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Obama Suggests More Sustainable Approach to Urban Growth

January 22, 2010

Obama and Biden at the Conference of Mayors today

I was surprised to hear Obama talk about his budget for the next fiscal year today, and the inclusion of funds to encourage more sustainable growth in urban areas . . . surprised and delighted! In a speech to some of the country’s mayors, he said:

The budget that I’ll present next month … (will reflect) our strategy to build economically competitive, environmentally sustainable, opportunity-rich communities that serve as the backbone for our long-term growth and prosperity.

Part of his strategy will focus on improving public transportation and infrastructure to strengthen the communities they link. Woohoo! He said:

. . . we’ll focus on creating more livable and environmentally sustainable communities.  Because when it comes to development, it’s time to throw out old policies that encouraged sprawl and congestion, pollution, and ended up isolating our communities in the process.  We need strategies that encourage smart development linked to quality public transportation, that bring our communities together.

Fabulous. We shall see what comes of these statements, but it absolutely is necessary to bring a sense of community back into our isolated lives. Local communities that are environmentally sustainable will ultimately strengthen our economy, even if it takes time.

photo via CNN

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