Photo: Moving to Access

Moving to Access (MTA), a financing Urban Access Initiative, Brookings Institution, USA

Implications of an Urban Accessibility Approach to Transportation Policy, Urban Management, Funding, and Finance

Elliot Sclar

Jeffrey Gutman, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution, Washington, USA is currently a senior fellow in the Global Economy and Development program at the Brookings Institution, focusing on issues of development effectiveness, infrastructure and urban development. He retired from the World Bank in 2010 after a 31-year career where he had extensive strategic, managerial and operational responsibilities covering economic development and poverty alleviation across a range of sectors and regions of the world. He received his master's degree in city and regional planning from Rutgers University.

Moving to Access (MTA) project (2015-2020), hosted by the Brookings Institution, co-led by Robert Puentes (2015-2016), Jeff Gutman and Adie Tomer. The MTA project brings the Financing Urban Access Initiative into a continuous process of knowledge and capacity building with the aims of informing and promoting a more socially focused, access-first approach to urban transportation policy, planning, investment, and services.

The project looks to move beyond theory and accelerate the adoption of innovative efforts, exploring new tools, techniques, and performance measures, but also to foster the practical implementation of such practices and develop stronger collaborations among academics, policymakers, and practitioners worldwide.

The chief objective of the Moving to Access (MTA) Initiative is to inform and promote the creation of the new tools and techniques necessary to design, deliver, govern, and finance a more socially-focused, access-first approach to urban transportation policy, planning, investment, and services. This new approach favors the ability for people to access economic opportunity (jobs, health care, education, recreation) with less emphasis on traditional measures of congestion and vehicular throughput.

Delivering the MTA’s chief objective will require action on three fronts - accessibility metrics, urban policy, and planning, as well as funding and financing - for which Brookings proposes a five-part theory of change. This strategy includes research, analysis of policy and practice, public and private convenings, a repository of innovative practices and lessons learned, and a durable set of networks.

As a result of this work, it is the intention that cities and metropolitan areas adopt new, actionable metrics and guide more purposeful transportation and urban development initiatives that improve accessibility for people of all incomes. They would do this through flexible governance frameworks that accelerate the speed, quality, and sustainability of these efforts. The funding and finance framework would be based on an equitable capture of accessibility-based benefits and would ensure service levels and affordability cover all urban populations.

Host organisation:                                                                  The Brooking Institution


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The VREF invites Sub-Saharan based researchers with expertise on sustainable and equitable
mobility and access or related areas, and strong interest in carrying out interdisciplinary research. Open for application until 2020-09-29


The VREF invites PhD students and advanced master students from Sub-Saharan African (SSA) universities to apply for a Mobility Grant (MG) to support a visit to another SSA university with up to SEK 25 000.


The VREF invites PhD students and researchers in early stages of their career to apply for a Study Visit Grant to be supported with up to SEK 30 000.

Each year the Håkan Frisinger Foundation for Transportation Research awards a scholarship to a prominent researcher.


Lee Schipper Memorial Scholarships for Sustainable Transport and Energy Efficiency targets supporting the momentum of Lee Schipper’s contribution to the international policy dialogue in these fields.

This yearly award is aimed at supporting young individual researchers and students in is pursuance.

Call extended to April 30, 2020 due to COVID19.


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The Volvo Research and Educational Foundations (VREF) inspires, initiates and supports research and educational activities through the Future Urban Transport Programme - How to deal with the complexity of urban transport (FUT). 

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