The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are celebrating the fifth anniversary of their unprecedented collaboration: the Partnership for Sustainable Communities. To date, the Partnership has invested more than $4 billion in over 1,000 communities in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.
As coordinator of the Sustainable Communities Learning Network (SCLN), ISC has worked closely with the Partnership for Sustainable Communities since its inception and has supported many of the communities that have received grants and assistance through the three agencies. We’ve seen firsthand the benefits of integrating planning and investments in housing, transportation, economic development and environmental conservation. This approach enables more innovative, sustainable, “win-win” solutions. From Northern Maine to the Gulf Coast, Kansas City to North Central Montana, there are now emerging visions for more prosperous and sustainable futures thanks to support from the Partnership.
Under this partnership, the three agencies are working to align their programs and investments behind six livability principles:
• Provide more transportation choices.
• Promote equitable, affordable housing.
• Enhance economic competitiveness.
• Support existing communities.
• Coordinate and leverage federal policies and investment.
• Value communities and neighborhoods.
We believe that this approach to interagency cooperation and alignment can provide a valuable model for similar collaborative efforts being organized at the state and local levels.
The Partnership is using the anniversary as an opportunity to take stock of its impact in a recently released report: “Five Years of Learning from Communities and Coordinating Federal Investments.” As the report highlights, the Partnership has worked to foster a new approach to planning and a focus on listening to the needs of communities and better collaborating to meet those needs across the silos of the federal government. Working across interests, the HUD, EPA and DOT have increased flexibility and removed barriers to community projects, leveraged federal and local know-how across their areas of expertise and delivered multiple benefits from the investments they make. The report is a must-read for communities and organizations working to support sustainability.
Learn more about ISC’s work to support the Partnership.
This post is by U.S. Senior Program Officer Debra Perry