The Twin Cities has been recognized as one of five US metro areas that are “challenging traditional ways of doing business” and awarded $16 million for investment in housing, business improvement and development along light rail lines.
The grant is part of the Integration Initiative of Living Cities to advance the development of “equitable Transit-Oriented Development that ensures that low-income residents, businesses and neighborhoods along the existing Hiawatha line and planned Southwest and Central lines benefit from transit-related investments.”
More specifically, the goals of the program are as follows, along with a statement of the ways the goals will be realized. The grant will be managed by the St. Paul Foundation.
Create a model of cross-sector and inter-governmental (local, state and federal) collaboration to develop regional transit in ways that expand opportunity for low-income people
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Improve the lives of low income people
Facilitates greater access to employment and educational opportunities; preserves and creates affordable housing near transit; stabilizes small businesses at risk of disruption from construction
Creates new framework for solving complex problems
Creates “one table” that can make decisions and drive capital investments in development made possible by regional transportation improvements
Challenges obsolete conventional wisdom
Development of transit need not result in gentrification and the displacement of low-income people, but rather can create access to opportunity and wealth for low-income people
Drives the private market to work on behalf of low income people
Creates investment capacity for preservation of affordable housing and development of mixed-income, mixed use projects that benefit low income residents rather than displacing them
Advances community-based planning and implementation to attract sustainable, private transit-oriented development
Creates a “new normal”
Develops and institutionalizes a planning mechanism and new, corridor-wide investment frameworks that prioritize public investments across multiple jurisdictions to support community-driven planning while providing a predictable environment to stimulate private investment
For More information:
Star Tribune 10/27/10 Twin Cities win award aiming to turn transit into treasure – A $16 million award will help families and businesses close to light-rail routes in the Twin Cities thrive.