Interagency Partnership for Sustainable Communities

Posted on: April 5th, 2011 by Kathy Nothstine

Many RDOs, councils of governments and regional planning commissions in rural and small metropolitan areas are exploring avenues for incorporating sustainable development principles into their regional planning processes.  The NADO Research Foundation is currently researching the methodologies and extent to which sustainable development concepts are incorporated into rural and small metropolitan transportation planning processes.   Specifically, the research will assess the roles that rural transportation planning organizations (RPOs or RTPOs) and small metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) and other regional organizations are undertaking to incorporate the goals of U.S. Department of Transportation, Department of Housing and Urban Development, and Environmental Protection Agency’s Interagency Partnership for Sustainable Communities, such as promoting transportation choice, enhancing economic competitiveness and coordinating policies, into their planning processes.

As part of the Interagency Partnership for Sustainable Communities, in 2010 the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded nearly $100 million in new grants to support more livable and sustainable communities across the country.  Forty-five regions received funding through a new initiative intended to build economic competitiveness by connecting housing with good jobs, quality schools and transportation.  HUD’s new Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant Program (http://portal NULL.hud NULL.gov/hudportal/HUD/program_offices/sustainable_housing_communities/sustainable_communities_regional_planning_grants) will support State, local, and tribal governments, as well as MPOs and RPOs, in the development and execution of regional plans that integrate affordable housing with neighboring retail and business development.  Many of the grants will leverage existing infrastructure and all reward local collaboration and innovation.

Nearly half of the 45 Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grants went to NADO members.  The NADO Research Foundation is working with NADO members and partners who are now developing regional sustainability plans through this grant program.

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