Reconnecting America People * Places * Possibility

Applications Open For Livability Solutions Free Technical Support

Livability Solutions, a partnership that includes Reconnecting America, is now taking applications for free technical assistance. Applications for the second year of the program are due by Nov. 2.

To help communities learn more about this program, Livability Solutions will host a webinar on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 3-4pm EST to further discuss this technical assistance opportunity, the available tools, and the process. Register for the webinar.

The Livability Solutions partnership is supported by a grant to the Project for Public Spaces from the US Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Sustainable Communities under their Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Program. The Building Blocks program funds quick, targeted assistance to communities that face common development problems.

Livability Solutions will be offering workshops to 6 to 12 communities around the country, enabling local governments and communities to implement changes that will move them along the road toward smart growth and sustainability. This technical assistance will take the form of one- to two-day workshops, led by one or more of our experienced coalition members, focused on one or more of our unique suite of livability tools.

The tools Reconnecting America will bring to the workshops include:

National Transit-Oriented Development Database provides users free web-based access to data on every existing and proposed fixed-guideway transit station area in the U.S. (as of December 2010). Users can create database reports to conduct peer transit agency research in other regions to benchmark performance. Reports can be used for systems analysis, to evaluate development location alternatives, or to consider policy options.

Transit-Oriented District Implementation Decision-Making Tool helps guide cities, transit agencies, and MPOs in prioritizing different neighborhoods for pedestrian, bicycle, development, and affordable housing investments. The data-driven tool takes the politics out of these decisions by measuring the ability of different neighborhoods to benefit from these investments. The tool looks at urban form, market strength, and demographic conditions to help make these decisions. Based on neighborhood characteristics, the tool makes recommendations about policies and strategies that are grounded in real life best practices.

The Mixed-Income/Equitable TOD Action Guide is an online tool for local jurisdictions working to foster mixed-income transit-oriented development (MITOD) around planned transit stations. The guide helps practitioners identify the most appropriate and effective planning tools for achieving MITOD in their station area, and to facilitate the development of mixed-income communities across the system. The training will evaluate the affordable housing and community development strategies to leverage the revitalizing potential of transportation investments, without displacing low-income workers.

Workshops are intended to provide communities with strategies to enhance livability, to create lasting economic and environmental improvements, and to effect positive change for their residents. Focus will be on helping communities reach a tipping point or overcome a significant hurdle to reaching a particular livability or sustainability goal. Coalition members will work with selected communities to identify the tool or palette of tools that will best help them achieve their livability and sustainability goals, building off of each community's unique character, culture, creativity, and effort. A short report will be prepared for each community following the technical assistance, and communities receiving technical assistance will be asked to follow up one month and nine months after receiving technical assistance to report on their progress toward objectives set during the assistance.

This technical assistance is designed to serve local and/or tribal governments. Any local, regional, state, or tribal government, or agency or subdivision thereof, or community-based organization working in close conjunction with any such division of government may apply.

The intention of this technical assistance is to work directly with local and/or tribal governments to increase their capacity to successfully implement smart growth and sustainable communities approaches that protect the environment, improve public health, facilitate job creation and economic opportunity, and improve overall quality of life. If the primary applicant is not a local government, then the applicant must indicate, through a signed letter from a local elected official or head of a local government agency, that the local government is committed to efforts described in the application and will be substantively involved in the technical assistance.