Many communities already have the building blocks: high-frequency transit stations, freight rail facilities, historic main streets, and walkable neighborhoods. The challenge lies in prioritizing these assets above other needs.
Targeting resources to Priority Development Areas can incentivize communities with undervalued transportation assets to embrace transit-oriented development and cargo-oriented development as land-use strategies. Metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) can set the tone by orienting resources towards key projects in location-efficient places. Transportation, housing, and economic development programs can be coordinated to accelerate sustainable, place-based improvements.
In 2012, CNT released a call to action that prioritized the top opportunities for location-efficient development in the Chicago region. It called on the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) — the Chicago region’s MPO — to prioritize them as it implements GO TO 2040, the region’s first integrated transportation and land use plan.
CNT now works with stakeholders in the Chicago region to put these policy ideas to practice.
As part of the Partnership for Regional Livability during the Clinton Administration, CNT helped the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) build its Livable Centers Initiative (LCI). LCI targets STP resources to plan and implement mixed-use, walkable development in existing town centers and activity corridors. Every year, ARC allocates $1 million in STP to develop “turnkey” plans in these communities, ready to be handed to a developer for implementation. ARC has followed that planning investment with $175 million in infrastructure grants to sustain momentum towards implementation. ARC’s $500 million, 30-year investment represents about 5% of STP funding; so far, it has helped LCI areas capture about 20% of development in a region usually known for uncoordinated sprawl.
A call to action that embraces the goals of the Chicago region’s GO TO 2040 plan and translates them into a place-based blueprint for prosperity. It shows how to restore location efficiency and create new jobs and economic vitality based on the region’s unique assets and advantages.
An analysis of Low Income Housing Tax Credits using CNT’s H+T Index. It recommends that the Illinois Housing Development Authority adjust its Qualified Allocation Plan to consider household transportation costs, access to jobs for low income workers, and transit-oriented development.
An examination of H+T costs in Northwest Arkansas. Among other policy suggestions, it recommended the Northwest Arkansas Regional Planning Commission build a Livable Communities Initiative to target investments around four historic downtowns and the planned Razorback Regional Greenway.