Through an ambitious joint effort between New York and Connecticut, federal funding will soon provide a huge investment directed towards community development and sustainable transportation. This new initiative is expected to bridge the gap between departmental and geographical boundaries, while improving the communities of both states overall. With $3.5 million provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant, the new initiative will address a variety of cross regional issues, as well as push for innovative housing, a stronger economy, better transportation and more active environmental development efforts.
“The old industrial city with its clear core is no longer the urban reality that we live in,” said Adolofo Carrion at a press conference, reported by Citylimits.org. Adolfo Carrion, the regional HUD administrator and former director of the White House Office of Urban Affairs, believes that in the coming decades the United States will become a “string of mega regions”, that will need an additional 200 billion square feet of development in order to effectively house a growing population and expanding economy. “It has to be vertical,” said Carrion, continuing, “It has to be reliant on mass transit.”
Citylimits.org also reports that Amanda Burden, the New York City’s planning commission chairperson, said the city would use the grant for “creating new, mixed-income housing; improving ‘social equity’; achieving a cleaner environment and applying a strategic approach to climate change.”
The New York City planning commissioner said on Friday, that the funds will be used to plan connections between housing and transit, and will include the LIRR station in East New York, Brooklyn, and the 14 Metro-North stations in the Bronx along the Hudson and Harlem lines.
The funds will also be used by Nassau and Suffolk counties, and will also include cities in Upstate New York. In Connecticut the project will connect Bridgeport, New Haven, Norwalk and Stamford.
Despite the overall positive outlook of the project, New Jersey will not be taking part in the initiative, which had originally been involved in an early plan calling for a tri state partnership. New Jersey later dropped out, with Governor Chris Christi citing cost concerns.