Transit: Living Cities to raise $150 million for sustainable public transit

Transit: Living Cities to raise $150 million for sustainable public transit

By Byron Butler for The Daily Tell

Living Cities has announced that its Investors for Sustainable Communities working group will coordinate as much as $150 million to build communities based in strong regional economies.

Living Cities is a conglomerate of major foundations and financial institutions, including JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and the Ford, Surdna, Rockefeller and McKnight foundations, that has invested more than $100 million in a three-part approach known as equitable Transit-Oriented Development, or TOD, since 2008.

TOD is designed to build more resilient cities and more affordable neighborhoods through building transit options that allow for a safe, timely commute to work, school, stores or other facilities. The program will also foster involvement in the community by ensuring that everybody, regardless of age, race, gender, sexual orientation, disability or any other factor, has access to the neighborhood’s resources.

“Transit-Oriented Development is a powerful way to make metro areas, the engines of our economy, more competitive, inclusive and environmentally sustainable,” said Pablo Farias, chairman of Living Cities and vice president of economic opportunity and assets at the Ford Foundation. “Just as important, it offers a chance for low-income people to contribute to and share in the benefits of metropolitan growth. The participants in this collaborative, and the members of Living Cities more broadly, are committed to making this agenda a pillar of our effort to strengthen American cities.”

“Families must have more options to live in places where they can bike or walk to school or the grocery store, or take the bus or train to work,” added Nick Turner, managing director at the Rockefeller Foundation. “Providing more walkable and transit-oriented development would help hardworking Americans to save more of their time and money. This effort is one step in making sure people have those affordable options.”

Over the next three years, the foundations and organizations of living cities, in tandem with federal grant money from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Sustainable Communities Planning Grant Program and the collaborative efforts of the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities and Reconnecting America, will work to make sustainable public transit an integral part of America’s urban framework.


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