Sign in

By: Hannah Day-Kapell, Principal, Alta

Planners rarely ask teens for their opinions about long-range planning efforts, even as we are influencing the future places where they will live and work. Yet high school youth have important perspectives when it comes to understanding how communities get around, what the challenges are, and how we can plan for the future.

Alta and Place It! were tasked with informing youth about the Implementation Plan for Plan Bay Area 2050 — the long-range plan for the future of California’s Bay Area. …

By: Hannah Day-Kapell, Principal, Alta

The Safe Routes to Schools (SRTS) community, like many others, has shifted and adapted to our changing world over the last 18+ months. With many schools remote or limiting on-campus activities and visitors, we’ve all had to find new ways to reach students and families. While it hasn’t been easy, it has forced some out-of-the-box thinking and innovation, resulting in many activities that can improve how we reach school communities, even as we return to more traditional learning.

Here are some SRTS trends we’ve been observing:

  • Movement towards monthly themes, tips, and activities rather than…

By: Lydia Kenselaar and Olivia Burry-Trice, Alta

We’ve seen unprecedented heat waves throughout North America this summer, and predictions indicate these weather patterns will increase in severity unless drastic climate mitigation efforts succeed. We’ve also seen what the effects of extreme heat have on active transportation.

A new Toolkit, created in a partnership between Alta, the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) and the Cities of Long Beach and Pasadena, provides solutions to the urban heat island effect exacerbated by climate change, which are intrinsically linked to issues of equity and public health. …

By: Maria Wardoku, Kristen O’Toole, and Colin Harris, Alta

Public health and transportation are intrinsically linked, but it’s rare for these two industries to work together on pushing their goals forward.

In 2019, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), This Inclusive Life, and Alta joined to create statewide guidance on how to conduct walk audits and demonstration projects that are accessible for everyone. The recently released Inclusive Walk Audit Facilitator’s Guide and series of walk audit trainings were inspired by MDH’s focus on establishing inclusive public engagement strategies centered on people with disabilities. …


Across the US, roughly two-thirds of reported bicycle crashes happen at intersections. Detecting the presence of people bicycling at or approaching signalized intersections and roadway crossings can offer traffic engineers additional tools and flexibility to improve the comfort and safety for this vulnerable group.

The implementation of modern bikeway projects often require our traffic signals to partially or fully protect people bicycling and walking from motor vehicle traffic. Solutions are often customized to the particular location and involve increasing usage of technology to make the intersection smarter and move more users with less delay.

By: Britt Storck, PLA and Will Hargrove, PLA, Alta; Additional credit: City of Sheffield Mayor Steve Stanley

“Tuscumbia Landing became part of the Trail of Tears when the US government forcibly removed Cherokee and Creek tribes in 1838–39 from their homelands in the southeastern United States to new locations hundreds of miles to the west 170 years ago.”

There was only one way to react upon reading the description of the project — complete sadness and shame reflecting on this painful occurrence in American history. But coupled with that feeling was a sense of opportunity to use meaningful design to tell a story.

Located in Sheffield, Alabama on the banks of the Tennessee River, Tuscumbia Landing has been largely untouched since the Civil War. The historic site retains many above-ground ruins from the extensive stone construction of its early industrial heritage…

By: Libby Nachman, Planning Associate, Alta

Bikeshare is coming in hot to two California cities, thanks to grants from the new statewide Clean Mobility Options Voucher Pilot Program (CMO). The project is part of the California Climate Investments, a statewide initiative that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment — particularly in disadvantaged communities.

Alta is pleased to announce that we supported two award-winning grant applications for clients in Redding and Rialto, CA.

In Redding, CA, bikeshare for residents at an affordable housing facility will provide…

Fostering professional growth and creating employee leadership opportunities are built into the core values Alta was founded on 25 years ago. Even the name Alta reflects a decision by founder Michael Jones to choose a name not tied to him, recognizing that the company is the sum of its people and its greatest success is in giving them opportunities to realize their passions and carry the mission forward.

Leadership development opportunities exist at all levels of Alta–from growing our service areas and participating in our R&D Incubator program, to joining our Mentorship Academy or any of our geographic leadership committees…

At Alta, health and wellness isn’t just part of what we do, it’s built into who we are. We know our physical and mental health is vital to a balanced life and it’s part of the reason we’re so passionate about creating active and livable spaces alongside the communities we work with.

We are a team of 170 staff across North America and SE Asia, and along with unique perspectives and different areas of expertise, we also have a diverse range of interests and ways of staying healthy. That’s why, in addition to our five-year travel benefit and professional development…

By: Lydia Kenselaar and Sam Zneimer, Alta

If you’ve visited Hermosa Beach or Beverly Hills recently, you might’ve noticed things look a little different. As part of the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG)’s broader regional planning priorities, the two cities have installed safety improvements on a trial basis that reflect the iconic characteristics of each area.

With funding from SCAG, the two projects were selected with the aim to improve safety for all users, specifically for people walking and biking. Alta led this work in collaboration with Street Plans.

In Hermosa Beach, the project titled “A Safer Prospect” speaks…


Creating active, healthy communities.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store