A path forward for affordable housing in Hawaiʻi

Embarking on a trip to Hawai’i last week, I found myself amidst the lush landscapes and warm aloha spirit, tasked with a mission that resonates deeply with our work at Smart Growth America. Partnering with AARP Hawai’i, we delved into the complexities of affordable housing in the state, a challenge that is both urgent and pivotal to our mission. It was an honor to present our findings and engage in a meaningful dialogue with the Hawai’i State Senate Committee on Housing, sharing insights that could pave the way for sustainable housing solutions.

Land Use and Development

Policy #10: Moving policies forward requires strong implementation steps

Over the last decade, we’ve come to understand that a Complete Streets policy is only the first step to making streets safer and more accessible to everyone. We’ve revised the “Implementation steps” policy element to include increased accountability from jurisdictions and requirements to include equity and community engagement.

Complete Streets

Complete Streets Partner Spotlight: AARP St. Louis

Left: Sheila Holm (AARP Missouri) presenting at the Complete Streets Networking Breakfast in St. Louis. Right: Sheila Holm, Emiko Atherton (NCSC), and Coralette Hannon (AARP) gather for a photo.

The National Complete Streets Coalition was in St. Louis, MO last month for the New Partners for Smart Growth conference. While we were there we had a chance to collaborate with AARP St. Louis, the local chapter of our Steering Committee member AARP. AARP St. Louis is working to improve walkability, increase transportation options, and encourage healthy, active living, especially for people aged 50 and older, and we wanted to take a moment to highlight some of the great work they’re doing in St. Louis.

Complete Streets

Complete Streets News — May 2015

Photo by Dylan Passmore


Show your support for Safe Streets — Representatives Doris Matsui (D-CA-5) and David Joyce (R-OH-14) introduced the Safe Streets Act of 2015 (HR 2071) on April 28. The bill would require states and Metropolitan Planning Organizations to adopt a Complete Streets policy for planning, designing, and building streets. Representatives Matsui and Joyce were joined by 17 additional original cosponsors from both sides of the aisle.

Join us in supporting the Safe Streets Act by telling your Representative that you care about Complete Streets. It only takes a few minutes. Send a letter today >>

Senator Brian Schatz, joined by eleven colleagues, sent a letter to Senator Jim Inhofe, Chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, urging him to promote and prioritize safety for all users in the upcoming reauthorization of federal transportation law. Read more >>

AARP launches Livability Index — The AARP Public Policy Institute introduced its interactive, easy-to-navigate tool to measure quality of life in communities. The Livability Index pulls together data on 40 metrics and 20 policies in categories such as housing affordability, transportation access, air and water quality, and health statistics to create a composite quality of life score for users to compare communities and identify areas of improvement. The Index is searchable by address, city, and zip code, and scores can be weighted by personal preferences. See more >>

Complete Streets

El primer congreso de Calles Completas en Puerto Rico

AARP PR Director Jose AcaronJosé Acaron, director of AARP Puerto Rico, speaks before the Puerto Rico Complete Streets Congress. Photo by AARP Puerto Rico, via Facebook.

The first-ever Puerto Rico Complete Streets Congress for Professionals, presented by AARP Puerto Rico on October 3, convened 160 transportation, public health, and other community leaders who want to elevate Complete Streets policies and strategies across the island.

Covering topics ranging from the benefits of Complete Streets to best practices in implementation to design guidance, the event was featured insights from Complete Streets workshops instructor Paul Zykofsky; Ana Rius, Secretary of Health Department for Puerto Rico; Miguel Torres, Secretary of Transportation and Public Works for Puerto Rico; Zaki Mustafa, past present of Institute of Transportation Engineers, a National Complete Streets Coalition Steering Committee member; and long-time Complete Streets advocate Dan Burden.

Complete Streets

Momentum Continues in the States

Though all eyes have been on federal transportation policy the last few weeks, states have continued to push forward with their Complete Streets efforts. Bills have been introduced in West Virginia and Rhode Island, and several states with Complete Streets policies in place move ahead with implementation.

Complete Streets

Tell your story: 15.5 million seniors will have poor or non-existent transit access in 2015. How will it affect you?

Crossposted from Transportation for America

By 2015, more than 15.5 million Americans 65 and older will live in communities where public transportation service is poor or non-existent. That number will continue to grow rapidly as the baby boom generation “ages in place” in suburbs and exurbs with few mobility options for those who do not drive.

How will we address the shrinking mobility options of baby boomers who wish to stay in their homes and age in place? What happens when people in the largest generation in American history outlive their ability to drive for everything?

We want to know how the lack of transit access or other options affects you. Whether you’re a senior or have a parent or grandparent getting older in places with poor transportation options, we want to hear real stories of how this will affect real people in the coming years. We’re partnering with AARP to gather stories about how you or someone you know is or will be affected by the lack of transportation options.

Share your story with AARP today, which is joining with T4 America to gather compelling stories to share with Congress.

With Congress set to introduce a transportation bill that will determine how to spend our transportation money for the next 6 years, we need to make it clear to Congress how their decisions will impact real people.