Transportation is the backbone of the region’s economy and essential to the quality of life for all residents. The region has outgrown an aging transportation system that is increasingly unreliable and unable to respond to changing needs, technology, and travel patterns. Years of under-investment during a time of rapid economic and population growth have led to congestion, delays, and deteriorating infrastructure.
NEPG will investigate both immediate and long-term actions that support a healthier and more equitable transportation network, creating the capacity for sustainable economic growth. The Plan will call for a balanced transportation strategy in the wake of changing transportation needs caused by COVID 19 with a strong emphasis on supporting mixed use development near public transportation systems.
It will also include meeting the needs of bicyclists and pedestrians. Needs for local and intercity bus system improvements will be established by local planning organizations and public input.
Transportation is not an end to itself. The New England Plan will integrate our transportation work with plans for housing, community development, economic opportunity, climate resilience and a healthier environment.
Energy & Environment
Our environment plays an essential role in ensuring the health and well-
being of the region, but climate change has already begun to transform
the region in ways that threaten its health, sustainability, equity and
New England citizens are realizing that we have collective interests which must be supported by multi-state efforts to solve complex problems. Input from organizations familiar with these problems is essential. There is no single solution and intensive public participation is needed.
Public support is essential for investing in critical infrastructure, making communities more livable and less vulnerable. In order to adapt fairly, a stable streams of funding and community-informed plans are needed.. A focus is needed on policies, investments and regional land use decisions that address the climate crisis without triggering other crises of equity, affordability or economic decline.
A renewed effort is needed to protect fragile natural resource eco- systems and unique forest and wildlife areas found in New England. Protection of our diminishing acreage of farmlands and open space are critical to maintaining a reasonable balance of urban and rural spaces. Preservation of wetland areas will insure that water supplies and wildlife habitat will be preserved. This will provide New England its special centuries old ties between human behavior and our natural environment.
Community Planning & Governance
Our Community Planning Program Committee focuses on how to make the New
England region affordable for everyone and builds collaborative local plans focused
on healthy, inclusive, and well-designed communities.
Throughout the six states, people seek many of the same things: an affordable home, a good job within commuting distance, safe streets, a healthy environment, and quality schools, libraries, parks and other neighborhood institutions. Yet rising housing costs and stagnant incomes are making these things increasingly hard to find in one place. More and more, residents must make difficult decisions between an affordable home or a good school and in a community they value. Constructing more new homes, especially near transportation hubs, is only the first step to make the housing market more stable and affordable.
Most of the public institutions that govern the region were established in a different era. Because of this legacy, the region’s 1492 cities and towns in the six states are responsible for critical decisions about land use, property taxes, public safety and schools. The six different state government institutions govern New England. When faced with new challenges such as climate change and new technology public institutions are often slow to take action. and in a piecemeal fashion and with limited funding.
Our goals as an agency for New England, will focus on the way we govern and pay for transportation and other infrastructure. We might need to create new institutions and new funding methods to tackle the existential challenge of climate change. A review is needed of the fundamental inequities in how we govern land use, and how we can make technology a core part of government business. Besides advocating for structural reforms, assistance is needed for local governments and regional institutions with planning, community engagement and collaborations across political boundaries.