Kamille LeClair , Ignacio Tiznado-Aitken , Willem Klumpenhouwer , Steven Farber
Project prioritization is a form of decision analysis that helps practitioners establish priorities when allocating limited funding. Cities and transit agencies have been increasingly interested in adding environmental and equity considerations to this equation. Particularly, the City of Toronto’s (CoT) Transportation Services Division expressed the need for a more robust equity assessment method to prioritize programs competing for limited capital funding.
This article contributes to CoT’s goal by developing a web-based tool to help managers at the Transportation Services Division assess the equity performance of infrastructure projects under their care. The tool’s output is a quantitative score which is based on the demographic and transportation profile of those who live around the project location and on the anticipated impacts of the project. This article summarizes an applied research partnership between the University of Toronto and the City of Toronto over an 18-month period, contributing to advance the state-of-practice in Canadian cities.
As the City of Toronto faces a major budget shortfall, this new tool shows great promise to support equity-oriented project prioritization. More broadly, we hope that reporting our experience will prompt other cities to make equity an integral part of their infrastructure planning and delivery process.