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.
  • Success in Stewardship: Case Studies Highlighting Benefits of Multimodal Roadway Design and Green Infrastructure
    The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) recently published a set of case studies as part of its efforts to document and promote connected pedestrian and bicycle networks in communities throughout the United States. The case studies are designed to provide information for agencies interested in improvements to their pedestrian and bicycle networks that incorporate green infrastructure and resiliency benefits. The information provided on stormwater and mobility benefits will help communities better understand the variety of goals and outcomes they can achieve through their projects.
  • TR News Publishes Alternative Contracting Methods Research
    A featured article in the July-August 2018 issue of the TR News examines the latest application and implementation of alternative contracting methods for faster project delivery of transportation infrastructure. The TR News is TRB's bimonthly magazine featuring timely articles on innovative and state-of-the-art research and practice in all modes of transportation. It also includes brief news items of interest to the transportation community, research pays off articles that profile of transportation professionals, workshop and conference announcements, new book notices, and news of TRB activities. Submissions of manuscripts for possible publication are accepted at any time. Copies of the TR News may be purchased individually or ordered on an annual subscription basis. TRB policy is to release the full PDF version of a TR News four months after its release in print format.
  • 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 TPCB@dot.gov.

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