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Livability 101

Six Principles of Livability

Fostering livable communities—places where coordinated transportation, housing, and commercial development gives people access to affordable and environmentally sustainable transportation—is a transformational policy shift for DOT. Over the last 50 years, transportation spending has often been poorly coordinated with other infrastructure investments resulting in auto-dependent residential communities where access to job opportunities and key amenities is inadequate and expensive. Our livable communities initiative addresses these and other related issues to show how we will pursue coordinated, place-based policies and investments that increase transportation choices and access to public transportation services for all Americans.

  • Provide more transportation choices to decrease household transportation costs, reduce our dependence on oil, improve air quality and promote public health.
  • Expand location- and energy-efficient housing choices for people of all ages, incomes, races and ethnicities to increase mobility and lower the combined cost of housing and transportation.
  • Improve economic competitiveness of neighborhoods by giving people reliable access to employment centers, educational opportunities, services and other basic needs.
  • Target federal funding toward existing communities – through transit-oriented and land recycling – to revitalize communities, reduce public works costs, and safeguard rural landscapes.
  • Align federal policies and funding to remove barriers to collaboration, leverage funding and increase the effectiveness of programs to plan for future growth.
  • Enhance the unique characteristics of all communities by investing in healthy, safe and walkable neighborhoods, whether rural, urban or suburban.

Partnership for Sustainable Communities

On June 16, 2009, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) joined together to help communities nationwide improve access to affordable housing, increase transportation options, and lower transportation costs while protecting the environment.

The Partnership for Sustainable Communities works to coordinate federal housing, transportation, water, and other infrastructure investments to make neighborhoods more prosperous, allow people to live closer to jobs, save households time and money, and reduce pollution. The partnership agencies incorporate six principles of livability into federal funding programs, policies, and future legislative proposals.

Updated: Monday, September 9, 2013