On June 16, 2011, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) celebrated two years of partnership helping communities improve access to affordable housing, increase transportation options, and lower transportation costs while protecting the environment. Federal staff working in the regions helped celebrate the occasion by participating in a nationwide conversation about working with state and local partners, and each other to cultivate and support communities adopting and implementing livability principles. Some regional engagement milestones and successes between April and June, 2011 include:
Regional offices have been working hard to get the word out about the Partnership and upcoming grant opportunities. Staff have hosted or participated in regional conferences, presentations, and workshops to highlight the benefits of sustainable communities and continue to outreach to new partners. Region 3 partnered with Morgan State University on June 21, 2011 to launch the Equity Learning Community (ELC). About 40 individuals with diversity in age, racial/ethnic, and residence gathered to begin to develop the common language and understanding needed to begin a meaningful dialogue focused on building sustainable and inclusive communities in Baltimore City. The ELC will continue its effort thru a bi-monthly breakfast conversations strategy designed to maintain momentum, increase knowledge sharing and to identify areas for collaboration.
Regional federal partners have also been working to assist Partnership grantees and other communities in integrated planning efforts and implementing projects to build sustainable communities. Partnership agencies in Region 6 identified leads for each HUD community planning grant. In Austin, TX Saltillo Plaza the DOT lead, along with HUD and EPA participated in a kick-off meeting with the City and CapMetro where a potential NEPA issue was identified and in currently being addressed by national partners. In Little Rock, AR, the HUD lead, along with DOT and EPA participated in a 2-day charrette covering topics such as urban heat island effect, trolley, solar lighting, and shading. And in Port Arthur, TX, the EPA lead Targeted Brownfields Assessment Team has completed an inventory of abandoned and underutilized sites.
Collaboration and partnership at the regional level is being fostered and institutionalized through regular meetings and retreats. Region 10 Northwest Interagency Partnership for Sustainable Communities hosted the Partnership for Sustainable Communities: Dialogue in Idaho, a full day community dialogue on Sustainable Communities on May 26, 2011. The event, held at Boise State University, hosted over 100 community leaders. Mayor David Bieter of Boise welcomed the community leaders and Regional Administrators for HUD, EPA, FTA and the Division Administrator for FHWA made presentations and fielded questions from the audience. Boise, Idaho is the third Dialogue held in Region X to date.
Region 1 - Produced a video on the Fairmount Corridor in Boston, MA highlighted on the White House blog
Region 2 – Organized interagency training and learning opportunities for Partnership regional staff
Region 3 – Hosted meeting with Partnership Regional Administrators to discuss opportunities to collaborate
Region 4 – presented on the Partnership to state and local health leaders and members of the CDC
Region 5 – Developed and published an Urban Farm Business Plan Handbook as a tool for addressing blight
Region 6 – Sponsored the Central Texas Livability Summit and planning for the Clean Air Through Energy Efficiency (CATEE) Conference
Region 7 – Developed a joint interagency regional resource guide for rural communities
Region 8 – Supported the Consortium for the Wasatch Front 2040 Planning Grant Project kick-off events
Region 9 – Jointly signed a "Memorandum of Understanding for Achieving an Environmentally Sustainable High-Speed Train System for California"
Region 10 – Launched web pages for each state entitled "Sustainable Communities, Sustainable Futures, and an e-Source Library"