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THURSDAY: Top Obama Administration Officials to Promote Sustainable Communities, Environmental Justice at Smart Growth Conference

Release Date: 02/04/2010
Contact Information: Dave Ryan (News Media Only) Ryan.dave@epa.gov 202-564-7827 202-564-4355

WASHINGTON – U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood will visit Seattle on Thursday, February 4, to address the 9th Annual New Partners for Smart Growth Conference. They will be joined by Environmental Protection Agency Assistant Administrator Mathy Stanislaus.

Speaking before an audience of more than 1,500 key planners, public health professionals, developers, government staff and elected officials Secretaries Donovan and LaHood and Assistant Administrator Stanislaus will discuss the ways their agencies are working together through the Obama Administration’s Partnership for Sustainable Communities to improve access to affordable housing, provide better transportation options, and protect public health and the environment.

“EPA, HUD and DOT are working together to rebuild our foundations for prosperity, a process that starts with rethinking the ways our communities grow,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “The interagency Partnership for Sustainable Communities is working to give our communities what they need to grow and thrive with economic resilience and environmental sustainability.”

“I am proud to announce HUD’s brand new Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities today,” said Donovan. “Working with our partners at DOT and EPA, this new office will help us streamline our efforts to create stronger, more sustainable communities by connecting housing to jobs, fostering local innovation and building a clean energy economy.”

“Our Partnership really is a new way of doing business in Washington, to help our nation meet 21st century challenges,” said LaHood. “Working together, we’re creating jobs to revitalize our economy, while helping state and local transportation agencies to build the capacity they need to promote livable, walkable, sustainable communities.”

The President proposed $527 million in his budget for an ambitious new livability initiative at the U.S. Department of Transportation. Its Office of Livable Communities will be a focal point for initiatives such
as expanding transit in low-income neighborhoods. It will fund a grant program to help state and local transportation agencies provide more transportation choices that spur economic development.

The New Partners for Smart Growth Conference, taking place Feb. 4-6, is the premier national smart growth conference, bringing together experts from a wide range of disciplines to discuss transportation, housing and urban development, public health, equitable development, environmental protection, and other topics. The partnership agencies are working together more closely than ever before to meet the president’s challenge to coordinate federal policies, programs, and resources to help urban, suburban, and rural areas build more sustainable communities.

The New Partners for Smart Growth Conference is managed by the Local Government Commission, in partnership with EPA, DOT, and other public and private sponsors.

More about the Partnership for Sustainable Communities:
http:/www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/partnership

More on EPA’s Smart Growth Program:
http:www.epa.gov/smartgrowth

More information on HUD’s Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities:
www.hud.gov/sustainability