The American Prospect has an interesting article about Shelley Poticha, the director of HUD’s new Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities.
Poticha is working to encourage a suburban nation to live in ways that make it feasible to walk, take public transit, and bike. Her goal is to make suburban sprawl a thing of the past by equipping local governments with the tools to build neighborhoods centered on public transit and walking.
In her bureaucratic role, Poticha is the fulcrum of a partnership among HUD, the Department of Transportation, and the Environmental Protection Agency that aims to sync up the agencies’ resources and rules so that instead of encouraging sprawl — which highway funds and housing subsidies have done for more than seven decades — they tether new development to better transit. Congress has yet to authorize a budget for Poticha’s office, but this year the agencies are jointly putting nearly $1 billion into the hands of local governments and partners.
I’m very please to learn from WhoRunsGov.com that Poticha earned a master’s in city planning at Berkeley in 1983. Sustainable communities continue to be a focus of the urban planning department here today.