Catherine Ross

Catherine Ross
Harry West Professor, School of City and Regional Planning
Director, Center for Quality Growth and Regional Development
(404) 385-5130

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Biosketch

Catherine Ross is an internationally recognized expert on transportation systems planning, urban planning and quality growth. She has extensive experience in both the public and private sector and directs Georgia Institute of Technology’s Center for Quality Growth and Regional Development (CQGRD) where she also serves as serves as Harry West Professor and Advance Professor in the School of City and Regional Planning in the College of Architecture. She is a member of the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) and past president of the National Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP). Ross has served on numerous National Academies committees including the Transportation Research Board Executive Committee, University Transportation Centers Program and on the board of directors of the ENOTransportation Foundation. She earned a Masters Degree and a Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning from Cornell University and completed post-doctorate work at the University of California, Berkeley. She has conducted research for numerous governmental agencies, foundations and the private sector. In July 2009,  Ross was selected to advise the Obama Administration on the first-ever White House Office of Urban Affairs. She is the editor of Megaregions: Planning for Global Competitiveness (Island Press, 2009) and the co-author of The Inner City: Urban Poverty and Economic Development in the Next Century (1997).  Her most recent book "Health Impact Assessment in the United States" was published in 2014. Ross has conducted research on transportation and urban planning and how to make cities, neighborhoods and regions safer, healthier places for all to live. She is the author of numerous articles, books, research reports and media publications including the Wall Street Journal, Urban Land Institute, the Atlanta Journal Constitution and speaks regularly to national and international forums.

Educational Background
Ph.D., City and Regional Planning, Cornell University
M.R.P., Regional Planning, Cornell University
B.A., History, Sociology, and Education Certification, Kent State University

Fields

  • Transportation Planning/Impact Analysis
  • Transportation and Infrastructure
  • Land Use and Regional Governance
  • Healthy Places
  • Regional Planning
  • Urban Revitalization
  • Sustainable Development and Quality Growth

Synergistic Activities

The Megaregion: Most recently,  Ross has emerged as thought leader in the creation of a new theoretical direction “Megaregions”. She has made more than 40 invited presentations on this topic over the last four years both nationally and internationally and is the author of Megaregions: Planning for Global Competitiveness (Ed), Island Press, 2009. She serves as principal investigator on a number of research efforts funded by the United States Department of Transportation to assess the impact of megaregionson both the methodological and operations of current transportation planning practice and administration. This research is developing the pedagogical and conceptual roadmap for identifying and delineating megaregions in the United States. In fifty years more than 400 million people will reside in the United States according to estimates by the U.S. Census Bureau (2006); approximately 70% will reside in or live in close proximity to a megaregion. This population expansion will take place around eight to tenmegaregions, and will place even greater pressures on economic, natural, built, social and infrastructure systems. In both her teaching and research activities Ross integrates sustainability focusing on the increasing urbanization we are experiencing and its implications for redevelopment and future investments.  

Ross's academic work has largely been concerned with the development of metrics to measure the impacts of different transportation investments on the spatial and social structure of urban areas. Recently the work on spatial and social structures has expanded to include metrics to gauge the sustainability and health impacts associated with different transportation plans and technologies. She is one among a very small number of researchers who are currently conducting pioneering work in the field of Health Impact Assessment using (HIA), a relatively new impact assessment tool. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and Pew Charitable Trusts funded much of her work in the health arena. Ross has conducted more than six HIAs. One HIA was conducted for the Atlanta beltline project, currently the largest redevelopment project in the United States. She has published extensively. and across a wide range of outlets.  

Ross is engaged in the conduct of research on bringing freight components into statewide and regional travel demand forecasting. Her recent work on freight movement, port facilities, and economic competitiveness, proposed a megaregion-levelmethodological framework to estimate the economic impact of canal expansion on transportation infrastructure and economic growth in Georgia counties located in the Piedmont Atlantic Megaregion (PAM). Linking freight modeling with commodity flow and economic impact analysis, this methodology not only allows us to discover the freight flows at regional and megaregional level, but also provides detailed information of local economic activities demonstrating the use of megaregion-level analysis at the local level.

Ross has been active in a number of significant initiatives. She was appointed to the “Advisory Committee for the White House Office of Urban Affairs in 2009 by President Obama and contributes regularly to urban initiatives at the federal level. She has been widely recognized for the quality of her work and was the recipient of the “Find the Good and Praise It Award” presented in 1998 by Secretary of Transportation Rodney Slater for her work on the National Personal Transportation Survey Team. She is past president of the National Association of Collegiate Schools of planning (ACSP) and has been named to 2009 Atlanta’s Top 100 Women of Influence by the Atlanta Business League and named to Georgia Trend’s list of Notable Georgians (2009). 

Research: 

Research Ambitions
An internationally known transportation and urban planner, Catherine Ross has conducted research and has project experience at the local, national, and international levels. In addition, she co-founded Euquant, Inc., an Atlanta-based economic and planning consulting firm. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Ford Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), PEW Charitable Trusts, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy-China, Federal Transit Administration, and many local, city, and state governments throughout the country.

Research Groups/Labs
Director, Center for Quality Growth and Regional Development

Books

  • Ross, C.L. (2009). Megaregions: Planning for Global Competitiveness. Washington D.C.: Island Press.
  • Boston, T. D., & Ross, C. L. (Eds.). (1997). The Inner City: Urban Poverty and Economic Development in the Next Century (1 ed.). New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers.

Book Chapters

  • Ross, C. & Rao, A. (2013) HIA in the U.S.: Pracitice, Policy and Legal Underpinnings. Integrating Health Impact Assessment (HIA) into the Policy Process: Lessons and Experiences from around the World. Oxford University Press.

  • C. Ross, M. Orenstein and N. Botchwey. HIA in the U.S.: Practice, Policy and Legal Underpinnings. In Integrating Health Impact Assessment (HIA) into the Policy Process: Lessons and Experiences from around the World. Oxford University Press. 2012.
  • Ross, C.L. and Danner, A. (2010). Beyond the Metropolis: Megaregions and the Global Economy. Building Metropolitan Atlanta: Past, Present, and Future. (pp 21-22). Atlanta Chapter for the Congress for New Urbanism
  • Ross, C.L., & Marcus, M.J. (2010). Calculating for Health: The Atlanta BeltLine Health Impact Assessment and Study. Building Metropolitan Atlanta: Past, Present, and Future. (pp. 68-70). Atlanta Chapter for the Congress for New Urbanism.
  • Ross, Catherine. ―Smart Growth: A National Perspective” Dr. Catherine Ross, Harry West Professor Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Ross, C.L. & Marcus, M.  (2009). Roadways and Health: Making the Case for Collaboration. In Malekafzali, S. (Ed.), Healthy, Equitable Transportation Policy: Recommendations and Research (PolicyLink, Prevention Institute, Convergence Partnership. PolicyLink, Prevention Institute, Convegence Partnership.
  • Ross, C.L. (2009). Regional Transportation and Development in Atlanta. In Hack, G., Birch, E., Sedway, P., & Silver, M. (Eds.), Local Planning: Contemporary Principles and Practice. Washington, DC: International City/County Management Association.
  • Leigh, N.G. & Ross, C.L. (2009). Planning, Urban Revitalization and Inner City: An Exploration of Structural Racism. In Birch, E.L. (Ed.) The Urban and Planning Reader, (pp. 21-28). New York:  Routledge
  • Ross, C.L. & Woo, M. (2009). Identifying Megaregions in the US: Implications for Infrastructure Investment.” In Ross, C.L. (Ed.), Megaregions: Planning for Global Competitiveness. (pp. 53-80). Washington, DC: Island Press.
  • Ross, C.L., & Doyle, J.L. (2009). The Megaregion and the Future of American Planning. In Ross, C.L. (Ed.), Megaregions: Planning for Global Competitiveness. (pp. 280-287). Washington, DC: Island Press.

  • Ross, C.L., Barringer, J., & Amekudzi, A.A. (2009). Mobility in the Megaregion. In Ross, C.L. (Ed.), Megaregions: Planning for Global Competitiveness. (pp. 140-165). Washington, DC: Island Press.
Refereed Articles
Teaching: 

Recent Courses

  • CP 6311/ CEE 6602 | Introduction to Transportation Planning
  • CP 6233 | Sustainable Urban Development
  • CP 6052 | Growth, Regionalism and Cities

Dissertations Supervised

  • Shi Hak Noh, 1989: Efficiency and Equity Implications of Private Automobile Use in an Urban Area. A Case Study of Metro-Atlanta.

Current PhD Students

  • Arthi Rao
  • Barbara Faga
  • Jessica L. H. Doyle
  • Eric Sundquist