• Planning Livable Communities
  • Volume 19, Number 3
  • Managing Editor: Mark D. Shroder
  • Associate Editor: Michelle P. Matuga
 

Impacts of the Sustainable Communities Initiative on Regional Collaboration, Equity, and Planning: Results of a Survey of Grantee Regions

Elizabeth Mattiuzzi
University of California, Berkeley


This paper presents the results of a survey of lead agency representatives from the 74 grantee regions for the HUD Sustainable Communities Initiative Regional Planning Grant (SCI-RPG) from 2010-2011. Previous work suggests that different understandings of sustainability and equity existed across the country prior to the grant period, and that the impacts of SCI-RPG in these two areas occurred through indirect as well as direct means (Chapple and Mattiuzzi 2013; Frick et al. 2015). Conducted in July-August 2016 by Virginia Commonwealth University and UC Berkeley, the survey reached 76 percent of grantee regions (56 responses). The results provide insights into how a federal incentive grant for regional sustainability planning helped spur new relationships between regional actors and new approaches to engagement with the public. Respondents clarified how they incorporated social equity into planning processes through new approaches to planning, new data sources, and other means. The survey asked about the SCI-RPG planning process itself and its ongoing impact on regional plans after the completion of the grant period. Consortium leaders reported on how the grant impacted specific policy areas, such as fair housing, as well as its broad impact on capacity and continued investment in the region. Grantees reflected on how SCI-RPG impacted regional collaboration and governance, what the barriers and areas of opportunity are for implementing the regional plans developed under SCI-RPG, and how future grant programs can be improved. The paper uses these results to give a high-level analysis of what worked about SCI-RPG across the nation and what barriers remain to implementation.


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