of socially vulnerable populations. 


The objective of this research is to develop a resource for transportation and planning agencies as they develop plans and programs for investments that address the impacts of climate change and extreme weather on the mobility of socially vulnerable populations.

STATUS: The research team has been selected and the contract is in negotiation.


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