Urbanist in Chief is shaping the nation's policy, CNU's Norquist tells Washington Post
Today's Washington Post has a round-up of President Obama's efforts to make sure cities and urban areas get a fair shake from a federal government that has found ways to undermine them over the years. While various pieces of this urban agenda have been announced over the past 9 months — the new Office of Urban Affairs; some stimulus funding targeting lower-income communities; the acknowledgments that federal transportation investments don't have to promote sprawl, automobile-depency and ever-higher carbon emissions; the novel program to get HUD, DOT, EPA and other agencies working in synch to promote sustainable communities — the article makes the point that when you add it all up, it's a far-reaching and potentially historic refocusing of federal policy.
Writer Michael Fletcher also shines a spotlights on the difficulty the Administration will encounter with an agenda that involves getting cities and suburbs into alliances, getting states on board and finding new funding sources as deficit pressure grows, something that's put the transportation authorization (a major reform opportunity) on the back burner."This is way more than an ocean liner trying to change direction," says PolicyLink founder Angela Glover Blackwell in the article. "This is glacial."
But CNU's John Norquist joins a few other experts in the article who say it ultimately means a lot to have a national chief executive with a deep personal connection to urban places. "He has ridden on the bus and on the El and he knows urbanism," says Norquist.
Photo from Barack Obama via Flickr.
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