US Gov Launches New Agenda for Smart Growth and Sustainable Development

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Image via AIA Colorado

Back in March, Obama announced that he was partnering the Department of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development to forge a strategy for sustainable, smart growth in the US. But one important government agency was curiously missing: the EPA. Now, the Environmental Protection Agency is joining the fray, and it could result in the creation of the greenest agenda the US has seen for sustainable development.Essentially, the new partnership means that there will be a new focus on environmental issues when the nation's housing and transportation needs are being considered, and that sustainability will be a primary concern for perhaps the first time in US history (at least when it comes to the HUD).

This is truly encouraging--this partnership isn't particularly sexy, and is unlikely to garner any headlines in the MSM. It's further proof that there's an actual shifting towards an emphasis on sustainable development from the current administration.

Here's the 3-way partnership's MO, via NRDC:

  • Provide more transportation choices. Develop safe, reliable and economical transportation choices in order to decrease household transportation costs, reduce our nations' dependence on foreign oil, improve air quality, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote public health.

  • Promote equitable, affordable housing. Atlanta's Livable Centers Initiative was another EPA smart growth award winner (courtesy of USEPA)Expand location and energy efficient housing choices for people of all ages, incomes, races and ethnicities to increase mobility and lower the combined cost of housing and transportation.

  • Increase economic competitiveness. Enhance economic competitiveness through reliable and timely access to employment centers, educational opportunities, services and other basic needs by workers as well as expanded business access to markets.

  • Support existing communities. Target federal funding toward existing communities to increase community revitalization, the efficiency of public works investments and safeguard rural landscapes.

  • Leverage federal investment. Cooperatively align federal policies and funding to remove barriers, leverage funding and increase the accountability and effectiveness of all levels of government to plan for future growth.

  • Value communities and neighborhoods. Enhance the unique characteristics of all communities by investing in healthy, safe and walkable neighborhoods - rural, urban or suburban.

More on Sustainable Development
Department of Transportation Tried Blocking California's GHG Cap Legislation
Guide to the Green in Obama's Budget: Dept. of Transportation

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