Smart Growth America's Top 12 of 2012: Helping governors support state economies

From left to right: Parris Glendening, President of Smart Growth America’s Leadership Institute and former governor of Maryland; Christine Todd Whitman, former governor of New Jersey; James Lee Witt, former director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency; and Tom Ridge, former governor of Pennsylvania.

We’re doing a special blog series highlighting some of Smart Growth America’s favorite accomplishments from 2012. This is the second of twelve installments.

In July, the Governors’ Institute on Community Design kicked off a new partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The announcement marked the beginning of a new, collaborative effort between the three agencies and the Institute, which was established in 2005 and is administered by Smart Growth America.

EPA, HUD and DOT’s role collaboration with the Governors’ Institute was a landmark step for the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, which works to provide communities with faster, more streamlined access to federal programs. The Institute is one of the first programs to receive joint support from all three participating agencies in the three years since the Partnership was established.

The July announcement was just one of the Governors’ Institute’s accomplishments this year. In November, Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts used recommendations from the Institute to inform an ambitious new housing policies initiative, including a new program in the state entitled “Compact Neighborhoods.”

Earlier in 2012 the Governors’ Institute convened a high-level workshop that included Governor Patrick, Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray, several cabinet members, agency directors, and key stakeholders, such as local officials, business leaders, and housing organizations, as well as the Governors’ Institute’s nationally renowned housing, transportation, and real estate experts, to discuss policy ideas on workforce housing. Subsequently, the Governors’ Institute provided a set of recommendations to guide the Administration in strengthening its housing initiatives.

Both the housing production goal and the Compact Neighborhood program were among these recommendations and support Governor Patrick’s comprehensive economic development plan. The Governors’ Institute has been working with the Patrick-Murray Administration on workforce housing policy since the spring of this year and it is exciting to see the policy recommendations being adopted into initiatives.

Celebrate 2012 and support 2013: Donate

We are honored to have worked with and assisted these leaders in 2012, and look forward to continuing that work in 2013. Help make it possible by donating to Smart Growth America today.