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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:University of Arkansas
  • Suman K Mitra
  • (479) 718-1298
  • Sarah Hernandez
  • Elizabeth K McClain
  • Reese M Brewer
Award Date:09/16/2021
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 1,000,000
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 1,000,000
  • FY 2021=$1,000,000
Start Date:11/01/2021
End Date:10/31/2022
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.070
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:SCC-CIVIC-FA Track A: A Community-Based Framework to Develop Shared Micromobility for Affordable-Accessible Housing (SMILIES)
Federal Award ID Number:2133379
DUNS ID:191429745
Parent DUNS ID:055600001
Program:S&CC: Smart & Connected Commun
Program Officer:
  • David Corman
  • (703) 292-8754

Awardee Location

Street:1125 W. Maple Street
Awardee Cong. District:03

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:University of Arkansas
Street:1125 W. Maple Street
Cong. District:03

Abstract at Time of Award

This project presents SMILIES (Shared MicromobIlity for affordabLe-accessIblE houSing): a community-engaged pilot project to improve accessibility to jobs and essential services for residents of affordable housing communities by leveraging the explosive growth of shared micromobility services (SMM). SMM includes community usage of bikes and scooters, including electric ('e') versions. Affordable-accessible housing is increasingly scarce in the U.S., particularly in small and mid-sized cities in rural areas. As these cities offer only limited public transportation options, low-income residents living in those areas may struggle to access jobs and essential services. Thus, transportation solutions that consider but do not rely on transit to improve the accessibility of low-income workers in small and mid-sized cities in rural areas should be investigated. SMM is emerging as a popular mode for recreation in large metropolitan areas but has yet to be leveraged as an innovative solution for jobs-housing transportation in affordable housing communities. The proposed SMM pilot project generated through community engagement will fill this critical gap by quantifying the impact of SMM on accessibility to jobs and essential activities for affordable housing communities. This contribution is significant because it would introduce strategies and policies to guide local governments, community champions, and SMM operators in efficient management of SMM services while ensuring the benefits are available and accessible to low-income residents, ultimately promoting social equity. The overall objective of this project is to design and evaluate an SMM system for affordable housing communities through a community-engaged research-centered pilot project. This objective will be accomplished through a Community-Based Participatory Action Research (CBPAR) methodology, supported with quantifiable models to estimate the impacts of SMM on household travel and costs as well as the latent demand for SMM services. The CBPAR team for this project includes diverse stakeholders from universities, public planning and transportation agencies, local businesses, and SMM vendors. The proposed research is transformative as it will leverage community engagement to first design a community-centered SMM system and then conduct real-world pilot deployments under community-defined conditions. The pilot is to be deployed in Fort Smith, Arkansas, a mid-sized city with high incidents of poverty and racial diversity, and a history of transportation challenges centered on access to jobs and essential services attributable to a lack of public transit. This project is part of the CIVIC Innovation Challenge, which is a collaboration of NSF, Department of Energy Vehicle Technology Office, Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate and Federal Emergency Management Agency. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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