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SSC2011_Brett Van Akkeren




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  • On June 16, 2009 Transportation Secretary La Hood, HUD Secretary Donovan and EPA Administrator Jackson announced a Partnership for Livable Communities. The purpose is to coordinate or marry the activities of all three agencies to promote sustainable communities.
  • Like all marriages there is a vow. The purpose is to improve existing communities like the ones in the LAB and make sure we build better new communities.
  • Good marriages have rules or principals to live by. The partnership is based on these six principles, which were negotiated between the three agencies. Not surprisingly you can see variations of these goals in the awahnee principles, the CNU charter and from other groups that support sustainable development. All three of our agencies pledged to imbed these livability principles into our administrative and regulatory decisions, our spending decisions, and ultimately into our legislative initiatives. All three agency leaders also stressed to staff that they want everything done under this Partnership to be consistent with environmental justice and equitable development goals.
  • As you all know. For good luck in a marriage you need to bring something old, something new, something borrowed and Something blue. I am going to cover some of the resources that this marriage is bring to people like you who are trying to build better communities. The resources I will talk about here and many more are identified in the “Leveraging the Partnership” Document That should be on your tables. The transportation enhancement programs funded by DOT but run by the State is the typical source for many of the types of improvements you are exploring as part of the Urban Labs in addition to the activities listed there are also the rails to trails program that can fund trails on the beltway and the Environmental mitigation that can reduce the run off impacts of trails. I have been told that one barrier to trails on the Beltline is that Atlanta agreed with EPA to preserve the open space of the beltline corridors for storm water infiltration. Now you either have to use permeable paving—which is not too smooth or create structured stormwater reuse and infiltration to make up for any paving of the trails. The environmenatl mitigation money is one of several pools of funds that could be tapped for this. The brownfields program at EPA can help if any of the sites you are working on might have environmental contamination. This includes sites as large as major industrial facilities like the former Atlantic steel site to abandoned gas stations. We all know Atlanta has Air quality problems. It also has a plan to address these issues. If any of these projects help meet that plan’s goals they may be eligible for CMAQ funding. Although this is as commonly used for many of these types of projects.
  • DOT’s TIGER Grant Program has been a big success and applications for a second round are due July 16. These tend to be big transit and Highway and bridge repair projects. If some of these projects include those elements, this funding could be tapped. One barrier is that applications that are ready to go will be favored. If you are in the planning stages the separate planning grants could be tapped to prepare for future funding. HUD also has money for smaller area planning so communities can define what they want to do in these areas EPA’s brownfields office is also offering planning money for areas that have multiple brownfields sites so communities can look at brownfields redevelopment from a neighborhood perspective.
  • Barrowed programs are programs that have a history but have been given a new twist. HUD’s Choice Neighborhoods program is a variation on the old Hope VI program that the New Urbanists were such an important part. This new program reduces some of the barriers that made the Hope VI program so difficult to use and exppands the eligibility of neighborhoods to receive this funding. If you are trying to rebuild disadvantaged neighborhoods into mixed income communities, you might be able to tap this funding. EPA’s State revolving Loan funds have been around for years but this year the have a smart growth twist. Each state is given money to loan to communities at low rates for water infrastructure projects. This year state are asked to reserve 20 percent of the money for projects that include green infrastructure, water efficiency and other innovative activities. The guidance given to states Also encourages a fix-it-first priorities over building new capacity. Now this money would seem to be ideal for many of things we are trying to address here. This part of Atlanta is on combined sewer system. When there is a bad rain storm the stormwater combines with the waste water and overwhelms the system. All this water is flow directly into rivers, streams and lakes without being treated. At EPA we don’t think that is such a great idea. Normally many of the stormwater management techniques would be great tools to partially address this problem. The problem is Atlanta and EPA have an agreement to solve this and it involves building big tunnels to store the water. These tunnels are the funding priority for this area. I understand that it would be near impossible to renegotiate this. But even with the tunnels you have to treat all the water that is in the tunnels before you can release it. That creates high opperating cost at the treatment plant. Wouldn’t be better to keep the stormwater out of the sewers so you won’t have to pay for treatment?
  • And we end with some blue sky legislation. The proposed climate change bill out of the senate has fairly large authorization for funding. It sounds pretty good but much can happen between the cup and the lip. The bill has to become law and usually the actual amount of money appropriated is much smaller than what is authorized. Never-the-less, it demonstrates that the TIGER program has legs and it would pay to plan for future funding cycles.
  • There is more going on than the sustainable communities partnership. The First Lady has made reducing childhood obesity a priority. The White House Inter-Agency Task force on childhood obesity has many goals both in encouraging healthy eating and increasing physical activity The Built Environment section had recommendations to: Increase Federal support for Complete Streets Program Encourage School siting that promote Walking and Biking Supporting Safe Routes to School program Encouraging the development of accessible parks in underserved comm unities One goal is to increase by half the number of kids walking and biking to school in 2015. After I sent this presentation in to the committee. I just got an announcement from the National Park service Rivers, traiils and conservation assistance program. This program could provide experts to help you develop a trails program in the city and along the beltline. Applications for this program are due August 1 st .
  • I have never used this quote when Peter’s in the Audience. Do I have it right? The urban design that is needed to meet the goals of the First Lady’s “Lets Move” campaign are well know by new urbanists. I notice one table is to discuss green corridors to create active transportation options everyone from children to Older adults. Urban Design that serves us through out our lives is a passion of mine. Click If you want to learn more about older adult issues, there is a session Friday morning on Building Lifelong Communities for Older adults.

SSC2011_Brett Van Akkeren SSC2011_Brett Van Akkeren Presentation Transcript

  • Federal Sustainable Communities: Assistance Opportunities Atlanta Urban Labs CNU 18 Brett Van Akkeren, US Environmental Protection Agency
  • Sustainable Communities Partnership: A Marriage of Programs
  • The Vow To meet the President’s challenge for our agencies to coordinate our policies, programs, and resources to help urban, suburban, and rural areas and regions to build sustainable communities , and to make sustainable communities the leading style of development in the United States.
  • Partnership Principles 1. Provide more transportation choices. 2. Promote equitable, affordable housing. 3. Enhance economic competitiveness. 4. Support existing communities. 5. Value communities and neighborhoods. 6. Coordinate policies and leverage investment.
  • Something Old
    • Transportation Enhancement Programs—DOT
      • Ped. & bike facilities
      • Acquisition of historic sites
      • Landscaping and scenic beautification
      • Historic preservation
    • Brownfields Program--EPA
      • Assessment grants
      • Clean up grants
      • State revolving loan fund
      • Direct technical assistance
    • Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality--DOT
    • Smart Growth Implementation Assistance--EPA
  • Something New
    • TIGER Grants--DOT
      • Round 1, 51 projects $1,5 billion
      • Round 2, $600 million, $35 million for planning
    • Community Challenge Grants--HUD
      • $40 million
    • Urban Waters Initiative-EPA
    • Brownfields Area-Wide Planning Pilot Program--EPA
      • $3.5 million
  • Something Borrowed
    • Clean Water and Drinking Water Revolving Loan Funds—EPA
      • $3.3 billion
      • 20 percent Green Project Reserve
      • Fix-it-first policy
    • Choice Neighborhoods—HUD
      • $65 million FY 2010
      • $250 million requested for FY 2011
  • Something Blue
    • Kerry—Libermann American Power Act
      • Funding
        • Up to $ 1.875 billion TIGER reload
          • Improve energy efficiency
          • Reduce dependence on oil
          • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions
          • Benefit the environment
        • Up to $ 1.875 billion discretionary grant program
          • 10% to MPOs for climate plans
          • 80% to fund actions to meet those plans
            • Emission reductions
            • Address mobility needs of the carless
            • Innovation and economic development
  • Lets Move! Reducing Childhood Obesity
  • Shameless Promotion
    • “ New Urbanism is designing a community from the perspective of a child on a bicycle”
    Peter Calthorpe,
    • “ Building Lifelong Communities is designing a community from the perspective of a flower child on a bicycle”
  • Thank You
    • Brett Van Akkeren
    • [email_address]
    • Resources:
    • http://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/partnership/index.html
    • http://portal.hud.gov/portal/page/portal/HUD/program_offices/sustainable_housing_communities
    • http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/livability /