Focus Areas

Rural and Small Community Planning

The Rural and Small Community Planning focus area page is a one-stop shop for resources about transportation planning in rural and small communities on the TPCB website. It includes links to publications, legislation and guidance, recent peer events, upcoming calendar events, and related websites.

Resources and Publications

  • NEW  Regional Transportation Planning Organization Fact Sheets. A Regional Transportation Planning Organization (RTPO) is an organization that identifies local transportation needs, conducts planning, assists local governments, and supports the statewide transportation planning process in non-metropolitan regions of a State. States are provided the opportunity to designate RTPOs as a method for formalizing the engagement of local officials as they incorporate rural transportation needs in the statewide transportation planning process. View each of the noteworthy practices fact sheets below to learn more about RTPOs.
  • Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Framework, 3rd Edition
    The Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA’s) Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Framework (the Framework), third edition, is a manual to help transportation agencies and their partners assess the vulnerability of transportation infrastructure and systems to extreme weather and climate effects. It also can help agencies integrate climate adaptation considerations into transportation decisionmaking. The Framework provides an in-depth and structured process for conducting a vulnerability assessment. The Framework describes the primary steps involved in conducting a vulnerability assessment. For each step the Framework features examples from assessments conducted nationwide between 2010 and 2017 and includes links to related resources that practitioners can access for additional information.
  • FHWA Guidebook for Measuring Multimodal Network Connectivity
    Building on the 2016 guidebook, this resource focuses on pedestrian and bicycle network connectivity and provides information on incorporating connectivity measures into state, metropolitan, and local transportation planning processes. Connectivity measures can help transportation practitioners identify high priority network gaps, implement cost-effective solutions that address multiple needs, optimize potential co-benefits, and measure the long-term impacts of strategic pedestrian and bicycle investments on goals such as improving safety, system efficiency, network performance, and access to key destinations. Toward that end, this resource should be used in conjunction with self-evaluation and transition plans to evaluate needs for pedestrians with disabilities.
  • White Paper: Nature-Based Solutions for Coastal Highway Resilience
    Natural systems play an important role in protecting built infrastructure along the coast. Healthy beaches, dunes, wetlands and other natural coastal ecosystems reduce the extreme forces of coastal storms. Thus, nature itself is a ‘model’ for coastal engineering resilience. This white paper briefly describes the current state of practice regarding the use of nature-based coastal solutions in general and with specific emphasis on their use along coastal highways. It provides an overview of available tools for design, implementation challenges, and knowledge gaps. This white paper is an initial attempt to frame the conversation about using nature-based solutions to improve coastal highway resilience. It was developed as part of an FHWA research effort and will be used to focus the discussion at a series of upcoming peer exchanges around the country on this topic. An implementation guide for nature-based solutions for coastal highways will then be developed.
  • View the Briefing Book Non-Metropolitan Local Officials Consultation - The webpage describes the role of non-metropolitan local officials in the statewide transportation planning process.
  • The Transportation Planning Process: Key Issues (the "Briefing Book") - The "Briefing Book" is a primer to help you better understand Federal transportation planning regulations and requirements at the statewide and metropolitan planning levels.

Click here to access a full list of Legislation, Regulations, and Guidance related to rural and small community planning on the TPCB website.

Calendar of Events

Check the calendar

Peer Event Reports

The TPCB peer program is a free resource for agencies in need of transportation planning assistance. Visit the peer program page to learn more or apply for a peer event.

Related Websites and Organizations

For more information about the TPCB program, please email

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