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Sustainability News

ASU Sustainability News School of Sustainability News

December 15, 2011

METRO Light RailThe U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded the City of Phoenix a three-year $2.9 million Sustainable Communities grant, with ASU as a key partner.

The grant’s objective is to promote transit-oriented development (TOD) along the light rail line – with a focus on development that will provide all residents with safe, convenient access to quality, affordable housing, well-paying jobs, education and training programs, fresh food and healthcare services.

The project, named Reinvent Phoenix: Cultivating Equity, Engagement, Economic Development and Design Excellence with TOD, will foster development near the light rail that serves to:

  • Increase public participation in planning and decision-making;
  • Reduce energy consumption and associated environmental and economic impacts;
  • Create healthier residents;
  • Increase housing affordability and accessibility;
  • Implement economic development strategies (EDS’s) to reduce vacant and underutilized land;
  • Shift travel mode share to transit, biking and walking;
  • Increase local capacity to implement equitable, healthy, environmentally-sensitive transit oriented development, and
  • Improve walkability and accessibility to fresh healthy food, employment, education and healthcare.

ASU’s team, co-led by Arnim Wiek (Assistant Professor, School of Sustainability) and Aaron Golub (Assistant Professor with a joint appointment in the School of Sustainability and the School of Geographical Sciences & Urban Planning), will direct the public participation and project evaluation processes across the various components of the grant.Two other School of Geographical Sciences & Urban Planning faculty members will also participate as co-investigators in the project: Jay Stein will contribute to the series of health impact assessments, and Deirdre Pfeiffer will help lead the affordable housing analysis and implementation.

Reinvent Phoenix was the 4th-largest grant out of 56 awarded by HUD this year through its Sustainable Communities Grants program. “We chose the City of Phoenix’s proposal because the city not only had a great plan – but the right community partnerships and a vision for success,” said Ophelia Basgal, regional administrator for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), in announcing the award.

Additional information about the project: