On Tuesday we revealed The Best Complete Streets Policies of 2014, and to celebrate we hosted an online discussion with representatives from a few of this year’s top-scoring communities. If you missed the discussion, here’s a recap of the kickoff event.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities (OSHC) has already helped hundreds of towns and cities across the country become economically stronger, environmentally sustainable, and more inclusive through its workshops, technical resources and grant programs. As a new report explains, these programs are also making the most of federal investments.
OSHC’s 2011 accomplishments update explains that the Office’s 152 grants in 48 states, totaling $240 million, generated almost $253 million in private investments and commitments from local partners. The Sustainable Communities grants, one of the major grant programs administered by the Office, generated $115 million in matching and in-kind contributions – more than 120% of the original $95.8 million invested.
The Office’s accomplishments report is a compendium of some of the most interesting smart growth projects in the works today.
Austin, Texas, has ambitious goals to make the city’s downtown more affordable to live in and a better place for businesses.
Planners in the city have spent the past four years compiling a master plan for development, to address existing challenges and to plan for growth over the next 25 years. The resulting Downtown Austin Plan, due to go before the city council this week, recommends a number of smart growth strategies for the city, including: improving downtown parks, adding lower-priced housing, preserving historic buildings, making zoning changes that would encourage a greater mix of uses and creating an economic development group to help guide growth in the city’s center.