Skip to main content
Past Event

Partnership for Sustainable Communities: Unfinished business

Past Event

With renewed enthusiasm to support local places, many are evaluating federal strategies and actions to help local communities regain their footing, including assessing past programs and successes. Launched in 2009 by the Obama administration, the Partnership for Sustainable Communities brought together federal agencies to better coordinate policies, programs, and funding in regards to affordable housing, transportation, and environmental protection. The Partnership’s planning grants and strategic guidance helped local actors better coordinate their built environment policies and leverage investment from the private and civic sectors. With the Biden-Harris administration looking to reenergize federal support for local needs, especially around economic inclusion and environmental resilience, many are calling for the Partnership’s revival.

On Wednesday, July 21, the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program hosted an event examining the impacts of the original Sustainable Communities program, the effectiveness of the inter-agency collaboration, and the prospects for its restoration. Following keynote remarks from Ron Sims, former deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, a panel of high-level policy staff from the Obama era discussed how the agencies coordinated to support national communities, what could be improved, and how those lessons can inform a relaunched program.

Viewers submitted questions by emailing or tweeting to @BrookingsMetro using the hashtag #SustainableCommunities.


Opening remarks

Keynote remarks

The Hon. Ron Sims

Board Chair, Washington State's Health Benefit Exchange - Former Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Panel discussion

Doug O’Brien

President and Chief Executive Officer - National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International

Former Acting Under Secretary - U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rural Development

Beth Osborne

Director - Transportation for America

Former Acting and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy - U.S. Department of Transportation

Mariia Zimmerman

Principal and Founder - MZ Strategies, LLC

Former Deputy Director - Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

More Information

To subscribe or manage your subscriptions to our top event topic lists, please visit our event topics page.

Get a weekly events calendar from Brookings