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Sustainable Communities Initiatives. Joan Morgan (HUD) Gerald Solomon (DOT) Ed Chu (CEQ/EPA). Flamingo Hotel Las Vegas, Nevada January 27, 2010. Overview. Changing the conversation, changing how we work, good government

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sustainable communities initiatives

Sustainable Communities Initiatives

Joan Morgan (HUD)

Gerald Solomon (DOT)

Ed Chu (CEQ/EPA)

Flamingo HotelLas Vegas, NevadaJanuary 27, 2010

  • Changing the conversation, changing how we work, good government
  • Climate change and energy security challenges require collaborative, sustainable, community-based solutions
    • Interagency partnerships
    • Organizational changes at DOT, HUD and EPA
  • Innovative programs
  • Requires partnership with states, local governments, and private sector partners
conventional sector based view of u s ghg emissions
Conventional Sector-based View of U.S. GHG Emissions

2005 U.S. Emissions: 7,260 MMTCO2E

Conventional View

  • Electricity production
  • Automobiles and transportation
  • Energy/electricity consumption
land use
Land Use
  • Land development patterns favor expansive land use and automobile-based transport
  • 2.2 million acres of greenspace are developed each year in the U.S.

Chicago, 1970-1990

large homes


2,434 SF


983 SF



Large Homes

Average size of U.S. single-family home

1950 983 SF

1970 1,500 SF

2000 2,200 SF

2005 2,434 SF

148% increase from 1950

Average number of occupants per U.S. household

1950 3.37

1970 3.14

2000 2.62 22% decrease from 1950

Average area per person in a new U.S. single-family home

1950 292 SF per person

1970 478 SF per person

2000 840 SF per person 188% increase from 1950

impacts of sprawl

Vehicle Miles Traveled


Impacts of Sprawl
  • Loss of carbon in soil and vegetation from natural land sink
    • Estimated at 314 MMTCO2E, 4% of U.S. emissions
    • Currently not included in the U.S. GHG inventory
  • Increased road and sewer construction
    • Estimated at 40 MMTCO2E per year
  • Increased Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT)
    • Emissions from growth in VMT are projected to increase 48% by 2030 if sprawling land development patterns continue

DOT Definition:

Sustainable Transportation means providing exceptional mobility and access in a manner that meets development needs without compromising the quality of life of future generations.  A sustainable transportation system is safe, healthy, affordable, renewable, operates fairly and limits emissions and the use of new and nonrenewable resources.

sustainable communities federal activities
Sustainable Communities:Federal Activities
  • Context Sensitive Solutions
  • Ecological
  • Low Impact Development
  • Green Streets
  • Green Infrastructure
  • Recycling & Reuse
  • Brownfields
sustainable communities state and regional activities
Sustainable Communities:State and Regional Activities
  • State/Regional Initiatives
    • Mid-Atlantic Green Highways Partnership
    • Green Roads
    • Green LITES
    • STARS
  • All States can create similar initiatives
sustainability how it will shape the future highway program
Sustainability – How It Will Shape the Future Highway Program
  • Increase use of recycled materials
  • Stormwater runoff techniques that mimic natural hydrology
  • Construction equipment that reduces pollution and ion practices that minimize ecosystems impacts
  • Designs to minimize environmental impacts
  • Operational equipment that uses renewable fuels
  • Maintenance that minimizes environmental impacts
  • Conversion of brownfields
  • Designs that accommodate multiple modes and promote connectivity
  • Facilitation of affordable choices for jobs and schools
sustainability research
Sustainability Research
  • NCHRP Studies
    • Providing Effective Transportation in a Sustainable Society
    • Sustainability Performance Measures for State Departments of Transportation and Other Transportation Agencies
    • Sustainable Pavement Maintenance Practices
    • Transportation Corridor Environmental Management Framework

Livability means “being able to take your kids to school, go to work, see a doctor, drop by the grocery store or post office, go out to dinner and a movie, and play with your kids at the park, all without having to get into your car.”

Secretary Ray LaHood, DOT

livability definition
Livability: Definition
  • Livable Communities
    • Encourage mixed-use, multimodal neighborhoods with highly-connected streets promoting mobility for all users
  • The Livable Communities Initiative
    • Provides transportation choices that promote place-based transportation policies that are centered on people
livability determined by the public
Livability: Determined by the Public

“Livability,” is personal, subjective, and dependent upon the visions articulated by the residents, visitors, workers, and other stakeholders of a community.

One Size Does Not Fit All!


Partnership for Sustainable Communities

Partnership for Sustainable Communities

Mission: To meet the President’s challenge for our agencies to work together to encourage and fully assist rural, suburban, and urban areas to build sustainable communities, and to make sustainable communities the leading style of development in the United States.

The Partnership is focused on ensuring that federal investments, policies, and actions do not subsidize sprawl and, instead, support development in more efficient and sustainable locations.


hud dot epa sustainable communities partnership
HUD/DOT/EPA Sustainable Communities Partnership

March 2009: HUD and DOT formed Partnership

Recognition that transportation costs must be included into the calculations of housing costs

June 2009: EPA joins Partnership

Recognition that our water, brownfields, and air investments, policies, and actions can be part of the solution

president barack obama july 13 2009

Partnership for Sustainable Communities

President Barack Obama: July 13, 2009

“For too long, federal policy has actually encouraged sprawl and congestion and pollution, rather than quality public transportation and smart, sustainable development…

And that's why we've created a new interagency partnership on sustainable communities, led by Shaun Donovan, Ray LaHood and Lisa Jackson. And by working together, their agencies can make sure that when it comes to development -- housing, transportation, energy efficiency -- these things aren't mutually exclusive; they go hand in hand. And that means making sure that affordable housing exists in close proximity to jobs and transportation. That means encouraging shorter travel times and lower travel costs. It means safer, greener, more livable communities.”

-- President Barack Obama



HUD/DOT/EPA Sustainable Communities Partnership’s Guiding Principles

  • Provide more transportation choices.
  • Promote equitable, affordable housing.
  • Enhance economic competitiveness.
  • Target resources to existing communities.
  • Coordinate and leverage federal policies and investments.
  • Value unique characteristics of communities no matter their size.
progress to date
Progress To Date
  • Three-Agency and White House Tour
  • Outreach to key stakeholders
    • Convened meeting with all 10 EPA Regions with identified Partnership managers and staff contacts.
    • State Summit (34 states) and other “listening sessions”
  • HUD policy change on Brownfields allowing program funds to be spent on mortgages for multi-family units built on former Brownfield sites that have been cleaned and that include mixed income developments
  • Executive Order on Federal Facilities (EO 13514). Partnership work to ensured strong language on location


partnership activities
Partnership Activities
  • Environmental Justice
    • EJ and equitable development considerations are incorporated throughout all Partnership activities.
  • EPA Clean Water State Revolving Fund
    • EPA will provide technical assistance to three states to explore flexibility they have to achieve these goals.
    • Develop SRF best practices
    • Develop CW and DW SRF Sustainability Policy
    • Requested OW analysis on our statutory authority limits on SRF
  • EPA Urban Waters Initiative
    • Promote equitable redevelopment adjacent to urban waters, re-invest in existing infrastructure, improve water quality, and revitalize waterfront neighborhoods – especially those.
  • Pilot program in Chicago
    • Measure the contributions of green stormwater management approaches to determine if, and how, these approaches could be considered in meeting a city’s consent decree.


partnership activities1
Partnership Activities
  • Denver -- Rewarding Smart Land Use Policies in SIPs
    • Develop a regional scenario tied to specific land use policies and apply to regional transportation air quality modeling to determine if, and how, to account for associated emission reductions the region’s SIP process.
  • Brownfield Pilot – “Sustainable Sites”
    • Five transit-oriented sites to be selected to receive technical assistance.
    • Sought locations where HUD and DOT also have investments.
    • Focus on disadvantaged, economically distressed, and rural communities.
  • Community Action for Renewed Environment
  • Smart Growth Program
    • Manage and coordinate the Partnership for the Agency
    • Smart Growth Implementation Assistance
    • HUD and DOT on the teams for– California; Louisville, Ky.; Las Cruces, N.M.; Montgomery County, Md.


other federal activities
Other Federal Activities
  • Urban agriculture and forestry
  • Place-Based Initiatives
new sustainability offices
New Sustainability Offices
  • HUD
    • Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities
  • EPA
    • Office of Sustainable Communities
  • Collaboration
    • EPA and DOT helping with HUD regional planning grants
    • EPA and HUD reviewing DOT Tiger grants
    • HUD and DOT reviewing EPA brownfield grants and working with EPA on Technical Assistance projects
smart growth technical assistance
Smart Growth: Technical Assistance
  • Technical assistance and other support to over 220 governors, state and local governments, and other stakeholders.
    • Since 2005, 325 applications received, 27 selected
  • Develop tools that address widespread problems.
    • Essential Code Fixes for Urban and Suburban Communities
    • Municipal Water Quality Scorecard
  • Governor’s Institute
    • Joint program with the National Endowment for the Arts
    • 10 Governors since 2006
smart growth changing rules
Smart Growth: Changing Rules
  • Federal
    • Air: Emission reductions from smart growth can now be used for required air quality plans.
    • Stormwater: State permit language recognizes the water quality benefit from specific smart growth land use strategies.
  • National Standard Setters
    • School siting: Worked with partner organizations to remove "minimum acreage requirements" from national school siting guidelines.
    • Institute for Transportation Engineers: Developed new guidelines for trip generation from infill (vs. greenfield) sites.
new partners for smart growth conference
New Partners for Smart Growth Conference
  • Seattle, February 3-6, 2010
  • Registration has topped 1400 (including 65 from EPA, 51 from HUD, 16 from DOT)
  • Opening Plenary Session – Feb. 4th – Featuring Administrator Jackson, Secretary Donovan, Secretary LaHood
    • Day-long workshop on Smart Growth and Environmental Justice (Feb. 3rd – registration 155 so far)
    • EJ tract/scholarships/focus on partnership and climate issues.
  • Possible tour of Tacoma, Washington


partnership priorities for 2010
Partnership Priorities for 2010
  • Address more than 300 recommendations received from states and various stakeholder groups.
  • Align funding and get money out the door.
  • Show visible progress in coordinating transportation, housing and water infrastructure planning.
  • Build regional capacity.


hud dot epa partnership for sustainable communities dot actions
HUD/DOT/EPA Partnership For Sustainable Communities: DOT Actions
  • Discretionary Grant Program
  • HUD FY’10 Budget Request
  • Modal Discretionary Grant Programs
fhwa livability initiatives
FHWA Livability Initiatives
  • FHWA/FTA Livability Initiative Training
  • A Livability in Transportation Guidebook
  • Strategies for Livable Communities Research Project
  • Joint FTA/FHWA Memo
  • Case Studies
fta livability initiatives
FTA Livability Initiatives
  • Transit Oriented Development
  • Local Planning and Zoning Actions
  • Public-Private Partnerships
  • Target Programs to Transportation Corridors
  • Promote Infill and Brownfield Redevelopment
  • Align/Leverage Housing and Transit Spending
what can our partners do
What Can Our Partners Do
  • Encourage a comprehensive planning process.
  • Incorporate livability strategies in planning
  • Identify projects that improve accessibility to essential services.
what can our partners do1
What Can Our Partners Do
  • Sponsor projects to better connect rural areas with metropolitan, national and global markets and services by improving substandard or inaccessible surface roads.
  • Modify roadway design guidelines to facilitate livable projects.
  • Improve Context Sensitive Solutions efforts across all projects.