"This economic crisis has been exacerbated by a rapid fluctuation in gas prices and transportation costs that likewise brought the urgency of energy and environmental sustainability challenges into clear focus. While gas prices have dropped along with the economy's performance, no serious analyst believes that they will not rebound to even higher levels; therefore, even after the fixes from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 take hold, much more action will be needed to address the twin threats of high transportation costs and destabilized housing markets.
As Congress works to repair our financial markets, it will also have to jump start our economy. That quick start requires policymakers to focus on the basics and to further direct efforts on the metropolitan areas where those basics are concentrated. Yet as the federal government focuses, it has to change its approach to governance as well. As it turns out, the current moment of economic crisis is the right time to be talking about getting more efficiency out of the existing system by linking transportation, housing, and land use."