Sustainable Communities

Through its Sustainable Communities work, the Transportation and Climate Initiative strives to develop state-level tools and policies that promote more sustainable communities throughout the region. 

These efforts seek to expand transportation options that minimize environmental impacts, enhance economic prosperity and natural resource protections, and advance healthy and livable communities. In June 2011, States agreed to a set of sustainability principles through the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI). 

Policy Considerations

States across the TCI region are actively considering policy approaches and taking steps to integrate more sustainable practices in their communities.

State-Level Programs and Policies Supporting Sustainable Communities 

An 2012 analysis produced by the Georgetown Climate Center about state-level programs and policies supporting sustainable communities examined what's being done to achieve sustainable communities outcomes, how their legal frameworks govern land use and transportation policies, and discussed notable programs or policies from a sustainable communities perspective. The report also suggested potential program types for states to consider and opportunities for interstate regional cooperation through TCI. Click here to access the report.

Transportation Resilience Case Studies

A series of case studies produced by the Georgetown Climate Center detailed how officials at all levels of government are preparing transportation infrastructure for climate change impacts. The case studies were developed under a cooperative agreement with the Federal Highway Administration to highlight the most innovative approaches being adopted around the country for considering climate change at all stages of transportation decision-making: planning, design, construction, and operations and maintenance. 

Measuring Sustainability 

TCI's Sustainable Communities work involves exploring ways to measure the environmental and economic benefits of state-level sustainable communities' efforts. By working together as a region, TCI helps to leverage state resources and foster sharing of states' experiences with sustainable transportation policies by providing standardized tools to measure outcomes in the same way.

Through research, collaboration with experts, and data analysis, participating states developed a set of measures is being developed to serve as a resource for participating TCI states' efforts to track benefits and outcomes of state sustainable community efforts. A background paper summarizes this work.

Participants have identified 11 preliminary categories of measures, and worked with stakeholders to further develop and refine individual metrics and indicators within these categories. Several states worked with TCI to explore how these metrics and indicators could be integrated into their existing programs and policies.

The potential measurement categories are intended to support TCI’s Sustainable Communities principles, and also to provide a variety of different types of indicators and measures.