Tuesday, January 26, 2010

President Obama's New Strategy for Urban America

The President spoke recently to the U.S. Conference of Mayors.  The video is here and the transcript is here.  He explains his strategy as follows:

Our strategy to build economically competitive, environmentally sustainable, opportunity-rich communities that serve as the backbone for our long-term growth and prosperity -- three items:  First, we'll build strong regional backbones for our economy by coordinating federal investments in economic and workforce development -- because today's metropolitan areas don't stop at downtown.  What's good for Denver, for example, is usually good for places like Aurora and Boulder, too.  Strong cities are the building blocks of strong regions, and strong regions are essential for a strong America.

Second, we'll focus on creating more livable and environmentally sustainable communities.  Because when it comes to development, it's time to throw out old policies that encouraged sprawl and congestion, pollution, and ended up isolating our communities in the process.  We need strategies that encourage smart development linked to quality public transportation, that bring our communities together.

* * *

Third, we'll focus on creating neighborhoods of opportunity.  Many of our neighborhoods have been economically distressed long before this crisis hit -- for as long as many of us can remember.  And while the underlying causes may be deeply-rooted and complicated, there are some needs that are simple:  access to good jobs; affordable housing; convenient transportation that connects both; quality schools and health services; safe streets and parks and access to a fresh, healthy food supply. 

He indicated that this strategy will be reflected in the budget submitted next month.

Matt Festa


Affordable Housing, Development, Environmentalism, Federal Government, Smart Growth, Sprawl, Transportation, Urbanism | Permalink

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