Livability Guidebook

FHWA-Livability-Guidebook-053013-1In 2009, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) established six principles for sustainable communities. Working collaboratively with the American Public Works Association (APWA), National League of Cities (NLC), National Association of Counties (NACo) and the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), the National Association of Regional Councils (NARC) created locally implementable solutions to meet the six federal Partnership for Sustainable Communities (PSC). This Livability Guidebook details these solutions.

NARC began with an extensive Literature Review that reduced and categorized more than 130 livability reports, transportation and master plans, policy frameworks and advocacy documents to identify which tactics and mechanisms best represent current thinking in creating livable communities. Through this effort, NARC and its partners identified and framed the top ten ways that livability was understood.

NARC reached hundreds of planners, practitioners and local policy officials by conducting 13 livability workshops and outreach sessions at partner conferences to present research and gain feedback about livability themes and messages from varying audiences. This comprehensive outreach allowed NARC and its partners to develop a framework for replicable livability mechanisms that could be utilized by varying practitioners.

As a result of this project, NARC produced Creating Livable Communities: An Implementation Guidebook. This guidebook identified tools and practices that local governments and regional planning organizations can use to plan and create livable communities across a variety of topics, like funding and financing, communication, model policies, performance measures, etc.NARC and its partners solicited case studies that highlighted information gathered through this iterative research process. This effort resulted in 15 case studies from a region and local perspective, and highlighted plans and projects that supported livability. These case studies fed into the creation of a livability guidebook for local governments and regional planning organizations.

Finally, this project connects the livability efforts of regional planning organizations and their local governments through an online resource center dedicated to the creation and promotion of livable communities. This connection will allow local elected officials, public works practitioners, city and county managers, and urban and rural regional planning organizations to identify solutions to their communities’ livability challenges.

 A full copy of the Livability Guidebook can be downloaded by clicking HERE (4.4MB). Specific sections of the report have been pulled out and can be found below:

Executive Summary (47 KB)

Livability Literature Review (219 KB)

Livability Principles 1-6 (415 KB)

Policies, Incentives, Tools, Models (422 KB)

Communication Strategies (1.66 MB)

Case Studies


Copyright © 2013 National Association of Regional Councils