State-Level Programs and Policies Supporting Sustainable Communities within Transportation and Climate Initiative Jurisdictions

This analysis presents an overview of what Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) jurisdictions are doing to achieve sustainable communities outcomes, how their legal frameworks govern land use and transportation policies, and notable programs or policies from a sustainable communities perspective.

The report also suggests potential program types that individual states may be interested in examining further and areas that may present opportunities for interstate regional cooperation through TCI. The report was produced by the Georgetown Climate Center, the convener of TCI, with assistance from consultants at Rutgers University’s Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy. 

The research concentrates on three focus areas identified by TCI’s Sustainable Communities work:

1. land use and transportation planning,

2. policies that leverage federal and state transportation funding, and

3. initiatives to measure sustainable community outcomes.

Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) jurisdictions already have many programs aligned with sustainable community objectives, with a variety of approaches and legal frameworks. Some of these may serve as models for other states in the region, while others suggest opportunities for cooperation among the TCI states.

More broadly, TCI states are engaged in a variety of actions to promote clean energy and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including comprehensive approaches such as the development of economy-wide energy or climate plans. The report focuses on the subset of policies defined above, although in many cases these policies are aligned with more comprehensive efforts to promote clean energy and address climate change.