February 2011

February 2011 CSS Newsletter

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is pleased to present the February 2011 Context Sensitive Solutions Newsletter. In this issue, we cover the following items:

The success of the CSS website would not be possible without your continued support. Please continue contributing content and spreading knowledge about CSS by highlighting the best-practices in your city, state, or region.

If you have any questions or comments, please e-mail us at or call (212) 620-5660.

We are pleased to announce our first webinar of 2011.
  • Date: Tuesday, February 22, 2011, from 2:00pm – 3:30pm.
  • Title: Integrating Sustainability and Climate Change Concerns and CSS Principles, will be presented by:
  • Presenters: Mike Culp, Team Leader, Sustainable Transport and Climate Change Team, Diane Turchetta, Environmental Protection Specialist, Sustainable Transport and Climate Change Team, and Rob Kafalenos, Environmental Protection Specialist, Sustainable Transport and Climate Change Team.

Click here to register and learn more.

This webinar will cover some of the recent efforts at the federal, state, and local level to incorporate concerns about climate change and sustainability into transportation planning and project development. Presenters from the FHWA will cover ongoing climate change mitigation and adaptation work, including pilots, workshops and peer exchanges designed to assist state DOTs and MPOs with this process. FHWA staff will also discuss the Sustainable Highways Self-Evaluation Tool, a new initiative to support transportation agencies in making highway projects more sustainable.

To review past webinars and learn more about upcoming webinars, click here.


By: Pippa Brashear

Didn't make it to the meeting? Attended, but couldn't make it to all the CSS sessions? Here is what was covered on CSS. Links to papers presented are provided where available. Check back soon as we will be uploading presentations that are made available to us.

There were many other sessions that, while not explicitly about CSS, may be of interest; you can browse papers here (you may view papers for free, but must be registered for the conference or pay a fee to download them).

Reinventing Project Management Practices to Integrate Context-Sensitive Solutions (108): Do checklists, policies, and manual revisions really improve the product? This panel explored the link between process and outcome in highway design, examining efforts by state DOTs to advance the delivery of Complete Streets and context-sensitive solutions by improving the project delivery process. Leading practitioners discussed early integration of environmental review and stakeholder participation; multidisciplinary teams; scope, schedule, and budget impacts; and measuring quality.

A Quick Primer on Project Management and its Relevance to Context-Sensitive Design and Solutions, Madera, John A. - Urban Planning Consultant

Oregon's CS3 and Stakeholder Participation Project, Willis, Lissa - Oregon Department of Transportation

Pennsylvania's Improved Project Delivery Process and "Linking Planning with NEPA" Initiative, Hare, Brian - Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Reed, R. Craig - Pennsylvania Department of Transportation


Cultural Landscapes in Transportations (123): This session examined the idea of cultural landscapes and the importance of place in shaping the context and design of transportation corridors. William Dodges presentation set the stage by describing cultural landscapes, which he identified as places created by experiential historical and cultural forces, and their importance in transportation, emphasizing that each project must address how a particular place should be treated. He emphasized the importance of place-identity and place-making in the process. The following presenters built upon this definition and discussed how they have addressed and integrated cultural landscapes in practice. The projects discussed ranged from Sweden, to Italy, to Hawaii, to New York. The topics ranged from management practices, to the topics of the following papers.

Related Papers:

What Are Cultural Landscapes? Cultural Landscapes and the Meaning of Place, Dodge, William A. - Van Citters Historic Preservation, LLC

Cultural Landscape Corridor Projects: European Approach - Sweden, Suneson, Torbjorn - Swedish National Road Administration

Cultural Landscape Corridor Projects: European Approach - Italy, Chiarello, Giorgio - Giorgio Chiarello Architect, Italy

Cultural Landscape Corridor Projects: Statewide Cultural Landscape Survey, Dacus, Christopher A. - Hawaii Department of Transportation

Management of Cultural Landscape Corridors: Long Island Corridor Management Plan, Schultz, Annette - The RBA Group

Management of Cultural Landscape Corridors: Scenic Vista Management in Yosemite National Park, Humphrey, David - National Park Service

Management of Cultural Landscape Corridors: Advisory Council on Historic Preservation Perspective, Brown, Nancy - Advisory Council on Historic Preservation

Panel Discussion moderated by Van Citters, Karen - Van Citters Historic Preservation, LLC

Context-Sensitive Solutions, Practical Solutions, and Complete Streets (274): Extremely well-attended, this session explored the relationship of Context Sensitive Solutions to emerging practices in transportation such as Practical Solutions, Sustainable Vegetation, Complete Streets and Shared Streets. The presentations and following questions and discussion

Related Papers:

Context-Sensitive Solutions Versus Practical Solutions: What Are the Differences?, Stamatiadis, Nikiforos - University of Kentucky

Influencing Public Perception of Sustainable Roadside Vegetation Management Strategies, Lucey, Anne - University of Delaware

Complete Streets in the United States , McCann, Barbara - National Complete Streets Coalition and LaPlante, John N. - T Y Lin International

Investigating the Willingness of Drivers to Share Space with Pedestrians, Kaparias, Ioannis - Imperial College London, United Kingdom

What's New in Context Sensitive Solutions (748): This session presented case studies on how Context Sensitive Solutions are being applied in practice. The first presentation addressed the development of a GIS-based assessment tool to assist in quantifying and then prioritizing context issues in roadway projects that was piloted in Cape Town, South Africa. The second presentation described a context sensitive street improvement undertaken by a planning studio at University of California, Berkley. Finally, Leigh Lane, of NC State's Institute for Transportation Research and Education gave an overview of FHWA's recent technical assistance to State DOTs implementing Context Sensitive Solutions.


Creating Livable Neighborhoods Through Context-Sensitive Multimodal Road Planning, Beukes, Edward Andrew - University of Cape Town, South Africa

Old Road, New Directions: Plan for Adeline Street in Berkeley, Griswold, Julia B. - University of California, Berkeley

Getting CSS Off the Ground: FHWA's Technical Assistance, Lane, Leigh Blackmon - North Carolina State University, Raleigh

Meeting of the Context Sensitive Design and Solutions task force (a task force within the Landscape and Environmental Design Committee)

Over the past several months, 87 new case studies have been posted on the CSS website. The case studies provide in-depth coverage of projects in 27 states, and the District of Columbia. The projects cover the range of opportunities in which CSS can be applied within the project development process, and illustrate, from the practitioners and community member's point of view, the benefits that CSS can deliver in the planning and implementation of a project, in respect to the cost savings, public input process, and overall effectiveness of the project.

The 87 case studies, which can be found here, were derived from the now concluded CSS National Dialog. The National Dialog accepted dozens of case studies from around the country, but only presented a fraction of them during their workshops. Now, we are pleased to announce, all of the case studies submitted to the CSS National Dialog can be found on, along with a host of other content developed by and for the CSS National Dialog.


Feedback, questions, comments, or problems?

Copyright © 2005 Context Sensitive All rights reserved.
About Us | Site Map | Privacy Policy

United States Department of Transportation - logo
Privacy Policy | Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) | Accessibility | Web Policies & Notices | No Fear Act | Report Waste, Fraud and Abuse | U.S. DOT Home | |

Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000