Smart growth under pressure
The US Department of Housing and Urban Development recently awarded $97 million in grants associated with the Sustainable Communities program to cities and regions, sowing the seeds of smart growth across the country, nicely detailed recently by NRDC's Kaid Bainfield. But while other programs for transit and neighborhood development were spared, according to New Urban News, the modest $100 million for the Partnership for Sustainable Communities was eliminated in the House-Senate "minibus" budget for 2012, which President Obama signed. And now that the deadline for a supercommittee agreement has past, triggering automatic cuts, the president's sustainability program, based in the partnership of HUD, the Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency, seems unlikely to survive unprecedented cutbacks in discretionary spending.
So just as the Sustainable Communities program was getting started, it may be gone before more metropolitan regions can take advantage of it. Undaunted, however, leaders from around the New England region will participate in Putting Sustainability into Practice, the annual New England Smart Growth Leadership Forum, Friday, December 2, 2001 at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. Ron Sims, former HUD Deputy Secretary, will be the lunchtime keynote speaker.
The goal of the annual forum, sponsored by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy in partnership with EPA, HUD, and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston, is to bring together New England’s leaders from governmental agencies, non-profit organizations, and the private sector who play a critical role in shaping growth in New England, provide an opportunity for participants to share information about successes and challenges in smart growth, and to learn from national experts about advances in the field.
Speakers will include Armando Carbonell, Senior Fellow and Chair, Department of Planning and Urban Form, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy; Barbara Fields, Regional Administrator, US Department of Housing and Urban Development; Curt Spalding, Regional Administrator, US Environmental Protection Agency; Mary Beth Mello, Regional Administrator, Federal Transit Administration; Chris Jones, Vice President for Research, Regional Plan Association; Ryan Pelletier, Director of Workforce Development, Northern Maine Development Commission; Tim Beatley, Teresa Heinz Professor of Sustainable Communities, University of Virginia; Lyle Wray, Executive Director, Capitol Region Council of Governments; Tim Brennan, Executive Director, Pioneer Valley Planning Commission; Bonnie Nickerson, Director of Long Range Planning, City of Providence, RI; Doug Farr, President and CEO, Farr Associates; Marc Draisen, Executive Director, Metropolitan Area Planning Council; and Christine Walker, Executive Director, Upper Valley Lake Sunapee Regional Planning Commission.