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Senate bill connects transportation, land use planning

Livable Communities Act

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At the committee hearing on June 9th, representatives of the National League of Cities, the National Association of Counties, the National Association of Development Organizations, the National Association of Regional Councils, and more, strongly endorsed the initiatives of the bill promoting sustainable and integrated regional planning, reports the StreetsBlog Capital Hill.

Below, the article summarizes what the bill would do if it were to pass.

The Livable Communities Act would provide about $4 billion in competitive grants to coordinate housing, transportation, and economic development policy with an eye toward promoting sustainable development. About $400 million would be slated for planning with the remainder funding implementation. The bill would also create a new office within the Department of Housing and Urban Development to guide and administer the programs. If passed, it would strengthen the Obama administration’s multi-agency Sustainable Communities Initiative.

Senator Dodd described the bill at the hearing, stressing that “integrated transportation and land use planning can help address a host of challenges: high foreclosure rates, climate change and oil dependency, deteriorating infrastructure, traffic congestion, and the loss of farmland. “

Senator Warner supports the bill, but would like to see the Livable Communities Act have performance measures in place. He asked, “Is it just squishy livability? Is there a way that we can define this with metrics?”

He was assured by responses saying that many of its results can be measured, such as “the volume of reduced greenhouse gases, acres of preserved open space and rises in property values,” the article reports.

Photo Credit: K_Gradinger)

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