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April 24, 2018


New York-Connecticut Sustainable Communities Planning Program


On April 15, 2011, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Regional Administrator Adolfo Carrion, along with mayors from nine New York and Connecticut cities, four Metropolitan Planning Organizations, and heads of two regional planning entities launched an unprecedented bi-state sustainability initiative for coordinated regional and local planning. The new group, defined as the "New York & Connecticut Sustainable Communities Consortium", will work collaboratively to develop livable communities and growth centers around the region's commuter rail network to enhance affordable housing efforts, reduce congestion, improve the environment and continue to expand economic opportunities. The group will be coordinated by Regional Plan Association, a non-profit regional planning organization.

Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant Program

The New York-Connecticut Sustainable Communities Consortium was awarded $3.5 million in funding under the inaugural year of HUD's Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant Program. For the first time in history, HUD has awarded nearly $100 million in new grants to support more livable and sustainable communities across the country.  Out of more than 180 applications nation-wide, a total of 45 regional areas will receive funding through this initiative intended to build economic competitiveness by connecting housing with access to jobs, quality schools, and transportation. A central goal of the Sustainable Communities program is to link strategies on a metropolitan scale that would foster creation of mixed-income housing, employment, and infrastructure in locations connected by the region's robust commuter rail network.  The Regional Planning Grant Program will be guided by HUD's Six Livability Criteria listed below:

  • Provide More Transportation Choices
  • Promote Equitable, Affordable Housing
  • Enhance Economic Competitiveness
  • Support Existing Communities
  • Coordinate Policies and Leverage Investment
  • Value Communities and Neighborhoods

SCI Projects & Partners:

Work Program:

The work program that will be implemented by the New York-Connecticut Sustainable Communities Consortium will develop a Program and Execution Plan for Sustainable Development that builds on existing sustainability plan and addresses the region's complex challenges at multiple scales- metropolitan, community, corridor and subregion.  The program involves 14 major activities that can be grouped into three categories:

1.  Metropolitan planning and policy integration: Four activities will address missing elements in the region's sustainability planning to produce a Program and Execution Plan for Sustainable Development.

  • Task A: Enhancement of Existing Sustainability Plans
  • Task B: Regional Public Engagement and Knowledge Sharing
  • Task C: Regional Housing Analysis and Incentive Fund
  • Task E: Building Climate Resilience

2. Northern Sector sustainability planning: Six projects connected by the MetroNorth commuter rail system will link large-scale, transit-oriented development projects at key nodes and corridors stretching from the Bronx through Westchester through four coastal cities in Connecticut.

  • Task F: New Haven's Union Station Project
  • Task G: Bridgeport's Barnum Station TOD Project
  • Task H: South Norwalk TOD Master Plan
  • Task I: Stamford East Side TOD Project
  • Task J: New Rochelle TOD Smart Growth Initiative
  • Task K: Bronx MetroNorth Station Study

3. Eastern Sector sustainability planning: Four projects linked by the Long Island Rail Road from central Brooklyn to Eastern Suffolk will emphasize different elements of sustainability planning that can be replicated in different parts of the region.

  • Task D: Long Island Housing Strategy
  • Task L: Sustainable East New York
  • Task M: Nassau County Infill Redevelopment Study
  • Task N: Suffolk County Transfer-of-Development Rights Study

In addition to these grant-funded activities, there will also be at least two related activities that will be implemented entirely with in-kind resources:

  • Cross County Parkway Corridor Action Plan: The cities of Yonkers, Mount Vernon, and New Rochelle, in collaboration with the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council (NYMTC), will define sustainable communities, issues, and planning needs in the east-west Cross-County Parkway corridor which connects these lower Hudson Valley cities.  A corridor profile will be developed for use in the development of NYMTC's next Regional Transportation Plan.
  • I-287/Tappan Zee Bridge Corridor Action Plan: The City of White Plains, in collaboration with NYMTC, and in consultation with other I-287 corridor communities, will define sustainable communities' issues and planning needs in the Tappan Zee Bridge/I-287 Corridor, including connections to railway and other transit hubs, existing and planned.  A corridor profile will be developed for use in the development of NYMTC's next Regional Transportation Plan.

While each task has a discrete scope of work, activities will intersect and reinforce each other in a variety of ways.  Work planning for related tasks is already being done collaboratively, with work plans circulated among all consortium partners, and working groups formed to address common issues such as templates and strategies for public engagement and procurement procedures.  Project leaders in geographic areas such as in Connecticut, on Long Island and in the Hudson Valley, consult on how their respective projects align and reinforce common objectives for corridors and subregions.  As common activities get underway, including analysis of existing plans, outreach training seminars and regional town meetings, opportunities for collaboration and knowledge sharing will increase. 

In addition, each activity will identify lessons that can be applied to other projects or parts of the region.  For example, an explicit part of the climate resilience strategy for New York City and the transfer-of-development rights study in Suffolk County is to identify best practices that can be applied elsewhere.  Each of the place-based tasks will also provide lessons that will be applicable to similar projects.  The final Program and Execution Plan will incorporate identified best practices as guidelines for implementation and future development.

Contact Us:

If you have questions or would like further information, please contact:

Dr. Floyd Lapp, FAICP
Executive Director
888 Washington Blvd
Stamford, CT 06901

Phone: 203-316-5190
Fax: 203-316-4995