TCSP Program Objectives
TCSP is part of the Administration’s "Livability Initiative," which focuses on preserving green space and pursuing regional "smart growth" strategies. In January 1999, Vice President Gore launched this comprehensive initiative to help communities across America grow in ways that ensure a high quality of life and strong, sustainable economic growth. The Clinton-Gore Livability Initiative aims to help citizens and communities preserve green space, ease traffic congestion, restore a sense of community, promote collaboration among neighboring communities, and enhance economic competitiveness.
By strengthening the link between transportation and community preservation, the TCSP program is a key component of the Livability Initiative. TCSP recognizes the fundamental role of transportation in shaping communities, the economy, and the environment. Designing transportation systems that enhance mobility, economic opportunity, and community livability, while minimizing environmental impacts and life-cycle costs, is a major challenge for the future.
Responding to this challenge, the TCSP program emphasizes strategies that:
The emphasis of the TCSP program is on strategies that meet all of these objectives rather than just one or two. TCSP is not simply an economic development or environmental preservation program. Instead, projects should search for ways to reconcile transportation system performance, infrastructure costs, economic needs, and environmental impacts.
The program further recognizes the key role played by an effective planning process in successfully achieving these objectives. TCSP is intended to support and enhance existing State and metropolitan planning processes in part by engaging a broad range of partners. These include the general public as well as non-traditional partners, such as the business community, public health agencies, and private developers. TCSP projects also should add value to planning processes, for example, by introducing greater consideration of the land development and community impacts of various transportation investment alternatives.
Finally, the TCSP program places a strong emphasis on evaluation and learning. The authorizing TEA-21 language explicitly recognizes that the complex set of relationships among transportation, land development, and the factors influencing community livability are not fully understood. Thus, research and individual grant evaluations to determine which transportation and community design practices are most successful are important elements of the TCSP program. The knowledge gained from TCSP will assist communities nationwide in developing and implementing their own transportation and community preservation practices.