CLF’s Healthy Communities program works to ensure that New England’s communities, both urban and rural, are thriving, healthy places for all people. Healthy communities have clean air and water, safe and accessible transportation choices, affordable housing, and access to recreation, fresh food, and green spaces.
A generation of unchecked development and careless sprawl has undermined our New England tradition of compact, walkable cities, towns, and villages. New Englanders have to travel farther to get where they want to go, kicking off an unhealthy chain reaction of more highways, more cars, and more greenhouse gas emissions. Meanwhile, in our cities, investment in public transportation, buildings, and infrastructure has stalled, while modern day stresses on those structures and systems mount, most notably the threat of climate change.
CLF is working across New England to promote more livable communities with smaller carbon footprints. At the heart of our effort is building legislative support and funding sources for accessible, modern transportation systems that provide affordable alternatives to driving, especially in underserved communities. New England’s millions of cars and trucks spew more greenhouse gases into our atmosphere than any other source. To get people out of their cars and reduce vehicle miles traveled (VMT), CLF is pursuing innovative policy and market-based initiatives, including consumer-friendly, Pay-As-You-Drive auto insurance.
Air and water pollution plague communities throughout New England, but disproportionately impact low-income communities and communities of color. In collaboration with community groups and residents in these environmental justice communities, CLF is working to reduce the environmental hazards that threaten their public health and well-being. CLF uses its broad, deep expertise in clean air and clean water policy, planning, siting, and other land use issues to complement communities’ local knowledge, relationships, and grassroots support. This style of collaboration forms powerful, effective partnerships that yield measurable results.
Jennifer Rushlow, Staff Attorney