State and local officials increasingly point to "livability" issues--sprawl, traffic congestion, overcrowded and decrepit classrooms--as key political issues they face, according to a new survey report from the American Institute of Architects.
More than three-quarters of survey respondents said that livability was one of the most important issues facing their communities and two-thirds reported that concern about livability issues is growing.
What is Livability?
According to respondents, factors that most define what makes a community livable are air quality, educational facilities, parks/open spaces, and affordable housing.
Traffic congestion, sprawl, and the quality of educational building and facilities were rated as much more serious problems by respondents in the western U.S. than in other regions, and municipal policymakers expressed much greater concern about these issues than did their elected and appointed counterparts in state government.
More than half of respondents thought the federal government should provide funding to state and local governments to support livability, and 30 percent said the federal government should both provide funding and promote regional planning to help achieve more livable communities. …