Sustainable Planning

Our region certainly isn't the only one struggling to get a cohesive act together. Recog­niz­ing that regional planning needs help nationwide, the U.S. Congress has provided $150 million to the Department of Housing and Urban Development for a Sustainable Com­mun­ities Initiative that integrates housing and transportation and environmental planning – funding land-use plans and zoning that "incorporate livability, sustainability, and social equity principles." In addition, Congress is currently debating the Livable Communities Act, which would provide more than $4 billion for local governments to shape development with planning that co-locates transportation, homes, and businesses. The joint Housing and Urban Development/Department of Transportation/Environmental Protection Agency livability initiative is similarly focused on getting more bang for the federal buck by funding cross-sector projects that advance multiple objectives. Additionally, the federal TIGER II grant program offers funds for regional transportation plans.

Central Texas wants to win its fair share of that highly sought-after money. To win a grant of up to $5 million, a working group convened by Envision Central Texas is meeting regularly now on a joint grant application (due Aug. 23) to fund a regional plan for sus­tain­able development. If our region can win one of the highly competitive national grants, the funded project (related to implementing the CAMPO 2035 plan) should help to coalesce both planning and action. The city of Austin's transportation department is also planning a collaborative approach to a TIGER II grant application.

Got something to say? The Chronicle welcomes opinion pieces on any topic from the community. Submit yours now at

  • More of the Story

  • Best-Laid Plans

    How does the patchwork of separate plans for the future of Central Texas fit together? No one knows.
  • Plans in Play

    The Big Eight

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More by Katherine Gregor
Climate Protection: City in No Hurry To Cool It
Climate Protection: City in No Hurry To Cool It
Checking in on the Climate Protection Program's progress – or lack thereof

Aug. 6, 2010

Climate Change Crosses County Lines
Climate Change Crosses County Lines
Study predicts how climate change will affect Texas' future water needs

July 30, 2010

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle