WASHINGTON (June 17, 2009) -- The recent announcement of six livability principles for sustainable communities jointly issued by three Obama Administration officials represents a “pivotal point in restoring land use issues as a national priority,” according to Richard Rosan, chief executive officer of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Worldwide.
The three Administration officials announced a “landmark” agreement to work together to coordinate federal housing, transportation and environmental programs during June 16 testimony before the U.S. Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee.
The officials are Shaun Donovan, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary; Ray LaHood, U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary, and Lisa Jackson, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator.
The agreement includes six “Livability Principles” that will serve as the goals driving the coordination effort.
"These principles," said Donovan, “mean that we will all be working off the same playbook to better serve American families who expect more affordable and sustainable choices in their communities.” The principles seek to:
- Provide more transportation choices
- Promote equitable, affordable housing
- Enhance economic competitiveness
- Support existing communities
- Coordinate policies and leverage investment
- Value communities and neighborhoods
“This commitment demonstrates a stronger focus on land use and community building than we have seen at the federal level for many years,” Rosan said.
“Clearly, this Administration understands that our nation’s cities and metropolitan regions are the economic engine for America, and that they are in competition globally for business and for talented workers."
At the Senate hearing, Donovan, Jackson and LaHood discussed issues related to community sustainability that ULI has long analyzed and promoted, in terms of building workforce housing closer to employment centers; integrating land use and infrastructure planning; and accommodating urban growth in a way that minimizes auto dependency and is pedestrian friendly, thus conserving land and energy and improving the environment.
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