Grist talks with Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood about just what exactly "livable communities" are and how the government is planning to create them.
LaHood points to communities where driving is not necessary to get everyday tasks done, and looks back at his own home town experience growing up. He also discusses the political viability of that sort of planning today.
"Grist: But politically, it's been a little bit of a tough sell. There are a lot of people, especially on the Republican side of the aisle, who seem to think that encouraging density and more walkable communities is, in effect, forcing people to live in the kinds of places that they don't want to live in.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood: I think when politicians begin to listen to their constituents, what they find is that their constituents are way ahead of them on livability and sustainability, on having cleaner, greener communities, on having walking and biking paths, on having streetcar systems. I think when politicians who are elected by the people begin to listen to their constituents, they begin to get with this kind of livable, sustainable community program."
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Tufts University Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning
City of Grand Forks, North Dakota
HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research
City of Birmingham, Alabama
City of Laramie, Wyoming
Colorado Department of Local Affairs
This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.