Carissa Slotterback: Institutionalizing Innovation in Communities: Complete Streets in Action

Carissa Slotterback

Carissa Slotterback during her lecture in McGraw Hall. William Staffeld / AAP

Carissa Slotterback is an associate professor of urban and regional planning in the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. Her research and teaching are focused on public engagement and environmental planning. She is particularly interested in how stakeholders perceive impacts and use information in making decisions, focusing on impact assessment, collaborative decision making, and sustainability planning approaches. In addition to her faculty role, she serves as director of research engagement in the university's Office of the Vice President for Research, where she leads efforts to advance interdisciplinary research and collaboration with the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. She founded, and for three years served as director, of the Resilient Communities Project, a community-university engagement project that connects local government sustainability and resilience projects with students and faculty at the University of Minnesota.

Slotterback serves as a regional representative and is incoming secretary on the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning Governing Board and is also active on state and national committees of the American Planning Association. She has experience as a planner in the public and private sectors and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners. Slotterback holds a master's degree in city and regional planning from Clemson University and a Ph.D. in urban and regional planning from Florida State University.


Communities across the U.S. are organizing around complete streets as a way of advancing innovative transportation planning and providing transportation choices for their residents. We are now seeing an increasing number of examples of communities that are moving from complete streets plans to constructing projects. The presentation will highlight findings from a recent study of complete streets implementation efforts in 11 communities, emphasizing that a successful move from complete streets concept to implementation relies on a tailored approach that strategically responds to key aspects of the community context. Further, implementation relies on building new decision making processes, restructuring organizations, and engaging key stakeholders to support innovative practice. Critical roles that planners can play in institutionalizing innovation in their communities, including in emerging complete streets efforts will be a focus.

Cosponsored by the Department of City and Regional Planning, Russell Van Nest Black Lecture Fund, and Cornell Engaged Learning + Research
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