The Hub of Ingenuity: Exploring Transportation Equity at the WTS Conference 2019
Updated: Jan 21, 2020
From the rapid redevelopment of waterfronts to emerging mobility options, our urban places are experiencing a spatial revolution and women in transportation are at the forefront, leading some of the most innovative infrastructure projects. Nur Asri, Senior Consultant at Karp Strategies, joined over 800 members of WTS International at her first conference in Boston last week.
WTS International, an organization founded by a group of pioneering women in transportation more than 40 years ago, themed its annual conference, ‘The Hub of Ingenuity’. The theme this year perfectly encapsulates the vision of the organization to create an equitable venue for women to connect, collaborate, and innovate. Sessions and tours we attended ranged in topics, including the evolution of the Boston Harbor, collaboration in infrastructure resilience, micro mobility trends, big data for infrastructure planning and operations, and financial innovations for mobility projects.
Among many lessons shared, one that echoed across sessions was the critical need to ensure that our work, as planners, engineers, or construction managers, impacts communities equitably. To echo Jennifer Cohan, Secretary of Delaware DOT, the work that we do impacts the quality of life of citizens on a daily basis - it is vitally important work and so we must make every effort to understand the people and the environments that we are working in before making any plans or improvements. At Karp Strategies, we strive to achieve this by working closely with our clients to design robust and customized public engagement strategies that consider the world of stakeholders and their influences on projects. Our equity-driven approach enables us to meet communities and stakeholders where they are so that they feel encouraged to participate in the betterment of the urban fabric and local economies.
As we continue our work on major transportation and infrastructure projects across New York City and the region, including BQX streetcar and the NY-NJ port master plan, our team will no doubt continue to refine our approach and strategies to ensure transportation and infrastructure plans positively impact local communities. As a WBE, Karp Strategies is thrilled to have attended our first WTS Conference, and we look forward to further engaging at a local level with the women leaders of transportation in the Greater NY Chapter.