Catherine Ross is an internationally recognized expert on transportation systems planning, urban planning and quality growth. She has extensive experience in both the public and private sector and directs Georgia Institute of Technology’s Center for Quality Growth and Regional Development (CQGRD) where she also serves as serves as Harry West Professor and Advance Professor in the School of City and Regional Planning in the College of Architecture. She is a member of the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) and past president of the National Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP). Ross has served on numerous National Academies committees including the Transportation Research Board Executive Committee, University Transportation Centers Program and on the board of directors of the ENOTransportation Foundation. She earned a Masters Degree and a Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning from Cornell University and completed post-doctorate work at the University of California, Berkeley. She has conducted research for numerous governmental agencies, foundations and the private sector. In July 2009, Ross was selected to advise the Obama Administration on the first-ever White House Office of Urban Affairs. She is the editor of Megaregions: Planning for Global Competitiveness (Island Press, 2009) and the co-author of The Inner City: Urban Poverty and Economic Development in the Next Century (1997). Her most recent book "Health Impact Assessment in the United States" was published in 2014. Ross has conducted research on transportation and urban planning and how to make cities, neighborhoods and regions safer, healthier places for all to live. She is the author of numerous articles, books, research reports and media publications including the Wall Street Journal, Urban Land Institute, the Atlanta Journal Constitution and speaks regularly to national and international forums.
Affinity Group / Department:
Transportation Systems Engineering
Adjunct and Part-Time
Ph.D., City and Regional Planning, Cornell University
M.R.P., Regional Planning, Cornell University
B.A., History, Sociology, and Education Certification, Kent State University
Ross, Catherine, Reviewer National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine 2020. Advancing Urban Sustainability in China and the United States: Proceedings of a Workshop.
Transportation Planning/Impact Analysis
Transportation and Infrastructure
Land Use and Regional Governance
Urban Revitalization and sustainable development
Sustainable Development and Quality Growth
Sperling, E. and Ross, C.L. “Strategically Aligning Capital Improvement Prioritization to Performance Goals” Transportation Research Record, Article Number 787639, July 2018.
Wang, Fangru, Ross, Catherine, “Machine Learning Travel Mode Choices: Comparing the Performance of an Extreme Gradient Boosting Model with a Multinomial Logit Model, Transportation Research Board, Transportation Research Record, 0361198118773556, May 2018.
Zhang, Wenwen, Guhathakurta, Subhrajit, Pendyala, Ram, Garikapati, Venu and Ross, Catherine, “A Generalizable Method for Estimating Household Energy by Neighborhoods in US Urban Regions,” World Engineers Summit – Applied Energy Symposium and Forum: Low Carbon Cities & Urban Energy Joint Conference, WES-CUE, Singapore, 19-21 July 2017.
Ross, Catherine, and Guhathakurta, Subhrajit, “Autonomous Vehicles and Energy Impacts: A Scenario Analysis,” World Engineers Summit – Applied Energy Symposium & Forum: Low Carbon Cities & Urban Energy Joint Conference, accepted: WES-CUE 2017, Singapore, 19–21 July 2017.
Wang, Fangru, Ross, Catherine, “New potential for multimodal connection: exploring the relationship between taxi and transit in New York City (NYC), Transportation (2017). doi:10.1007/s11116-017-9787-x, pp 1-22, Transportation | Planning – Policy – Research – Practice|, Springer, New York 2017, May 30, 2017.
Wang, F. and Ross, C. L., “Modeling the Choice of On-demand Ride Service with Multinomial Logit Model and Tree-Based Ensemble Methods: Evidence from New York and Seattle.” Submitted to Transportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies (Under Review). 2017.
Wang, F., and Ross, C. L., “Understanding the Choice of On-demand Ride Service: A Discrete Choice Model using the 2017 National Household Travel Survey Data”. Submitted to Transportation Policy (Under Review) 2017.
Ross, Catherine, Woo, Myungje and Wang, Fangru, “Megaregions and regional sustainability,” International Journal of Urban Sciences, Volume 20, Number 3, pp. 19, November 2016.
Ross, Catherine L, Orenstein, Marla, Botchwey, Nisha, “Health Impact Assessment in the United States Springer-Verilog: April 2014. ((ISBN-10: 1461473020 | ISBN-13: 978-1461473022)
Ross, Catherine L. “Megaregions: Planning for Global Competitiveness” Island Press, Washington DC: 2009.
Ross, Catherine L., Hylton, Peter and Wang, Fangru, “Integrating Health into Metropolitan Transportation Planning”, in Transportation, Land Use and Environmental Planning. Elsevier Press, 2020.
Ross, Catherine L., “Regional Growth, Transportation, and Congestion: The Atlanta Problem,” Part 3, Chapter 14 in Planning Atlanta published by APA Planners Press, 2014 ISBN: 978-1-61190-126-9, December 2014.
Ross, Catherine L. and Rao, Arthi, “HIA in the U.S.: Practice, Policy, and Legal Underpinnings.” Integrating Health Impact Assessment (HIA) into the Policy Process: Lessons and Experiences from around the World. Oxford University Press, April 2013.
Ross, Catherine L., and Danner, Amy,2010. “Beyond the Metropolis: Megaregions and the Global Economy.” Building Metropolitan Atlanta: Past, Present, and Future. Atlanta Chapter for the Congress for New Urbanism: pp. 21-22, April 2010.
Ross, Catherine L., and Marcus, Michelle J. 2010. “Calculating for Health: The Atlanta Beltline Health Impact Assessment and Study.” Building Metropolitan Atlanta: Past, Present, and Future. Atlanta Chapter for the Congress for New Urbanism, pp 68-70, April 2010.
Center for Quality Growth and Regional Development has been selected for 2019 Best of Atlanta Awards in the category of Education. For details and more information please view the website: 2019 Best of Atlanta Awards - Education
Reviewer for the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine “Advancing Urban Sustainability in China and the United States,” Proceedings of a Workshop. (Spring 2020)
Reviewer, Program Review, City and Regional Planning, UC Berkley, (2018)
Member, the Transition team of the new Atlanta mayor, Keisha Lance Bottoms, Jan. – May 2018
Board of Advisors, Young Professionals in Transportation, 2016 -2018
National High-end Foreign Expert, Tongji University, IESD, China, 2015 – present
Visiting Professor, Tongji Institute of Environment for Sustainable Development (IESD), Summer 2015
2015 Great Teacher, Georgia Tech’s Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning, Thank a Teacher Program. July 23, 2016, Dr. Ross was presented with the Great Teacher Award in appreciation of her teaching style and dedication to helping students.
Member of Faculty Council on Data Science and Engineering (2014- present)
C3E Clean Education & Empowerment Award, 2014
Georgia Power Professor of Excellence (2014)
Invitee: Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Groundbreaking Ceremony, and Reception. Washington, D.C. (February 2012)
Best Accounting System, State of Georgia, Georgia Regional Transportation Authority, 2013
University of Pennsylvania Institute for Urban Research (IUR) Scholar, 2011
A judge on the Federal Highway Administration's & Federal Transit Administration's 2010 Transportation Planning Excellence Awards Panel. (February-May)
Council Member, the American High-Speed Rail Alliance Thought Leadership Council
Committee Member, State Smart Transportation Initiative, 2010
Member of the Ivan Allen Prize Nominating Committee, Georgia Institute of Technology (2010)
CHOSEN Awards Women's History Honoree. Public choice award for being a trailblazer in education, urban planning/community development, and business. (2010)
Nominator for the Heinz Award (2010)
White House Appointment to the “Advisory Committee for the White House Office of Urban Affairs, 2009-present. One of 27 people selected to advise the president on the newly created White House Office of Urban Affairs
Invitee to the White House Office of Urban Affairs and the Domestic Policy Council Urban Policy Roundtable (2009)
Named to 2009 Atlanta’s Top 100 Black Women of Influence, Atlanta Business League (2009)
Named to Georgia Trend 2009 Notable Georgians (2009)
Member of the New Orleans ORM Technical Advisory Committee (2006-2010)
Inductee: National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) (November 16, 2006)
Awarded first endowed chair in the College of Architecture- Harry West Chair, (2003 to present)
Recipient of “Find the Good and Praise It Award”, presented by Rodney E. Slater, Secretary of Transportation for excellent work done as a member of the Nationwide Personal Transportation Survey Team, (February 9, 1998)
Leader of the Urban Planning Delegation to China. Citizen Ambassador Program. Tour Code: BMS-907. Led a delegation of planners and architects to China for professional meetings with Chinese counterparts. The delegation visited Beijing, Xi'an, and Shanghai. (Fall 1997)
Invited by President Clinton and Mrs. Hillary Clinton to the White House for awards presentation and reception for my service to the “Arts,” particularly the Presidential Design Awards Program sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts. (1994)
President, National Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP), (1993 to 1995)
Interdisciplinary Research Area(s):