Update on Appropriations: The Partnership for Sustainable Communities

This week, the Partnership for Sustainable Communities celebrated three years of collaborative and innovative work, but members of Congress proposed to eliminate and restrict the funding of its programs. While the Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations (T-HUD) bill in the Senate had not been brought to the floor, the full House of Representatives has passed … Continued


Smart growth news – June 29, 2012

Conservative groups rev up opposition to highway bill
The Hill – June 29, 2012
Pressure from groups like the Heritage Foundation’s political arm and the anti-tax Club for Growth raises the possibility that conservatives in the House will put up a roadblock to the long-sought bicameral transportation agreement — and in the process put the brakes on a painstakingly negotiated compromise with the Democratically controlled Senate.

Senate adjourns awaiting House vote on highway bill
The Hill – June 28, 2012
The Senate adjourned Thursday evening without voting on three major pieces of legislation with fast approaching deadlines.

Complete Streets Provision Eliminated From Final Transpo Bill
Streetsblog DC – June 28, 2012
Transportation for America, the big-tent coalition for transportation reform, tends to be careful about the statements it puts out. Its folks are diplomatic, since they work with both sides on the Hill and a wide variety of coalition members. Yesterday, as details of the conference report were leaking out, they wanted to read the whole bill before weighing in publicly. Now that they’ve absorbed it all, they’ve come out swinging. “Senate Capitulates to House Demands,” today’s statement reads, “Eliminates Critical Provisions in Transportation Bill.”


Partnership in the News: TIGER grant to repair streets, build sidewalks and bike lanes in Birmingham

In the new round of TIGER grants announced recently, $10 million will go to the City of Birmingham, Alabama to repair its streets and build new sidewalks, bike lanes, paths and pedestrian corridors. Improvements in Pratt City, hard-hit by a tornado last year, will be the main focus of the project, called “Roads to Recovery.”


Upcoming Webinars: July 2012

Monday, July 2, 2:30-4:00pm ET. The Intersection of Health Services and Community Environments. Register here.

Wednesday, July 11, 3:00-4:30pm ET. Training for the new Urban Bikeway Design Guide from the National Association of City Transportation Officials. Learn more and register here.

Thursday, July 12, 3:00-4:00pm ET. Regional Collaborative Procurement for Solar Projects. Register here.


Compromise on Transportation Reauthorization Fails to Advance Critical Transportation Reform


Compromise on Transportation Reauthorization Fails to Advance Critical Transportation Reform
Conference report does not represent major improvement to existing law, lacks significant “fix-it-first” and bike-pedestrian safety measures

WASHINGTON DC — After weeks of negotiations to resolve differences between the House and Senate, the two bodies’ conferees have released a transportation reauthorization. That conference report, now moving toward a vote in Congress, represents a significant downgrade to existing services and fails to provide the kind of visionary, gamechanging transportation reform America deserves.

“The conference report is a disappointment,” says Smart Growth America President and CEO Geoffrey Anderson. “It compromises safety, it doesn’t do anything to ensure that roads and bridges are repaired and maintained, and it bypasses the kinds of innovative transportation solutions that we should expect out of a new transportation reauthorization.”


Partnership for Sustainable Communities celebrates three years of groundbreaking interagency collaboration

Above: A rendering of neighborhood design for Ranson, WV. Ranson has received support from HUD, DOT and EPA to serve as a national model for how small rural cities on the fringe of a major metropolitan area can foster sustainable economic development, transit, and community livability through targeted and strategic planning and infrastructure investments. Image via Ranson Renewed.

In the three years since the Obama Administration announced the groundbreaking Partnership for Sustainable Communities – a directive which coordinates efforts across the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Departments of Transportation (DOT) and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) – the innovative and effective program has helped hundreds of communities across the country address economic development, transportation infrastructure, public health and environmental concerns through through grants and direct assistance.

“Even after only three years, the Partnership has proven its unquestionable value,” says Smart Growth America President and CEO Geoffrey Anderson. “Working together, the agencies are more efficient and more effective at enabling American communities to respond to the critical challenges they’re facing in today’s economy and in the years of growth ahead.”


Smart growth news – June 28, 2012

Cities grow more than suburbs, first time in 100 years
MSNBC – June 28, 2012
For the first time in a century, most of America’s largest cities are growing at a faster rate than their surrounding suburbs as young adults seeking a foothold in the weak job market shun home-buying and stay put in bustling urban centers.

Cities Outpace Suburbs in Growth
Wall Street Journal – June 28, 2012
Home builders are betting that there is a longer-term shift under way. Many builders that previously worked entirely on single-family homes in the suburbs have refocused to keep up with what they say is a change in demand. Three of the largest publicly traded U.S. home-building companies—Toll Brothers Inc., TOL Lennar Corp. and Hovnanian Enterprises Inc.—have in recent years built mid-rise and high-rise condominium towers in urban areas such as New York City, Northern New Jersey, Philadelphia and Irvine, Calif., looking to capitalize on consumers’ rising distaste for long commute times and interest in housing that is closer to cities’ cultural and job centers.

Highway bill conference report released
The Hill – June 28, 2012
The bicameral agreement on a new surface transportation bill has been released early Thursday morning by the House Rules Committee.


Sprawl costs Ohio’s families and its regional economy, new report shows

The twelve counties that make up Northeast Ohio are home to a community that prides itself on its public art, theaters, parks and hiking trails, and home-grown businesses. Now, a new vanguard of engaged residents are working with a local organization to make Northeast Ohio even better.

The first step in this process is to examine what’s working in Northeast Ohio’s communities, and a new survey from the Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities Consortium (NEOSCC) does just that. NEOSCC released its Conditions & Trends platform on Tuesday, during the Consortium’s monthly meeting in Youngstown. The extensive inventory of Northeast Ohio’s assets, challenges and year-over-year trends provides a comprehensive assessment of how the region could improve.

Prominent among the findings is the fact that Northeast Ohio has spread out over the past several decades, and that this trend is damaging the region’s economy. Between 1979 and 2006, the average number of people per acre of developed land in Northeast Ohio declined by 22.96%, with many residents moving from urban areas like Cleveland and Akron to more sparsely populated ones.