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Criterion Details

SPS-04 Integrated Planning: Bonus (for States)

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The agency has a continuing, cooperative, and comprehensive (3-C) transportation planning process. Planners and professionals from multiple disciplines and agencies (e.g., land use, transportation, economic development, energy, natural resources, community development, equity, housing, and public health) work together to incorporate and apply all three sustainability principles when preparing and evaluating plans.

Sustainability Linkage

Triple Bottom Line

Long-range, integrated planning at the state and metropolitan levels provides the most robust framework for responding to sustainability goals. This integration supports all of the triple bottom line principles.

Background & Scoring Requirements

Scoring Requirements

Prerequisite SPS-04.1P

0 points. Achieve 10 points on each SPS-01, SPS-02, and SPS-03

To gain points under this criterion, an agency must have achieved a score of 10 points or higher on each of the first three INVEST System Planning criteria (SPS-01 through SPS-03).

High-performing states must move beyond linking each sustainability criterion (economy, environment, and social) separately to transportation. In addition, states must incorporate and evaluate the linkages and tradeoffs between the sustainability principles. States that qualify for points will be able to show how their transportation planning process and its tangible products (long-range plans, statewide plans, STIP) support this broader understanding of sustainability.

Requirement SPS-04.1

5 or 10 points. Transportation Planning Occurs within an Integrated and Collaborative Planning Process

As noted by FHWA’s Planning Processes – Metropolitan Transportation Planning website1, “since the 1962 Federal-aid Highway Act, federal authorizing legislation for expenditure of surface transportation funds has required metropolitan area transportation plans and programs to be developed through a continuing, cooperative, and comprehensive (3-C) planning process.” While Federal legislation and regulations have required this at the metropolitan level, the 3-C principles support the intent of the INVEST system well. Statewide planning for sustainable transportation outcomes is well served by following the 3-C process.

Thus, to achieve points under this criterion, the agency’s transportation planning should occur within a 3-C planning process that is interdisciplinary, and that considers all three sustainability principles at the same time. Agencies will have brought interdisciplinary stakeholders from outside the agency to evaluate its planning process through a sustainability lens and will have developed approaches that integrate the three sustainability principles into the plan(s) for their state or region. Such work is not easily reduced to a formula. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • FHWA’s Case Study on Sacramento’s Blueprint2: Integrating community participation, urban planning and design, and quantitative analysis in the public involvement process.
  • HWA’s Case Study on Florida DOT’s ETDM Process3: The development of a process for early and continuous resource agency input, and GIS analysis, into the agency’s planning and decision making process.
  • The active involvement of representatives of multiple agencies, stakeholders, and disciplines in the Agency’s INVEST self-evaluation scoring process.

One of the following scores apply:

  • 0 points. The agency assembles separate plans produced from different disciplines without interacting or collaborating with each other.
  • 5 points. The agency is making progress toward conducting its transportation planning within an interdisciplinary planning process; however, the three sustainability principles have not yet been fully integrated into the plan(s) for its jurisdiction.
  • 10 points. The agency’s transportation planning occurs within an interdisciplinary planning process. Interdisciplinary stakeholders from outside the agency have evaluated the agency’s planning process through a sustainability lens and the agency has developed approaches that integrate the three sustainability principles into the plan(s) for its jurisdiction.


Above-Referenced Resources

The following resources are referenced in this criterion and consolidated here:

  1. FHWA, Planning Processes – Metropolitan Transportation Planning website,
  2. FHWA, Case Study on Sacramento’s Blueprint
  3. FHWA, Case Study on Florida DOT’s ETDM Process

Additional Resources

The following resources provide information on this criterion topic in addition to the sources directly referenced:

  1. Godschalk and Rouse, Sustaining Places: Best Practices for Comprehensive Plans, American Planning Association, PAS 578, 2015,

Scoring Sources

The program is considered to have met this criterion if the requirements above can be reasonably substantiated through the existence of one or more of the following sources (or equivalent), as appropriate:

  1. Documentation that transportation planning occurs within an interdisciplinary, 3-C planning process (e.g., a Statewide planning framework, Sustainability Plan, or General Plan, among others).
  2. Documentation of interdisciplinary collaboration and the evaluation of the agency’s planning process through a sustainability lens (e.g., documentation of input, meeting minutes, or a summary report).