Duly Noted . . .

 Federal report highlights progress on sustainable communities

In celebration of the fifth anniversary of the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released Five Years of Learning from Communities and Coordinating Federal Investments, a report demonstrating how the three agencies cooperate to help communities provide more housing choices, make transportation systems more efficient and reliable, and create vibrant neighborhoods that attract business development and jobs while protecting the environment.

“The Partnership for Sustainable Communities is about achieving one goal: expanding opportunity for American families,” said HUD Secretary Julián Castro. “These targeted investments are bringing more affordable housing and transportation options, and more economic resilience to regions that were hard hit by the economic crisis... in partnership with local leaders...”
“The Partnership is helping us align our transportation investments with the goals of providing affordable housing and preserving the environment,” said DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx.

“Communities know better than anyone else what they need,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “[W]e at the federal level are organizing ourselves to give communities tools to address economic and environmental challenges in the way that works best for them.”

Since 2009, the Partnership  has been working to ensure that federal agency investments better serve communities that were hard hit by the economic recession. Through its efforts, more than $4 billion has been awarded to 1,000 communities. Many have also received technical assistance to help plan economic development and leverage private and other public resources to maximize the Partnership’s investments. For example:
—Partnership-funded regional planning efforts in New York and New Jersey laid a strong foundation for recovery from Superstorm Sandy because communities had already been collaborating.

—Partnership grants helped Memphis, Tenn., create a master plan for redevelopment as well as a plan to improve bike and pedestrian paths and spur revitalization.

—Partnership funding helped the Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota develop a regional plan to define the future, which could be a model for other rural Native American communities.

To download the report:  http://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/pdf/partnership-accomplishments-report-2014.pdf