Spartanburg, South Carolina, has a classic American history like many cities in the south. The region is naturally rich in resources and fertile farmland, and they profited heavily from the many cotton mills dotting the riverbanks of Spartanburg during the post-civil war era. Spartanburg’s position as a transportation hub earned it the nickname “Hub City” and brought even more profitability to the region as goods were delivered across the country. In the midst of the conflicts and movements of the 20th century, the city suffered the loss of its textile industry and has been working ever since to reinvent itself. In the 1990s, Spartanburg won large international contracts that laid the framework for a new type of economic prosperity; it is now the headquarters for BMW and other multinational companies.
Reconnecting America today released Are We There Yet? Creating Complete Communities for 21st Century America, an ambitious report that tracks progress in America’s regions toward a vision of complete communities.
On May 29, Reconnecting America President & CEO John Robert Smith gave the morning keynote address at the Tennessee Obesity Task Force gathering in Nashville. Later, he was interviewed and that interview was recorded. Click on the links below to watch the video on each topic.
I am pleased there is now bipartisan action on transportation reauthorization by the House that can be conferenced with the Senate. While this six-month extension does not provide the certainty of a multi-year reauthorization, it will keep our transportation network functioning at current funding levels and allow for a conference to begin with the Senate on a longer-term transportation bill.
I look forward to working with the conference committee to ensure that the final version of the bill includes language to keep our existing transit systems operating and provides support for local communities to invest in new transit services, bicycle and pedestrian projects, and transit-oriented development. These items combined will offer more options for Americans in how they travel to meet their daily needs, reducing costs for families struggling with today’s high gas prices.
I commend the action taken today by the Senate Transportation-HUD Appropriations Subcommittee to pass a bipartisan bill that will fund critical housing and transportation programs. The investments called for in this bill in our transit, rail, and road networks and in neighborhoods and communities across the country will strengthen America’s economic outlook and improve the daily lives of millions of families.
Of particular importance is the funding provided for the HUD Sustainable Communities grants. This funding will support integrated regional and local planning for housing, transportation, and other infrastructure in urban and rural areas around the country. In fiscal years 2010 and 2011, 152 communities and regions in 48 states received grants from this program, and are now hard at work developing strategies, implementing plans, and leveraging funds to create strong local economies. The need for these programs is significant; in those two fiscal years HUD received…
Reconnecting America has compiled a Federal Funding Matrix, which provides a listing of possible funding sources for creating sustainable communities. The Funding Matrix displays funding opportunities for states, cities, local governments and organizations, among others, for planning, implementation, site acquisition, business development, development financing, and other eligible uses.