Road Ecology Center
BRITE – Border Region Information on Transportation and the Environment
- Author(s): Dehaas, Jocelyn H.
- White, Mary E.
- et al.
Knowledge and information are critical components of planning and community decision-making. A key challenge to addressing transportation-related environmental concerns is obtaining enough information to make sound policy decisions. To meet this challenge, ATRI has established a repository for Border Region Information on Transportation and the Environment (BRITE).
The BRITE is a comprehensive online and text-based annotated bibliography that provides full bibliographic information and contact sources for pertinent social and natural science research projects. We believe that the BRITE is the first repository of its kind. Such information sharing as is provided by the BRITE can enable precious research dollars to go farther because researchers can avoid the duplication of efforts. It also can allow NGOs and the general public to quickly and easily locate information that may be relevant to local planning and policy efforts. In doing so, the BRITE can create circumstances which will generate collaborative efforts among diverse entities.
In 1983, the US and Mexico signed the “La Paz Agreement” which defined the border zone as the region situated 60 miles (100 kilometers) on either side of the 2,000-mile international boundary between the US and Mexico. The BRITE also uses this definition. The region encompasses approximately 240,000 square miles of diverse ecological territory that include wetlands, semi-arid, desert, and coastal regions. In this desert environment, transportation is one of the primary environmental concerns with regard to air quality, water quality, habitat protection, land use, hazardous waste transportation, and noise pollution. As the border area population continues to grow, addressing the links between transportation and the environment will only increase in importance.
Border Region Information on Transportation and the Environment (BRITE) was created in 1998 to address the need of information sharing. BRITE is a searchable, on-line database where people can access bibliographic information on what has been written about transportation and environmental issues in the border region. BRITE enables researchers, interest groups, planners, and the general public access to this information. The goal of BRITE is to increase information exchange and collaboration. BRITE was created in sections, the first of which was Air Quality. Subsequently, three other sections have been researched: Water Quality, Habitat, and Land Use. Future plans for BRITE include sections on Hazardous Waste, Noise, and Regulations.