Sustainable Communities Introduction & Background

Grant Background

The federal Partnership for Sustainable Communities—made up of HUD, DOT, and EPA—is working to coordinate policies and programs for federal investments that advance equity and sustainability. The Partnership’s $100 million Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant Program will provide up to $5 million for “metropolitan and multi-jurisdictional planning efforts that integrate housing, land use, economic and workforce development, transportation, and infrastructure investments.” The program will support a range of activities from regional visioning to implementation planning and pre-development.

Applications were due on August 23, 2010. The notice of formal agreement states, “an eligible applicant is a multijurisdictional and multi- sector partnership consisting of a consortium of government entities and non-profit partners.” The consortium designates a Lead Applicant to submit the application and administer the program. 

MetroFuture and the Federal Initiative

Metro Boston is uniquely positioned to take advantage of the Regional Planning Grant Program because it already has a regional vision and plan consistent with the federal partnership’s six Livability Principles. “MetroFuture: Making a Greater Boston Region” is MAPC's 30-year plan to create a sustainable, equitable, and economically competitive Boston Region. 

The plan seeks to make efficient use of land, energy, and transportation investments by focusing growth in areas where development already exists. It protects our region’s water, green spaces, and working farms. It strengthens regional competitiveness and personal opportunity through investments in education and job training, and it envisions healthy, diverse, and engaged communities across the region. MetroFuture was developed with the extensive participation of thousands of “plan builders” -- residents, municipal officials, state agencies, businesses, community-based organizations, and institutional partners throughout the region. 

MetroFuture’s Implementation Strategies provide a comprehensive, long-term framework for building sustainable communities. Hundreds of short- and long-term recommendations, organized into 13 distinct strategies, address land use, housing, jobs, transportation, education, health, energy, public safety and environmental protection, with actions for cities and towns, state government, and the private sector.