Livable Communities

Livable communities are the alternative to the wasteful and ugly sprawl and urban decay that is destroying America's cities, towns and countryside.

Livable communities are places where families are healthy, safe and economically secure. They are places that embody "smart growth" principles, including:

  • Choices in housing for families of all types, ages and economic circumstances
  • Choices for how to travel to work, to school or to the store. These choices include walking, biking and public transit, as well as by private automobile
  • Parks and natural areas of different types and sizes, for recreation and to provide places for wildlife
  • Providing long-term protection for the farm, range and forestlands needed by farmers, ranchers and foresters to produce food and fiber
  • Putting a high priority on tax dollars on investments in existing communities, rather than spending public money on roads, sewers and schools for new development
  • Opportunities for citizens to participate in the decisions shaping their communities

The Role of Congress In Shaping our Communities

  • Congress approves spending on new highways, roads and mass transit - $45 billion every year, and passes laws that control how that money is spent.
  • Congress provides - or withholds - money for new urban parks and natural areas.
  • Congress provides money and tax incentives for home ownership and affordable housing.
  • Congress passes laws designed to safeguard life and property in areas subject to natural disasters.
  • Congress approves money to build or restore courthouses, post offices and military bases and can help decide where they are built.