Land Use and Environment
The built environment, the natural environment, the transportation system, and the economy are all intrinsically linked. Where we live and work drives transportation needs, and how the transportation system functions creates opportunities for development and jobs throughout the region. DVRPC works to link land uses, natural resources, and transportation options throughout the region and assists local governments with land use and environmental planning.
Smart growth recognizes the impact transportation investments have on land use and community form. Such investments should support the building of urban, suburban, and rural communities that offer transportation and housing choices near jobs, shops and schools. DVRPC prepares studies to help communities achieve a fiscally and environmentally sound future through better growth.
DVRPC strives to promote smart growth by revitalizing our region's older communities and neighborhoods. Community revitalization happens at the local level, but DVRPC promotes many strategies and various incentives to foster change.
DVRPC manages the regional Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) for the Greater Philadelphia region, satisfying provisions of the United States Economic Development Administration.
Healthy Communities Planning aims to foster healthy communities through an interdisciplinary approach to planning—recognizing that where a person lives affects that person's life.
A healthy environment has many benefits: trails and parks provide opportunities for recreation, open spaces contribute to our region's economy, and strong ecosystems improve the air we breathe and the water we drink. DVRPC's Environmental Planning programs, reports and studies, tools, and services help safeguard our region's valuable open spaces and natural resources.
The Clean Air Act requires DVRPC to demonstrate that projects and programs in the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) and Long-Range Plan do not cumulatively harm air quality. DVRPC performs analysis, works with regulatory agencies, and collaborates with partners to educate the public about the health effects of air pollution and what can be done to reduce pollution levels.
Activities on land affect the region's water quality. DVRPC administers several water quality programs, including Pennsylvania's Coastal Zone Management Program, and undertakes special projects to help municipalities and counties understand and implement ordinances that can shape development, reduce stormwater runoff and improve the Delaware River Watershed.
DVRPC's Climate Change Initiatives program area leads, supports, and coordinates efforts in our region to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for climate change.