A network of 15,000 communities.

Sustainable Communities Program

Category: Lifestyle

Initiative Objective:

Initiative Objective

On June 16, 2009, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) joined together to help communities nationwide improve access to affordable housing, increase transportation options, and lower transportation costs while protecting the environment.

The Partnership for Sustainable Communities works to coordinate federal housing, transportation, water, and other infrastructure investments to make neighborhoods more prosperous, allow people to live closer to jobs, save households time and money, and reduce pollution. The partnership agencies incorporate six principles of livability into federal funding programs, policies, and future legislative proposals.

Sustainable Communities

Sustainable communities are places that have a variety of housing and transportation choices, with destinations close to home. As a result, they tend to have lower transportation costs, reduce air pollution and stormwater runoff, decrease infrastructure costs, preserve historic properties and sensitive lands, save people time in traffic, be more economically resilient and meet market demand for different types of housing at different prices points. Rural, suburban, and urban communities can all use sustainable communities strategies and techniques to invest in healthy, safe and walkable neighborhoods, but these strategies will look different in each place depending on the community’s character, context, and needs.

Developing more sustainable communities is important to our national goals of strengthening our economy, creating good jobs now while providing a foundation for lasting prosperity, using energy more efficiently to secure energy independence, and protecting our natural environment and human health. Three federal agencies came together to create the Partnership for Sustainable Communities to help places around the country develop in more environmentally and economically sustainable ways. To guide its work, the Partnership developed six livability principles:

  • Provide more transportation choices.
  • Promote equitable, affordable housing.
  • Enhance economic competitiveness.
  • Support existing communities.
  • Coordinate and leverage federal policies and investment.
  • Value communities and neighborhoods.

Get Involved

Building sustainable communities starts with you. Want to do more?

Learn More

Visit the HUDDOT, and EPA web pages on livability and sustainable communities to explore what each agency is doing individually, with the Partnership, and with other partners to support sustainable communities.

Get Involved

The Partnership for Sustainable Communities is working to support local communities building livable and sustainable places all over the country. We'd like to hear your personal story about why your community is a great place to live, or how you are working to make your neighborhood healthier, safer, and more walkable. Send us a paragraph or two about your community, along with photos of the places and elements that make your neighborhood more livable. Email the Partnership for Sustainable Communities at: livability@dot.gov

Partnership for Sustainable Communities Code-A-Thon

Do you have what it takes to help communities be more sustainable and livable? Join the Partnership for Sustainable Communities Code-A-Thon and develop Code for Livability. The Partnership for Sustainable Communities is hosting a code-a-thon to bring together citizens, web developers, and agency staff to work on solutions that bring sustainability to the forefront of peoples’ everyday lives.

Partnership Regional Offices

The map below will help you find HUD, DOT, and EPA regional contacts at work in your state. Click here to get contact information for the Partnership agencies’ offices in your area.

Add a Local Initiative

Featured Local Initiative

New York-Connecticut Sustainable Communities
Location: Connecticut, CT
An unprecedented bi-state collaboration of cities, counties and regional planning organizations has come together to launch New York-Connecticut Sustainable Communities
Read more

Is this initiative listed in your community? Find out :

Enter your town or zip code

If this initiative is going on in your town, but not listed on GreenTowns, click below and add it to your community’s featured initiatives.

Add a Local Initiative

Ask a question

Learn more about this initiative

( * ) required fields

ok to publish question / comment on site.

Connect with GreenTowns

Find this local initiative near you

Enter your town or zip code below: