Congress Debates the Concept of “Livable Communities”

Reuters reports that the United States Senate Banking Committee is considering the implementation of a federal law that would provide federal grants to local governments to make cities more “livable”.  The bill, which was introduced by Senator Chris Dodd of Connecticut, stated:

The grant amounts would depend on the size of the city and the use of the money. The bill would authorize $100 million in total each year through 2013 for planning grants and $3.75 billion through 2013 for implementation grants.

A similar bill was introduced in the House of Representatives in February.

Dodd described the bill as combining housing development, public transit, and infrastructure and land-use planning into one comprehensive approach to city development. Currently, many of those decisions are made separately from one another, and Dodd and others said the partitions have led to urban sprawl.

President of the Carroll County Board of County Commissioners, Julia Gouge, testified on behalf of NACo. She stated:

“Rural, suburban and urban counties have been pursuing local strategies to create livable communities and implement sustainable development for decades.”

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