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Small Urban Rural and TRIBAL Center on Mobility (SURTCOM)


The Urban Planning programs offer both undergraduate and graduate degrees in urban and regional planning. Both degree programs are professionally accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board.

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    Eastern Washington University's Tribal Planning Programs are very pleased to join the effort for research and scholarly support as part of SURTCOM, within the Montana State University Western Transportation Institute, and to focus on research related to tribal transportation and Native American mobility. Our tribal programs are part of the Department of Urban Planning and Public Administration, and carried out in conjunction with the EWU Tribal Planning Programs, led by Margo Hill, JD, EWU Assistant Professor of Planning. These efforts were initially led by Dr. Dick Winchell, FAICP, Professor of Planning, and supported by the Chair of Planning and Public Administration, Dr. Kerry Brooks, Dr. Jason Scully, Assistant Professor of Planning, Dr. Ning Li, Director of the Public Administration Program, Rowena Yeahquo, past director of NWTTAP, and associated faculty, scholars and consultants.

    The Urban and Regional Planning Programs at EWU have a long history of support and active engagement with Native American planning efforts and with tribal elected leaders, staff, and community members of federally recognized American Indian reservations and Native Americans across the nation. We have established a Summer Institute in Tribal Planning in 1987 that continues today, as well as a Tribal Planning specialization, and graduates of our program are tribal planners and tribal staff and elected leaders across the nation. We are very pleased to expand this effort and join the SURTCOM Program.

    Mission Statement

    The mission of the Small Urban, Rural and Tribal Center on Mobility is to conduct research and provide leadership, education, workforce development and technology transfer in all transportation related aspects of mobility for people and goods, focusing specifically on small urban, rural and tribal areas.  

    SURTCOM combines the talents of the Western Transportation Institute at Montana State University, Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute at North Dakota State University, and Tribal Planning Programs at Eastern Washington University into an organization that can enhance mobility in small urban, rural and tribal communities and areas.

    SURTCOM is working on improving the mobility of people and goods, while also addressing focus areas such as:

    Definitions: Mobility and Accessibility in terms of Investments

    Mobility: Mobility investments help us travel freely wherever we might want to go. Mobility investments are mainly capital facilities like an added highway lane, a rail extension, or a bicycle path. Mobility investments may also include measures that make the transportation system more efficient and productive, such as synchronizing traffic lights or improving transit speed, reliability, or frequency.

    Accessibility: Accessibility investments help us get the things we want and need. Rather than focusing on movement, accessibility may bring the product closer to the consumer. Locating a school and a retail main street in the middle of a neighborhood improves accessibility, reducing the need for people to move long distances and improving their choices. Accessibility investments include mixed-use zoning, delivery services, and high-speed Internet services that reduce the need for movement.  

    (Source: Tumlin, J.(2012). Sustainable Transportation Planning. Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley and Sons, pg. 9)


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Updated 12/7/2017

    Contact Information

    Urban and Regional Planning, Graduate Program
    668 N. Riverpoint Blvd, Suite A
    Spokane, WA 99202

    phone: 509.828.1230
    fax: 509.828.1275

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