Tag: Regional Planning Grants

Partnership in the News: Planning for transit-oriented development in St. Louis, MO

Transit-oriented development in St. Louis
St. Louis hopes to spur growth around existing transit hubs including MetroLink stations (pictured above). Photo via OneSTL.

Building near transportation hubs can create vibrant new places to live and work while supporting job growth and economic development. St. Louis, MO is working to use this smart growth strategy, and a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is helping make their vision a reality.

In 2010 the East-West Gateway Council of Governments was awarded a $4.7 million Regional Planning grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to create OneSTL, a regional plan for sustainable development. The St. Louis Development Corporation, CORTEX and the Missouri Botanical Garden also joined the effort with additional funding for the project.

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Partnership in the News: Bergen County, NJ wants transportation choices, less traffic, more walking and biking

Together North Jersey

At a recent public workshop, residents of Bergen County noted that sitting in traffic, few transportation choices, and the lack of affordable housing are things they’d like to see changed.

Together North Jersey, a partnership between 60 local governments, public agencies, non-profits, and others, held the workshop to begin to find out what residents of the 13-county region like about where they live and what they would change. Eventually that input will be turned into a development plan to deal with uneven job growth, high taxes, and an aging population among other regional concerns.

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Spotlight on Sustainability: HUD grant promotes common vision in Jefferson’s backyard


Charlottesville, VA’s downtown transit center. Photo courtesy of Flickr user kai.bates.

Albemarle County, Virginia has a rich mix of landscapes, institutions, and historic sites. Along with the many farms that lie within its borders, Albemarle is also the home to the City of Charlottesville, the University of Virginia, and Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. To preserve the significant history of the region, the county and City of Charlottesville are now working to strategically plan for future growth and development.

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Smart Growth Stories: A region collaborates in Southern Maine

Balancing development with environmental and economic concerns is one of the biggest challenges facing Southern Maine today.

“Maine has a lot going for it: its sense of place, its scenery, its quality of life,” says Carol Morris, President of Morris Communications and lead consultant for Sustain Southern Maine, a regional partnership of organizations, communities and businesses working to make Maine’s economy, environment and sense of community stronger. “If we lose that, we’ll never get it back, and people understand that, so there’s a fair amount of local support for balancing it all together.”

Sustain Southern Maine is addressing these important challenges with a multi-faceted, comprehensive approach to planning. Aided by a Regional Planning grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the partnership is working to make sure development in small, rural communities as well as larger urban areas like Portland – Maine’s biggest city – will benefit the communities and economies of the entire region.

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Smart Growth Stories: Building relationships and planning connections in mid-Michigan


Looking down Michigan Avenue in Lansing, Michigan. Photo by the Graham Davis, via Flickr.

Three counties in mid-Michigan are working to improve their region, and they’re using a much-talked about — but seldom seen — strategy to make it happen: collaboration.

The Mid-Michigan Program for Greater Sustainability is a dynamic and interactive effort to bring smart growth and concerted planning to the mid-Michigan region. Organized by the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission and made possible by a Regional Planning Grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Program is composed of hundreds of organizations from across Eaton, Clinton, and Ingham counties.

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Spotlight on Sustainability: Des Moines, IA

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Named by Forbes as the Best Place for Young Professionals and the Best Place to Raise a Family, the Greater Des Moines population is growing and is expected to grow by 35% more by 2035. But, progress is never achieved without facing some challenges along the way— in this case the challenge is creating jobs and remaining economically competitive, while still fostering safe and affordable places for families to live, work, and play.

To address these burgeoning issues, and ensure the vitality and long-term economic health of the region, the Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (DMAMPO), in conjunction with a large group of local organizations and officials representing area communities, is working to coordinate future growth and development through the creation of The Tomorrow Plan, funded by a 2010 Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Regional Planning grant.

“The Tomorrow Plan is allowing us to take a step back and truly assess where our region currently is, as well as where we are headed. We have to be proactive and prepare for the future in order to continue to attract and retain the top talent and business that has made Greater Des Moines one of the top regions in the country,” says Bethany Wilcoxon, Project Manager for DMAMPO.

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Partnership in the News: Chamber of Commerce Leaders Promote Southwest Light Rail Line in St. Paul

A study commissioned by the Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce, the Minneapolis Regional Chamber, and the TwinWest Chamber, as reported by Minneapolis-St. Paul’s KARE 11,

found that 76 percent of Minnesotans polled agree the state would benefit from expanded public transportation. The same poll showed that 69 percent would like to use public transportation more often.


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Partnership in the News: Millis Undertakes Study to Spur Development

The Town of Millis, Massachusetts is soon to benefit from a portion of the $4 million Department of Housing and Urban Development Regional Planning grant awarded to the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, reports the Milford Daily News.

To help spur development of the town center, Millis will participate in a feasibility study with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council to encourage new housing and business opportunities.

Millis is hoping to create a “more vibrant” downtown area, and applied for the study in August, said Town Administrator Charles Aspinwall.


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Partnership in the News: Houston-Galveston Residents Shape Their Future

An article posted by Houston’s Atascocita Observer reports on an unprecedented effort in the 13-county, Houston-Galveston area to shape the future of the region based on recommendations from residents, the business community, the local government, and others gathered through a series of meetings.

More than 6 million people now live in the region and as many as 4 million new people could live in the 13-county area by 2040. This two year planning project is the first step in answering questions such as “Where will those residents live?” “How will they move around the region?” and “How will change affect quality of life?”

Over the next two months residents will have an opportunity to give their feedback on what they think are the most pressing issues facing their communities and the region overall and share their hopes for what a better tomorrow may look like.


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HUD announces 2011 Sustainable Communities Grants awards

A detail from St. Charles Parish, Lousiana’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan. St. Charles Parish is one of the communities selected to receive one of HUD’s 2011 Sustainable Communities Grants, announced today. Photo from the St. Charles Parish of Planning and Zoning.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today its 2011 Sustainable Communities Grants, which aim to improve the economic competitiveness of communities by linking housing with good jobs, quality schools, and transportation. The grants are part of the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, which helps urban, suburban and rural communities create jobs and improve housing, transportation, and the economy.

The grants announced today will invest $96 million in 27 communities for Community Challenge grants and 29 areas for Regional Planning grants. Community Challenge Grants help reform and reduce barriers to achieving affordable, economically vital and sustainable communities. Regional Planning Grants encourage grantees to support regional planning efforts that integrate housing, land-use, economic and workforce development, transportation, and infrastructure developments to empowers regions to consider how all of these factors work together to create more jobs and economic opportunities.

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