Friday, July 2, 2010
Together, the U.S. Departments of Transportation (DOT) and Housing and Urban Development (HUD), for the first time ever, will join forces to award up to $75 million in funding – $35 million in TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) II Planning Grants and $40 million in Sustainable Community Challenge Grants for localized planning activities that ultimately lead to projects that integrate transportation, housing and economic development.
The new program builds on the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, an innovative new interagency collaboration, launched by President Obama in June 2009, between the Department of Transportation (DOT), the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Guided by six Livability Principles, the Partnership is designed to remove the traditional federal government silos that exist between departments and strategically target the agencies’ transportation, land use, environmental, housing and community development resources to provide communities the resources they need to build more livable, sustainable communities.
I've followed previous federal efforts to promote sustainable development practices (such as Hope VI and others) and this has the potential to be one of the most significant ones to date.
What is especially noteworthy is the multi-faceted approach of the initiative. For too long, road building and structure building have been treated as separate "silos" of development when in fact both necessarily influence the other. Hopefully, this will be a big step in practice and effect toward breaking down those artificial barriers and recognizing a regulatory and funding system that integrates the two.
--Chad Emerson, Faulkner U.