THE WHITE HOUSE AT WORK
Wednesday, September 2, 1998
THE CLINTON/GORE ADMINISTRATION:
LIVABLE COMMUNITIES FOR THE 21ST CENTURY
In the future, livable communities will be the basis for our competitiveness and economic strength.
Vice President Al Gore
September 2, 1998
Today, in a major policy address at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., Vice President Al Gore highlighted successful efforts around the country to achieve smart, sustainable growth in cities, suburbs and rural areas, and announced new federal initiative to encourage similar efforts nationwide. In his travels around the country the Vice President will continue to draw attention to the issue of smarter growth in America, and along with members of the Cabinet, will hold a series of "listening sessions" this fall to hear how localities are grappling with sprawl and how the federal government can help.
Local Strategies For Livable Communities. As our nation has grown and our cities have expanded into suburbs, the problems of sprawl have intensified. Cities that were once civic gathering areas have emptied out as development has expanded. Many communities are now employing "smart growth" or "sustainability" strategies that return communities into places where people work, learn, and worship together and families can walk, bike, and play together. These strategies are moving people closer to their jobs so they can get home and spend time with their children, restoring historic neighborhoods so they are revitalized and enjoyed by future generations, and preserving our natural resources.
Giving Communities The Tools They Need To Succeed. As communities continue to transform themselves and adopt policies which offer more livable conditions, the Clinton Administration will continue to assist in these efforts. Today, the Vice President announced three new initiatives to help communities as we enter the 21st Century:
- Location Efficient Mortgages. The Vice President announced that Fannie Mae, in partnership with several non-profit groups, is launching a $100 million pilot project that will provide lower-cost mortgages and 30-year transit passes to families who buy homes near mass transit. These mortgages will give families more choices by enabling them to live in more desirable neighborhoods, while encouraging smarter growth;
- Computer Mapping Software. The Clinton Administration will offer grants that will enable communities to get and display federal information on an easy-to-understand computerized maps showing the scope of their community -- from parks to farmland and buildings -- that will make it dramatically easier to adopt sensible land growth policies;
- Protecting Our Farmland. The Vice President announced the final installment of a $35 million Farmland Protection Program established in the 1996 Farm Bill by awarding funds to 19 states to protect over 53,000 acres of our precious farmland.
Building On A Record Of Success. Today's announcements build on the many other successful initiatives of the Clinton/Gore Administration, including:
- Empowerment Zones and Enterprise Communities that are bringing in billions of dollars of private investment into America's cities;
- The President's Council On Sustainable Development, which has worked to encourage better, more livable communities nationwide; and
- The American Heritage Rivers Initiative, which rewards communities that restore rivers and waterfronts.