Reconnecting America People * Places * Possibility

Partnership for Sustainable Communities: A Year of Progress


Last year, the Obama administration launched a first-of-its-kind effort to break down the walls between agencies that had, in the past, inhibited cooperative efforts to accomplish shared goals.The Partnership for Sustainable Communities, which brought together  Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency, began in June 2009 with the goal of targeting resources to help communities strengthen their economies by developing more sustainably, removing regulatory and policy barriers to make it easier for state and local governments to access federal resources, and aligning the agencies' policies and priorities.

The other day, the Partnership for Sustainable Communities released "Partnership for Sustainable Communities: A Year of Progress for American Communities," which looks at the progress the partnership has made in its first year. Among the accomplishments singled out in the report is the Mixed-Income Transit-Oriented Development Action Guide that Reconnecting America and the Center for Transit-Oriented Development created. "This interactive Web guide,, will help local planners and community groups find effective strategies and tools to encourage mixed-income development around transit," the report says.

The first-year assessment finds that interagency collaboration provides better results for communities and uses taxpayer money more efficiently.  Coordinating federal investments in infrastructure, facilities, and services, the report explains,  meets multiple economic, environmental and community objectives with each dollar spent.

"The Partnership for Sustainable Communities has already yielded impressive results—but HUD, DOT, and EPA still have a lot of work to do together," the report concludes. "The agencies plan to continue working with other interested federal partners to help them better support communities that offer more job opportunities, better housing choices, reliable and convenient transportation options, and high quality of life."