Urban Sprawl and the Obama Administration

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.

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