Urban Fold

Bill Takes Small Step Towards 'Livable Communities'

A bill working its way through congress seeks to institute more "livable communities" in America. But with few mandates, it's unclear what the bill would actually do.

"[I]t's no surprise that the bill reads like a New Urbanist tract. It states, for instance, "Demographers estimate that as much as 30 percent of current demand for housing is for housing in dense, walkable, mixed-use communities, and that less than 2 percent of new housing is in this category." It argues that less driving is "a necessary part of the energy independence and climate change strategies of the United States." The bill contains remarkably enlightened rhetoric, but it doesn't quite walk the walk. Like much of what comes out of the Obama administration, S.1619 is neither as far-reaching as its proponents would like nor as radical as its detractors claim."

The bill focuses on encouraging discussion and coordination between various arms of government and policymaking, as opposed to creating hard rules. But proponents say it's a good, though modest, first step.

Full Story: All Carrot, No Stick

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