Who Is ARC
Together, we are working to create
It takes innovation and collaboration among the best professionals to redesign our roads, and it takes a partnership to make this happen. ARC’s partners work in many ways to support the science, design, construction and educational potential of wildlife crossings. Our partners include foundations, NGOs, transportation agencies, and universities in Canada and the U.S.
Our work has grown from hosting the world’s first International Design Competition for Wildlife Crossing Infrastructure in 2010 to a partnership dedicated to finding and implementing leading-edge solutions to human and wildlife mobility, and to long-term landscape connectivity.
We need your help: Join us and become part of the solution.
ARC Mission and Goals
ARC is an international network whose mission is to identify and promote leading-edge solutions to improve human safety, wildlife mobility and long-term landscape connectivity. We do this by fostering innovation in the placement, design and construction of wildlife crossings. We know these are solutions that work, and we seek to share this knowledge to build support for safe passage. We do this in three ways:
- Innovate: ARC engages new thinking for greater functionality, integration in design, and cost efficiency in next-generation wildlife crossings, including planning, design, and construction strategies. Beginning with the ARC International Wildlife Crossing Infrastructure Design Competition in 2010, our activities have expanded in support of this goal to include (a) sourcing innovative solutions, (b) promoting global best practices, and (c) celebrating innovations that reweave landscapes. ARC defines “innovation” broadly to include novel practices within and across the disciplines of engineering, hydrology, landscape architecture, ecology, finance, procurement, communications and others.
- Educate: ARC works to broadly educate the public about the cost of wildlife-vehicle collisions (over $8 billion annually in the U.S.) to increase the understanding of and, ultimately, support for implementing crossing structures. We prioritize wildlife overpasses, not only because they are the crossing structures that work best for some species, but because they are more visible and therefore have the capacity to communicate and inspire. ARC seeks to identify and develop venues, both virtual and physical, to get the word out to people who can make a difference and to share the story of the importance of wildlife crossings with diverse audiences in a strategic way through leading-edge research, best practices, and innovative tools. The ARC website and mobile XING exhibit are two platforms that serve these objectives.
- Motivate: ARC seeks to overcome cultural and institutional barriers to deploying the best available science and design for innovative wildlife crossing structures and to build support for funding and constructing such structures wherever they are needed across North America. To realize this goal, ARC promotes wildlife crossing structures as a proven solution to improving wildlife habitat connectivity and reducing wildlife-vehicle collisions, and works to ensure that decision makers consider the propriety of deploying such structures as early as possible during an integrated planning and design process.
Three ways ARC works for safe passage
ARC is organized around three core initiatives: communications, technology transfer and implementation.
Communications Initiative. The Communications Initiative is the curator of the ARC story—a story that is adapted to various contexts and audiences to best suit a diversity of educational opportunities that may include everyone from curious students to research scientists, engineers, designers and policy-makers.
Our current priorities include:
- continuing to update and optimize our website to provide various levels of content on the ARC competition and further ARC initiatives in the technology transfer and implementation of wildlife crossings;
- determining how to adapt the products of the ARC competition—including physical models, design concept panels, other content and the design teams—to maximize their effect in communicating the story of ARC and of highway ecology; and
- identifying and developing other venues, both virtual and physical, to curate, exhibit and mobilize the story of ARC at several scales: from wildlife crossings to landscape connectivity.
Technology Transfer Initiative. The Technology Transfer Initiative engages scientific, planning and engineering professionals working in the natural resource and transportation fields in research, development and deployment of wildlife crossings. In doing so, we are striving to normalize the idea of mitigation infrastructure for wildlife. Through partners such as the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Western Transportation Institute (WTI), we offer technical information from the ARC competition and ongoing research related to road ecology and effective designs for crossing structures. At the same time, we are listening and responding to the culture and needs of the transportation community to increase the likelihood that our information will inform and inspire built projects.
Our current priorities include:
- outreach and dissemination to professional organizations—such as American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), International Conference on Ecology and Transportation, The Wildlife Society, the Society for Conservation Biology, Local Technical Assistance Program, Institute for Transportation Engineers and Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute—via public and conference presentations, newsletter articles, podcasts and so forth;
- technical assistance and targeted outreach to all levels of highway planners, designers, engineers and resource agencies, including key agencies in priority regions such as Parks Canada, Canadian Pacific and the departments of transportation (DOT) in Wyoming, Washington and Colorado;
- surveying and interviewing DOTs about perceived barriers to the implementation of wildlife crossings; and
- establishing an outreach plan targeted to universities.
Implementation Initiative. The Implementation Initiative serves to advance the deployment of new wildlife crossing structures to benefit both humans and wildlife, and to build support for systems of crossings with key decision-makers in priority regions. ARC partners are currently working with a variety of state and federal agencies to identify potential sites for ARC-inspired wildlife crossings.
In this context, our current priorities include:
- mobilizing the public and raising public awareness of the need for wildlife crossings;
- contacting highway departments, and environmental and other approval agencies, to promote the integration of wildlife crossings into day-to-day highway planning;
- working with highway departments, planning and other agencies and stakeholders to provide recommendations for prospective highway mitigation projects;
- increasing policy-maker awareness; and
- broadly motivating the construction of wildlife crossings.
ARC is steadily growing and we look forward to welcoming prospective corporate, municipal, state and other partners and supporters of our work. To join us, click here.
ARC Competition Finalists:
Balmori Associates (New York) with StudioMDA, Knippers Helbig Inc., David Skelly, CITA, Bluegreen, John A. Martin & Associates, and David Langdon.
HNTB Engineering with Michael Van Valkenburgh & Associates (New York) with Applied Ecological Services, Inc.
The Olin Studio (Philadelphia) with Explorations Architecture (Paris), Buro Happold (London) and Applied Ecological Services.
Janet Rosenberg & Associates (Toronto) with Blackwell Bowick Partnership, Dougan & Associates, and Ecokare International.
Zwarts & Jansma Architects (Amsterdam) with OKRA Landscape Architects, IV-infra and Planecologie.
Federal Highways Administration-Office of Federal Lands Highway
National Park Service
Bureau of Indian Affairs
United States Fish and Wildlife Service
United States Forest Service