The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announced today they will partner with the Governors’ Institute on Community Design to provide enhanced technical guidance to governors seeking to tackle housing, transportation, environmental, and health challenges facing their states.
The partnership, a part of the Federal Partnership for Sustainable Communities, is designed for states seeking to spur economic growth and development while addressing these issues.
“The Governors’ Institute on Community Design helps states address local challenges in ways that are cheaper and more effective, making it an important part of the Obama Administration’s commitment to communities,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “The EPA has been proud to be a part of the program since it was created in 2005. We look forward to working with our colleagues at HUD and DOT as well as Smart Growth America to continue supporting the Institute’s workshops, and help states achieve their economic, environmental, and public health goals.”
“With this effort, our three agencies are providing the cutting-edge technical assistance states need to create healthier, more livable communities,” says HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. “Just as importantly, we are demonstrating once again that the key to more affordable housing, transportation and access to jobs is providing partnership at the federal level that supports innovation at the local level.”
DOT Secretary Ray LaHood adds, “By working with HUD and EPA over the last three years, we’ve made significant progress to help communities across the country become safer, healthier, and better connected.” “We’re excited to expand our collaboration by working directly with the Governors’ Institute to increase state transportation options.”
Established in 2005, the Governors’ Institute brings together leading practitioners and academics in government, design, development, and regional economics to help governors and their state executive teams make informed choices about growth and development in their states. At the request of a governor, the Governors’ Institute conducts a workshop that pairs the governor and his or her cabinet with planning experts to identify strategies that spur development and help communities achieve their economic, public health, and environmental goals. Governors also receive follow-up assistance on technical issues.
The Governors’ Institute is coordinated by Smart Growth America and is led by former Governor Parris N. Glendening of Maryland and former Governor Christine Todd Whitman of New Jersey. Tom Ridge, former governor of Pennsylvania; Chet Culver, former governor of Iowa; and James Lee Witt, former head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, serve as advisors. In June, EPA awarded Smart Growth America a five-year cooperative agreement to administer the institute. This funding builds upon support provided previously by the National Endowment for the Arts, which brought to the fore issues of community design and art in public places.
The partnership, which celebrated its third anniversary in June, works to provide communities with faster, more streamlined access to federal programs and resources, and works closely with other federal agencies, states, and local governments to ensure that partnership programs use federal resources as efficiently as possible.