Nonprofit promotes sustainable community development

San Rafael, Calif. A new nonprofit, The Partnership for Sustainable Communities, has been established to help reduce sprawl and encourage reinvestment in established neighborhoods.

PSC operates nationally to promote land-use policies and development practices that encourage high-density transit-oriented development and housing and economic opportunity for persons of all incomes, said its president and founder Andre F. Shashaty.

"The housing market crash and the new alarm about the dangers of global warming mark the beginning of the end of the 'General Motors model' of community planning that dominated post-war America," said Shashaty. "With increasing fears of climate change on their minds, progressive cities and states are going far beyond just green building. They are changing land use policies to reverse our love affair with car-dependent, carbon-spewing, cost-inflating sprawl. They are working to facilitate more compact, transit-oriented development and vibrant, diverse communities."

PSC said it will help realize that vision by providing tools and information to help local governments improve their local land-use policies and help developers build projects that enhance community sustainability.

PSC will serve a broad range of participants and advocates in community and transportation development, as well as state and city officials concerned with GHG emissions and land use.

Federal housing, environment, and transportation officials are now collaborating on federal policy. PSC said it will encourage similar collaboration among private sector companies and state and local governments by serving as an objective clearinghouse of information on sustainable community planning and development.

PSC will provide tools for developers and activists to influence government policymakers to adapt progressive land use and zoning policies.

The nonprofit is operating on an initial seed money grant from a small family foundation in Ohio and is currently soliciting other grants from individuals and foundations.