A free assistance opportunity for innovative state DOTs

DOTs across the country are looking for innovative and flexible ways to meet users’ needs in ways that cost less to build and maintain. Accelerating Practical Solutions is an opportunity for six state DOTs to win a one-day workshop with our expert transportation staff.

DOT Innovation

“Building Resilient States: Profiles in Action” webinar recording now available

Communities shouldn’t wait for a flood or a hurricane to see how land use choices will affect their ability to remain resilient in the face of disaster.

Many states and municipalities are already thinking strategically about how land use, transportation, and infrastructure decisions can help them prepare for and mitigate the impact of disasters. Building Resilient States: Profiles in Action, published by the Governors’ Institute on Community Design earlier this month, highlights local, regional, and statewide efforts to build more resilient communities from the ground up.

Resilience

New guide and webinar: “The Why and How of Measuring Access to Opportunity”

Transportation systems link people to their daily destinations as well as broader opportunity. And transportation agencies across the country are increasingly interested in measuring how well their systems do this. Many practitioners are not sure where to start on that ambitious goal, but a new guide from the Governors’ Institute on Community Design is designed to show them how.

The How and Why of Measuring Access to Opportunity: A Guide to Performance Management is a brand new guidebook on the data, tools, and methodologies transportation officials need to measure access to opportunity, as well as how to integrate these measurements into their planning and investment decisions. The new guidebook provides background on the changing priorities in transportation performance management, how some transportation agencies are already incorporating measures of access into their programs, and discusses the data and tools available to support measuring it. This guidebook might also be useful to elected and civic leaders, policymakers, and stakeholders who wish to work with transportation agencies to address these important priorities.

Transportation

Policies that Work: A Governors’ Guide to Growth and Development

To effectively address the challenges posed by growth and development, states must put in place programs, policies and structures that allow them to see and respond to the “big picture” of statewide development patterns. State government needs to be structured in ways that foster collaborative policies and investments instead of inhibiting them. Many specific policies … Continued

Advocacy

Resilience summit discusses how states can help vulnerable populations prepare for and recover from disaster

Hurricane KatrinaThousands of people were unable to evacuate during Hurricane Katrina due to lack of access to transportation. These individuals were disproportionately elderly, low-income African Americans. Photo by Andrea Booher, via the FEMA Photo Library.

A community is only as resilient as its most vulnerable residents. States can do more to define who is most at risk in the face of natural hazards, and can begin to take steps to address these populations’ needs.

That was the takeaway from the panel of environmental justice experts who spoke at the Governors’ Institute on Community Design State Resilience and Economic Growth Summit in Washington, DC, last week. The panel discussion was part of a a two-day event that brought together experts on disaster recovery and long-term resilience to discuss best practices and new strategies for states.

“You can’t just talk about the general population and resilience and expect resilience to spread to all communities,” began Matthew Tejada, Director of the Office of Environmental Justice at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). “It’s important that we save a special place to talk about resilience for those communities that are overburdened, that are vulnerable.”

Uncategorized

Massachusetts announces a “common vision” for housing, transportation, and the environment

Boston from above
Boston from above.

This post is crossposted from the Governors’ Institute on Community Design, a program run in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Smart Growth America.

In fiscally challenging times, states can achieve more when their agencies work together toward common goals. Massachusetts is doing exactly that.

Yesterday at a Multi-Family Housing Summit in Boston, three members of Governor Deval Patrick’s cabinet announced their common vision for growth in Massachusetts. The vision highlights the housing, transportation, and environment agencies’ strong commitment to plan ahead for future growth and the Commonwealth’s Sustainable Development Principles.

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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.

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Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick introduces new workforce housing initiatives, adopts GICD recommendations

The following is crossposted from the Governors’ Institute on Community Design.

In July 2012, the Governors’ Institute on Community Design met with Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and his Administration to identify policies and tool to meet the State’s housing needs. Last week, Governor Patrick announced an ambitious housing policy initiative that builds on those strategies.

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Request for proposals [update]

As part of our work with the Governors’ Institute on Community Design, Smart Growth America is seeking to augment our team with a contractor to act as technical experts at Governors’ Institute workshops. Smart Growth America is accepting proposals from firms interested in being part of a grant application to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, for grant EPA-OP-OSC-12-01. The estimated project period for the grant will begin April 1, 2012, and may be up to five years.

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