On June 16, 2009, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) joined together to help communities nationwide improve access to affordable housing, increase transportation options, and lower transportation costs while protecting the environment to better support local economies.
Two years later, the interagency Partnership for Sustainable Communities is working to coordinate federal investments in housing, transportation, water and other infrastructure to make neighborhoods more prosperous, allow people to live closer to jobs, save households time and money, and reduce pollution. The Partnership has visited with residents and business leaders in hundreds of communities, coordinated to provide new funding opportunities and worked to reduce barriers at the federal level.
In a post on the White House blog, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, DOT Secretary Ray LaHood and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson explain the strengths of coordinating between agencies:
Two years ago, President Obama offered a new vision for sustainable communities (PDF) and vastly improved how our agencies work together. He challenged us to coordinate our efforts and help build communities where housing, public transportation, jobs, and services are conveniently connected, where businesses thrive, and where the air, water and land are clean… Americans have made it clear they want their communities back—back from the neglected brownfields of earlier decades, back from traffic congestion and sprawl, and back from housing choices that exclude most families.
Earlier this week leaders from the Partnership agencies and the White House joined Smart Growth America to celebrate the project’s two year anniversary. Beth Osborne, Shelley Poticha, John Frece and Derek Douglas talked about what the Partnership has already achieved and what projects are coming up – archives of the presentation will be posted on Smart Growth America’s blog early next week. The webinar was part of Smart Growth America’s Sustainable Communities Network. Be sure to join the Network’s mailing list if you’d like to hear about these and other opportunities before they happen.