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January 11, 1999

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In the 21st Century, increasingly, a livable community will be an economically powerful community.

-- Vice President Al Gore

Today, Vice President Al Gore is launching a comprehensive strategy to help communities across America grow in ways that ensure a high quality of life and strong, sustainable economic growth. This Livability Agenda will strengthen the federal government's role as a partner with the growing number of state and local efforts to build "livable communities" for the 21st Century.

Working With Communities To Sustain Growth And Ensure A High Quality Of Life. Across America, communities are searching for ways to maintain growth while preserving a high quality of life. While each community must chart its own destiny, the federal government can be an important partner in building healthy, livable communities for the 21st century. As part of he Clinton-Gore Livability Agenda, the Administration will continue to work with and learn from states and communities and help them:

  • Preserve green spaces that promote clean air and water, sustain wildlife, and provide families with places to walk, play, and relax;
  • Ease traffic congestion by improving road planning, strengthening existing transportation systems, and expanding the use of alternative transportation;
  • Restore a sense of community by fostering citizen and private sector involvement in local planning, including the placement of schools and other public facilities;
  • Promote collaboration among neighboring communities -- cities, suburbs, or rural areas -- to develop regional growth strategies and address common issues like crime;
  • Enhance economic competitiveness by nurturing a high quality of life that attracts well-trained workers and cutting-edge industries.

The Clinton-Gore Administration's Livability Agenda For The 21st Century. The President's fiscal year 2000 budget request to Congress will propose significant new investments to support livability programs:

  • Better America Bonds. The President's budget will propose tax credits totaling more than $700 million over five years to support Better America Bonds, which can be used to preserve green space, create or restore urban parks, protect water quality, and clean up abandoned industrial sites;
  • Community Transportation Choices. The President's budget will include an unprecedented request for public transportation funding to ease traffic congestion and a 16 percent increase in funding to implement innovative community-based programs;
  • Regional Connections Initiative. To promote regional "smart growth" strategies and to complement the Administration's other regional efforts, the Department of Housing and Urban Development will provide $50 million in matching funds for local partnerships to design and pursue smarter growth strategies across jurisdictional lines;
  • Community-Centered Schools. A new $10 million grant program administered by the Department of Education to encourage school districts to involve the community in planning and designing new schools;
  • Community-Federal Information Partnership. The President will propose $40 million to provide communities with grants for easy-to-use information tools to help develop strategies for future growth;
  • Regional Crime-Data Sharing. The President will request $50 million to expand programs to help communities share information to improve public safety.

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