DC Goes NU

New Urban News looks at the growing influence of New Urbanists and their ideas in Washington, from the appointment of former CNU director Shelley Poticha to a HUD position to the new Livable Communities Act proposed by Sen. Christopher Dodd.

"The appointment of Shelley Poticha, former executive director of the Congress for New Urbanism, to a key job at the US Department of Housing & Urban Development is the latest sign that the federal government is shifting significantly toward a new urbanist point of view.

Poticha, president since 2004 of the advocacy group Reconnecting America, will start Sept. 8 as HUD's senior adviser for sustainable housing and communities. She will be joining a department that's been reenergized by President Obama's naming of two well-regarded urban leaders - Shaun Donovan of New York City and Ron Sims of King County, Washington - the No. 1 and 2 positions at HUD.

Poticha's title of senior adviser may soon be upgraded. Senator Christopher Dodd (D-Connecticut) has introduced legislation to establish a new Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities within HUD. Poticha would be its director, charged with achieving closer coordination among three important federal entities: HUD, the Department of Transportation, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

"It's a big step," Robert Puentes, a metropolitan and urban affairs analyst at Brookings Institution, said of the Obama administration's attempt to shatter the insularity of federal agencies that deal with housing, urban development, and transportation. "

Thanks to Renee Brutvan

Full Story: Obama and Congress start putting the pieces together

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