Minnesota Department of Transportation

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Sustainability and Public Health Fellowship

About the program

The 2022-2023 Sustainability and Public Health Fellow will support MnDOT in exploring creative ways of achieving state greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goals. In partnership with MnDOT’s Sustainability and Public Health Division (SPHD),  the Fellow will experiment with artistic projects, tools, and strategies to reduce transportation carbon pollution, including reducing personal vehicle miles driven to reduce Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) by 20% per capital by 2050 based on recommendations from the Sustainable Transportation Advisory Council.

The Fellow will collaborate with internal and external partners and subject-area experts at Smart Growth America to develop creative approaches to make progress toward the VMT reduction goal. Creative projects may include targeted stakeholder engagement in urban and rural environments, events, or creative ways of increasing public transit use, biking, and walking or supporting efforts by local governments to dedicate their right of way to low carbon and active transportation.

The Sustainability and Public Health Fellow will work with MnDOT’s Sustainability and Public Health Division, the Office of Transportation System Management, Office of Transit and Active Transportation, Office of Communications and Public Engagement, the Office of Land Management, and the Districts to pursue creative approaches that support a clean, equitable, affordable, and convenient transportation future. MnDOT is interested in approaches that evaluate mobility and transportation options from a new and fresh perspective.

Framing Questions: Sustainability and Public Health Fellowship

What creative and artistic approaches, inquiry, or interventions can be applied to:

  • transportation electrification, eMobility and decreasing the number of miles people drive promote a healthier, more equitable and more sustainable Minnesota?
  • strategies to avoid shifting time and cost burdens of low carbon options to BIPOC and people with low incomes?
  • increase safety for bicyclists and pedestrians?
  • explore opportunities and challenges in VMT reduction for urban, suburban, and rural areas in Minnesota? How can multimodal transportation options be promoted in a culturally responsive and engaging way?
  • multimodal accessibility, public transit and other transportation options are essential components of motility without personal vehicle ownership – how can non-driving options be more safe, reliable, convenient, and affordable?
  • arts and culture as safety interventions on transportation infrastructure, including both traffic safety and personal, psychological safety?
  • lower VMT to encourage walking and biking, influence travel behavior or calm traffic by reducing speeds?
  • public art and artistic activations to improve the feeling of personal safety, community climate action empowerment and travel behavior?
  • include placemaking, art and enhanced green infrastructure to experiment with increasing biking and walking?
  • Expand public engagement of historically underserved communities during project development and construction phases to influence the outcomes of projects?
  • develop relationships with Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) to promote alternative transportation modes and transit?
  • Determine if internal policy, process and cultural enhancements are needed to create a culture of VMT reduction at MnDOT? What strategies could be piloted with MnDOT’s workforce of over 5,000 employees statewide?