Mobility Strategies

Mobility Strategies

Our goal is to reduce transportation-related emissions by modernizing our transportation system and accelerating the development of low-carbon communities.

While cleaner fuels and more efficient vehicles have limited growth in transportation-related emissions, to achieve the dramatic reductions required, we must transform how we move around and build communities. That is why Barr’s Mobility portfolio focuses on smarter travel and smarter places.

We need new conversations and new ideas, and we must shift focus from what isn’t working to what’s possible. We see Barr’s role as helping to build understanding about challenges and potential solutions, and helping to bring solutions to life—creating more walkable, vibrant communities that work for people. In many ways, our region and nation lag behind others in realizing this vision. Yet we know we have the potential to be bold and lead—even as we learn from and with others engaged in this work.

Our efforts to achieve this goal are aligned under the following two strategies:

1. Improve and modernize the region’s transportation system.

Smarter Travel


  • Strengthen our existing MBTA system: Support research and communications to inform public discussion and decision-making about current and future transportation needs and to increase public confidence that the transportation system can work.
  • Expand mobility choices and financing options: Support research, communications, convening, and learning opportunities to explore and catalyze new solutions for closing transit gaps and for sustainably financing transportation in the region.
  • Catalyze a seamless, 21st-century transportation system: Invest in leadership, leverage technology, and support innovative pilots that can help catalyze a seamless, 21st-century transportation system.

2. Accelerate the development of low-carbon communities.

Smarter Places


  • Strengthen planning and development capacity in outer-ring suburbs and rapidly-developing cities that are, or could be, well connected to transportation.
  • Support research, convening, communications, and advocacy that advances smart-growth development across the region.

Smarter travel. Smarter places. Transformation in how we get around and how we build our communities.

Download a strategy overview

Climate Program Grantmaking Process and Inquiries

Grants awarded by the Barr Foundation originate in different ways. The majority are initiated by our staff. Additionally, given the value we place on long-term partnerships, many grants are renewals for current grantees.

However, we welcome inquiries from those who feel their work may align with Barr’s priorities and who wish to introduce themselves to us. The best approach is to send a brief description (we suggest 300–400 words) of your organization and the funding opportunity you would like us to consider to While we commit to reviewing all inquiries, given the high volume we receive and a relatively small staff, we reply only to those we intend to explore further.

Click here for more information on our grantmaking process.

Embracing Opportunities for Smarter Travel, Smarter Places

Learn more about the ideas and trends that informed these new strategies.