Northville Has Vibrant Downtown…, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from Michigan Municipal League’s photostream

Sustainable communities are places which have a variety of housing and transportation options. They’re communities where people don’t need to rely on cars because they can easily walk or use public transportation to go to work, to shop, to visit a doctor or to enjoy a show or eat out. They are greener by their very nature — reducing pollution by reducing the need for cars. And their emphasis on a mixture of housing options allow residents at all income levels to enjoy the benefits of living in these communities.

In 2009, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) joined together to encourage sustainable living through the Partnership for Sustainable Communities. To quote President Obama:

By working together, [HUD, DOT, and EPA] can make sure that when it comes to development—housing, transportation, energy efficiency—these things aren’t mutually exclusive; they go hand in hand. And that means making sure that affordable housing exists in close proximity to jobs and transportation. That means encouraging shorter travel times and lower travel costs. It means safer, greener, more livable communities.

Now, that progress is being threatened by Congress. As they wrestle with the budget, key programs by DOT and HUD are on the chopping block.

This is where you come in. Smart Growth America is asking you to tell Congress not to effectively kill the Partnership for Sustainable Communities. You can click here to send a message to your Representative and Senators.

Let them know that you value communities which are safe, affordable, walkable, healthy and green.


Phoenix’s local fixed gear community rides by, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from Steven Vance’s photostream