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Metropolitan regions have become increasingly important as they continue to guide our land use and transportation –- in addition to our economy. We must act to advocate for regional plans that reduce environmental impacts while applying sensible growth management to housing development, transportation, and land conservation. NRDC has worked to pass a landmark planning law in California that can serve to establish a national model for metropolitan planning all over the country.

metropolitan area

Our Work

California SB375

California’s Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act (SB 375) is the first law in the nation to address global warming pollution through land use planning and transportation investment. Having largely written and led lobbying for the law, NRDC has now become integral to the implementation effort, and we are dedicated to continued advocacy to ensure that the law lives up to its impressive potential. In particular, we will critically monitor and advise the state’s Air Resources Board (ARB) on regional SB 375 implementation, particularly in Southern California. We are also working with the California Strategic Growth Council to align state infrastructure funding to support SB 375 implementation.

Federal Transportation

Currently, though federal transportation law requires planners to "consider" energy use and environmental impacts, there is no evaluation or enforcement of this weak language. NRDC is working to strengthen the connection between transportation planning, project selection, and design with strategies that can reduce energy use and pollution. This includes a more thorough evaluation of the impact of regional transportation plans on energy use, performance measures for reducing energy use, and incentives for project and planning outcomes that reduce energy use and emissions. Learn more.

last revised 1/10/2012

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Kaid Benfield writes about development, community and the environment on Switchboard.


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