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Title:Developing a Livability Program for Indian Reservations: A Methodology and Case Study
Authors:Sanjay Pokharel, Debbie S. Shinstine, and Khaled Ksaibati
University:University of Wyoming
Publication Date:Dec 2015
Report #:MPC-15-293
Project #:MPC-417
TRID #:01594696
Keywords:case studies, data collection, Indian reservations, methodology, quality of life, rural areas, stakeholders, surveys, sustainable development


Livability is a fairly new concept well understood in urban areas, but less so in rural areas and Indian reservations. A methodology was developed to identify the important livability issues for Tribal communities and consists of data collection, analysis, and development of the program. The methodology was implemented on the Wind River Indian Reservation (WRIR). Data was collected from a needs determination survey known as the WINDS III, and also from stakeholder and resident surveys. Common livability themes from the different sources of information were discovered. A definition was formulated, which focuses on a community having well-maintained roads with safe pedestrian/bicycle facilities that benefit people by providing access to jobs, health care, and recreational activities and by preserving the culture and sovereignty.

The final step in the methodology was to develop a livability program that includes the existing programs and projects. It also will include other programs for future consideration, which address identified issues. Coordination and collaboration is important to the success of a practical livability program and includes engaging the community for feedback and review.

This methodology can be implemented on other Indian reservations across the United States and will require coordination with other states, tribal governments, Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP), and Tribal Technical Assistance Program (TTAP) centers. The commonalities from a broader implementation will provide comparisons and analysis of important issues of livability on Indian reservations, which will help guide tribes to make decisions and better allocate resources for transportation, economic development, and improved quality of life.

How to Cite

Pokharel, Sanjay, Debbie S. Shinstine, and Khaled Ksaibati. Developing a Livability Program for Indian Reservations: A Methodology and Case Study, MPC-15-293. North Dakota State University - Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute, Fargo: Mountain-Plains Consortium, 2015.

NDSU Dept 2880P.O. Box 6050Fargo, ND 58108-6050