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Research & Reports

State Policy Options to Support Sustainable and Equitable Development




The Center for Housing Policy has produced a series of three reports to summarize policy options available to local officials interested in encouraging equitable, “location-efficient” growth.

The reports are for state, metropolitan/regional and local planners. This particular report identifies what states should be doing to encourage and support local policies (like zoning regulations), specifically surrounding new transit stations or “town centers.” The goal is to make sure new development near a focal point like a transit station is affordable to families of all incomes. Such statewide planning policies can help provide equitable access to public transit, minimize displacement of existing residents, increase the diversity and vitality of communities, and advance public health goals.

Key Points

This report provides detailed examples of policy options available to states interested in promoting equitable, sustainable growth. Major benefits of these policies include savings on public infrastructure costs, reductions in energy use, increased ridership on public transit, and economic growth from the clustering of people, jobs, and businesses. Policy options available to states include:

  • Undertaking a state planning process to guide the strategic allocation of state resources, while establishing an overarching vision for housing, transportation, and land use.

  • Removing roadblocks to local action by passing legislation supporting sustainable development at the local level.

  • Provide incentives, either financial or through low-cost financing support, to localities that promote location-efficient development.

  • Providing direct incentives to consumers and developers to promote investment in location-efficient areas.

How to Use

The idea of equitable, sustainable development can benefit a community both socially and economically. Policymakers and state officials can use this report to generate ideas for decisions that could assist in creating location-efficient communities.

Research published: September 2011

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