New Report on Livability from the National Association of Regional Councils

October 26, 2012

By Julia Pulidindi

The National Association of Regional Councils (NARC) recently released their latest livability resource, Livability Literature Review: A Synthesis of Current Practice. This comprehensive report describes how livability is understood, provides examples of livable communities in practice and adds clarity to several concepts.

“NARC is proud to release this Literature Review, one of many research documents focusing on regional transportation and livability needs” said Fred Abousleman, Executive Director, NARC. "We were honored to continue our work with the Federal Highway Administration and our association partners on this project, and look forward to developing additional case studies to support regional and local livability efforts."

Livability, a concept created by the HUD-DOT-EPA’s Partnership for Sustainable Communities encompasses six principles: value communities and neighborhoods; promote equitable, affordable housing; provide more transportation choices; support existing communities; coordinate and leverage federal policies and investment and enhance economic competitiveness. The principles of livability are geared to encourage greater economic growth, environmental sustainability and quality of life benefits. They can help cities improve in all areas of community development including maintaining affordable housing, accommodating mixed-used development and providing sufficient density to support an equitable and efficient transportation network. 

As a partner in this new resource, NLC, along with other association partners, provided feedback to NARC as they conducted an expansive literature review including more than 180 livability reports and documents to condense the most current tactics and mechanisms in promoting livability. The new report will help local governments and their regional planning organizations, both urban and rural, better understand the resources available to create more livable communities. Additionally, it consolidates a large number of existing resources and identifies areas in which additional information is necessary.

To help regions build stronger, more livable communities, NLC and NARC are seeking additional case studies of regional planning organizations and their communities. These case studies will showcase the important work being done around the country and help future communities increase their livability.

For questions on this report or NLC’s efforts on livability, please contact Julia Pulidindi at pulidindi@nlc.org or (202) 626-3176.