It’s hard to believe that more than four years have gone by since the creation of the Partnership for Sustainable Communities. In 2009, President Obama gave HUD, DOT and EPA the directive to work together to create strong, sustainable communities by connecting housing to jobs, fostering economic development, and helping to build a clean energy economy. The goals and mission established by President Obama are becoming a reality, and today hundreds of representatives from HUD’s 143 Sustainable Communities grantee communities have gathered in Washington, D.C. to discuss their best practices, exchange ideas, and learn from each other’s experiences so that they may build stronger local and regional partnerships.
The convening, organized by HUD’s Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities (OSHC), also marked the completion of the master plans for many of the 2010 HUD Sustainable Community Grantees. These plans serve as community road maps to guide growth and development for years to come and were shaped by the input and long range visions of many regional partners and stakeholders, including local governments, chambers of commerce, transportation agencies, and of course the residents of those communities. The on-going development of our grantee master plans has already obtained the input of more than 50,000 residents and stakeholders over the course of more than 2,000 public meetings all over the country, from rural to urban communities.
Many of the already completed master plans have received awards and have been critically acclaimed; for example, the American Planning Association has given awards for outstanding planning and excellence and leadership awards to the Hull Street Corridor Revitalization Plan in Richmond, VA; the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning; and to Burlington, VT’s, Plan BTV: Downtown and Waterfront, among many others. Continue reading