Intertwined Interests in the Smart Growth Movement
RenewLV staff attended a productive coalition meeting today in Harrisburg, organized by 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania. For those readers who are not familiar with the organization, 10,000 Friends is a smart growth advocacy group working to revitalize existing communities, promote better land-use planning, reduce traffic congestion, protect open space, and assist with economic development. The participants represented the many geographic parts of Pennsylvania, and all of the different stakeholders that are driving the smart growth movement today. For example, PA Walks and Bikes represented the bicycling and pedestrian community, while PennEnvironment provided insights into the links between smarter development and environmental impact. The legislative community was also represented by Eric Bugaile, Executive Director of the House Transportation Committee, who briefed the group on the priorites for transportation in the State Capitol, and offered future forecasts for funding mechanisms.
While some might argue that there are many definitions of smart growth, it might be more accurate to state that there are multiple lenses for viewing smart growth, all with different – yet interconnected – issues . Indeed, this point was made at today’s meeting by a representative from Transportation for America (T4America). This national organization focuses on improving America’s system of transportation through a broad outreach that includes partnerships with public health, business, and housing groups, just to name a few. One of T4America’s recent policy initiatives stresses the linkage between climate and transportation, and the organization’s presentation today emphasized the need to address this link in transportation reform.
In line with the broad view that smart growth encompasses many – seemingly disconnected – aspects, it is important for RenewLV to continue to address all of these issues regionally. Our presence at the meeting today signified our commitment to incorporate the thriving Lehigh Valley vision into the state and national context. It was also a reminder of the big picture – just as all of the different interests are interconnected within the smart growth movement, so are all of the different communities.
Posted on July 15, 2009, in Education, Health, Housing, Neighborhoods, Public Infrastructure, Regions, Transportation, Trends, Urbanism, Water and tagged economy, environment, Housing, infrastructure, Lehigh Valley, national, public health, rail, smart growth, Transportation. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.