Spartanburg, South Carolina, has a classic American history like many cities in the south. The region is naturally rich in resources and fertile farmland, and they profited heavily from the many cotton mills dotting the riverbanks of Spartanburg during the post-civil war era. Spartanburg’s position as a transportation hub earned it the nickname “Hub City” and brought even more profitability to the region as goods were delivered across the country. In the midst of the conflicts and movements of the 20th century, the city suffered the loss of its textile industry and has been working ever since to reinvent itself. In the 1990s, Spartanburg won large international contracts that laid the framework for a new type of economic prosperity; it is now the headquarters for BMW and other multinational companies.
Small and rural communities across the country are implementing transit projects that are making an impact on their economy and quality of life for their citizens. Communities are implementing projects that catalyze private and public investment, developing partnerships to improve transit service, and enhancing connections between people and jobs and essential services. Using transit investments, rural America is creating stronger and healthier communities. Our webinar will give an overview of our recent report "Putting Transit to Work in Main Street America" and offer two case studies of transit investments in Vermont and Maine.
Reconnecting America has compiled a Federal Funding Matrix, which provides a listing of possible funding sources for creating sustainable communities. The Funding Matrix displays funding opportunities for states, cities, local governments and organizations, among others, for planning, implementation, site acquisition, business development, development financing, and other eligible uses.
Reconnecting America's Policy Director Sarah Kline released the following update, which covers the president's upcoming budget, TOD and Livable Communities legislation, the Sustainable Communities Partnership and the New Starts changes.
There has been a significant amount of federal activity related to transportation and TOD in the last several weeks. Both the House of Representatives and the Senate are expected to vote on surface transportation reauthorization bills the week of February 13, and the President’s FY2013 budget request will be released that week as well. Major bills have been introduced in the Senate on TOD and Livable Communities. The Federal Transit Administration has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to change the way that New Starts projects are evaluated. All of this is occurring against the backdrop of the 2012 elections, which can heighten partisanship in an already contentious Congress.
Surface Transportation Reauthorization
The previous surface…
Reconnecting America, as a partner in Livability Solutions, has been selected to provide technical assistance to the Gulf Regional Planning Commission in Gulfport, Mississippi. Reconnecting America will be working with the Gulf Regional Planning Commission to develop a typology for transit-oriented development (TOD) and to explore mixed-income TOD strategies to lower housing and transportation costs for residents of the region.
The past two years have been an exciting time as large and small communities, representing all corners of the country, have worked on developing collaborative planning processes that will address the unique conditions in their region and which will improve the quality of life for the diverse people that live, work and play there.
Reconnecting America commends the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) announcement of nearly $96 million in Sustainable Communities grants that will help 29 regions and 27 communities plan for better coordination of housing, land use, economic and workforce development, transportation, infrastructure and other elements that that create strong, healthy and economically competitive places.