This year alone US DOT, HUD, and EPA have already announced $175 million in competitive grants based on the new Livability Partnership and the US House of Representatives just approved $524 million more for this program next year.
This emphasis on Livability requires local applicants to:
- Use investments to do more. No longer can a transportation project be considered just a transportation project. The investment must truly improve people’s access to places they want to go, while minimizing cost, environmental and neighborhood impacts, etc.
- Bust program and funding silos. Transportation, housing, and environment dollars can all be braided to accomplish better community outcomes.
“Livability,” US DOT Secretary Ray LaHood said, ”means being able to take your kids to school, go to work, see a doctor, drop by the grocery or post office, go out to dinner and a movie, and play with your kids in a park, all without having to get in your car.” In other words, “livability” in the Secretary’s mind means giving more people the option to live in a more urban environment where walking, biking and transit are realistic travel alternatives to using a car.