The Federal Government's Sustainable Urbanism Challenge

Sustainability is going federal through a new collaboration between HUD, EPA and DOT. Anthony Flint takes a look at the new coordinated effort and some of the challenges it faces.

The partnership is good news for the smart growth crowd. But turning that partnership into policy may not be as easy as some expect.

"To implement these coordinated policies, each of the agencies has created sub-units–although inexplicably, given them slightly different names in each case (I guess some federal agency habits are just ingrained). HUD has the Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities, which will mete out $140 million in grants for local smart growth efforts ranging from the redevelopment of vacant lots in cities to home financing that includes energy efficiency upgrades and location-efficient mortgages. DOT has the Office of Livable Communities, and EPA the Office of Sustainable Communities.

It may be a small thing, but any marketing campaign needs a strong, consistent, clear message. That seemed to be lacking in remarks prepared by three different staffs. Just how is the administration going to move a sustainability agenda forward? Emphasize jobs and economic prosperity, the three cabinet members wrote an op-ed essay in the Seattle Times. It's a similar new-green-economy approach flagged in a recent report on planning for climate change."

Full Story: Wishing Green to Succeed–In a Future That’s Red

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