The U.S. Department of Transportation has indicated that the agency will begin to look at livability-based funding guidelines for future projects. This move is part of the new Sustainable Communities Partnership among the Department of Transportation, EPA, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
“We’re going to free our flagship transit capital program from long-standing requirements that have allowed us only to green-light projects that meet very narrow cost and performance criteria,” LaHood told the Transportation Research Board annual meeting on Jan. 13. “Instead, as we evaluate major transit projects going forward, we’ll consider all the factors that help communities reduce their carbon footprint, spur economic activity and relieve congestion. To put it simply, we will take livability into account.”
These new guidelines will require project planners and analysts to come up with solid measures for community impact and economic development. The expanded parameters will require a tool set that’s well tuned to both community and infrastructure, so GIS will play a strong role in moving these measures forward.
Read more about this initiative and reactions in this piece via the National Journal.