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Sustainable Hope and Help for Social, Environmental and Economic Recovery

Terry Mock, SLDI Co-founder

By Terry Mock
Follow Terry on Twitter: @SustainLandDev

January 2009

While the politics of economic recovery continue, SLDI has offered the Obama Transition Team a proposal designed to make the process – and our future – more sustainable.

In D.C., a dozen real estate trade groups have asked Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to include them in a $200 billion lending program. Some of the country’s biggest property developers are warning policy makers that thousands of office complexes, hotels, shopping centers and other commercial buildings are headed into defaults, foreclosures and bankruptcies. By one estimate, $160 billion of commercial mortgages need to be refinanced next year, and lenders aren’t offering the generous terms that were common in the past.

A delegation of senior staff from the Urban Land Institute (ULI), led by ULI Worldwide President Richard Rosan, met recently with members of the U.S. Department of Treasury transition team for President-elect Barack Obama to discuss how the incoming Administration should carefully consider how the federal government can spur innovative private-sector strategies aimed at sustainable growth.

Rosan emphasized to transition-team members the importance of land use as a critical element in determining the economic and environmental well-being of urban areas. The entire land use industry, including all related businesses, represents at least 25 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product, he noted. “How and where land is developed has a direct, lasting impact on how much, or how little, the overall economy grows. Responsible land use can be a key tool to grow out of the recession and ensure long-term sustainability for America’s economy.”

Meanwhile, splattered across front pages of newspapers all over the country last week were reports that banks are refusing to account for how they’ve used public bailout dollars so far. Twenty-one banks that received at least $1 billion each were asked four simple questions: How much has been spent? What was it spent on? How much is being held in savings? What’s the plan for the rest?

Not one bank gave a detailed answer. Apparently the banks – and maybe even the Treasury secretary – don’t get the message: Transparency is not only the best policy, it’s the only rational one.

Amid all the bad news and demands being placed on the US President-elect Obama transition team this holiday season, Sustainable Land Development International (SLDI) offers a reason to hope for the future by formally submitting its offer of assistance to help boost the team’s economic recovery plan and policy agenda – and save the country billions in the process. In a transparent and public proposal to the Obama team, SLDI has offered a public-private partnership, its Sustainable Land Development Best Practices System, and the breadth of its research and collective knowledge to combat the country’s economic woes, enhance environmental stewardship and increase social responsibility – all at the same time.

Your participation and comments are welcome and encouraged. Please click here to review the proposal delivered to the Obama Transition Team and reply to me with your comments.

Happy New Year!


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