Building Environmentally Sustainable Communities: A Framework for Inclusivity

Building Environmentally Sustainable Communities: A Framework for Inclusivity

The Urban Institute and NYU's Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy have issued a report that examines the relationship between the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's dual goals of encouraging sustainable communities and enhancing access to opportunity for lower-income people and people of color. Released as part of the What Works Collaborative, which is funded by the Casey, Ford, MacArthur, Kresge, Rockefeller, and Surdna foundations, the report, Building Environmentally Sustainable Communities: A Framework for Inclusivity (95 pages, PDF), found that policies with walkability and other environmental sustainability metrics as their primary focus run the risk of disproportionately concentrating lower-income people in high-poverty neighborhoods with relatively meager educational and job opportunities. As such, the report concludes, HUD can only effectively pursue its objectives through policies that address both sustainability and housing access goals explicitly.