Public Infrastructure Policy Act

June 4, 2012 – Empire State Future has released the report “Smarter Growth: The Implementation of the Smart Growth Public Infrastructure Act”

On September 1, 2010, with the stroke of his pen, Governor David Paterson codified a new law that directs New York State agencies, authorities and public corporations to screen their infrastructure programs and investments to ensure that they are not funding inefficient, redundant, and costly sprawl.  This landmark smart growth bill (A8011-b/S5560-b) was sponsored in the New York State Assembly by Sam Hoyt of Buffalo, and in the New York State Senate by Senators Suzi Oppenheimer, Velmanette Montgomery, and Carl Marcellino.

Photo: Aaron Renn

Passing and implementing this law has been Empire State Future’s advocacy priority since its founding in 2007.  It is an enormous  step forward for  New York’s efforts to revitalize its cities and villages, and to revitalize and preserve its suburban and rural communities.

For decades across New York, land has been developed at many times the rate of population growth, causing an array of economic, ecological, and social consequences. Especially severe in this “sprawl” pattern has been the excessive burden on governments and taxpayers stemming from the need to maintain the excess “built environment.” Limited public infrastructure dollars must go to build the kinds of sustainable places, spaces, and communities we need now and in the future.

The Public Infrastructure Policy Act’s signing into law is a huge step to stopping costly sprawl at its source. Now, our Coalition is working to ensure that state agencies conduct the required ‘sprawl screens’ properly and thoroughly to be certain that state funds aren’t used anymore to fuel more development that drives up our taxes and stresses our environment.

We can always use your help with our advocacy quests. If you’d like to help us be sure that the Public Infrastructure Policy Act meets its intent, contact us. We’d love to hear from fellow supporters of smart growth.

To view the law, click here.

Also, check out some media coverage of the process and the bill:

in Streetsblog

in New Urban Network News

in the Smart Growth America blog