Gore announces commitments to improve US sustainability

Vice President Gore has announced 47 commitments from 11 federal agencies to help build a more sustainable America, and called on Congress to approve the US Government's proposals for helping state and local governments build more livable communities for the 21st century.

In an address to the National Town Meeting for a Sustainable America in Detroit, Gore announced 47 commitments from 11 federal agencies, including:

  The Department of Agriculture will expand its efforts to promote local farmers’ markets that help sustain family farms while providing fresh produce directly to consumers.

  The General Services Administration is creating a new Centre of Expertise for Urban Development and Livability to strengthen the agency’s efforts to leverage its urban real estate holdings in support of downtown revitalization; for instance, by locating new federal buildings downtown.

  The Federal Emergency Management Agency will accelerate efforts to acquire or elevate homes and other structures in high-risk floodplains, protecting both people and property from recurring natural disasters, and ensuring communities a more sustainable economic base.

  The Department of Transportation is launching a Transportation Livability Initiative to help communities improve their transportation decision-making. The Department will develop a toolkit and a website, outline available transportation resources, showcase success stories, convene regional working groups on livability, and collaborate with other Federal agencies on livability activities.

In his remarks, the Vice President also called on Congress to approve the Administration’s proposed Livable Communities Initiative, which would provide communities with new tools and resources to preserve green spaces, ease traffic congestion, and pursue “smart growth” strategies.

The initiative includes $700 million in new tax credits for Better America Bonds, which would help communities leverage nearly $10 billion over five years to improve water quality, protect green spaces, and clean up brownfields. It also proposes $6.1 billion for public transit, and $1.6 billion to support state and local projects that reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality.

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