To help communities across America grow in ways that ensure a high quality of life and strong, sustainable economic growth, President Clinton and Vice President Gore are proposing a comprehensive Livability Agenda providing new tools and resources for state and local governments. By delivering these resources to the local level, where issues of growth are most appropriately addressed, this initiative will help empower citizens to build more "livable communities" for the 21st century.
Livability Goals. The Clinton-Gore Livability Agenda aims to help citizens and communities:
· Preserve green spaces that promote clean air and clean water, sustain wildlife, and provide families with places to walk, play and relax.
· Ease traffic congestion by improving road planning, strengthening existing transportation systems, and expanding use of alternative transportation to give commuters more time with their families, friends and neighbors.
· Restore a sense of community by fostering citizen and private sector involvement in local planning, including the placement of schools and other public facilities.
· Promote collaboration among neighboring communities -- cities, suburbs or rural areas -- to develop regional growth strategies and address common issues like crime.
· Enhance economic competitiveness by nurturing a high quality of life that attracts well-trained workers and cutting-edge industries.
FY 2000 Livability Initiatives. The President's FY 2000 budget request to Congress will propose significant new investments to support major Livability programs:
Better America Bonds - The Administration is proposing a new financing tool generating $9.5 billion in bond authority for investments by state, local and tribal governments. Proposed tax credits totaling more than $700 million over five years will support Better America Bonds, which can be used to preserve green space, create or restore urban parks, protect water quality, and clean up brownfields (abandoned industrial sites).
Community Transportation Choices - To help ease traffic congestion, the proposed Department of Transportation budget for FY 2000 will include a record $6.1 billion for public transit and $2.2 billion to aggressively implement innovative community-based programs in the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century. These programs help communities create regional transportation strategies, improve existing roads and transit, and encourage broader use of alternative transportation.
Regional Connections Initiative -To promote regional "smart growth" strategies, the Department of Housing and Urban Development will provide $50 million as matching funds for local partnerships to design and pursue smarter growth strategies across jurisdictional lines.
Other Livability Initiatives - The President's proposed FY 2000 budget also will include $100 million for programs to encourage citizen participation in the design of schools as centers of their communities, provide communities with new information tools so they can grow according to their values, and improve public safety by sharing crime data among communities.