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Ohio State receives HUD award to promote sustainable planning for Gulf Coast

The Ohio State University’s City and Regional Planning program and the Kirwan Institute are among partners in a 3-year, $2 million grant to the Gulf Regional Planning Commission from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, as part of HUD’s first time funding to support more livable and sustainable communities across the country.

HUD’s new Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant Program will support the City and Regional Planning program as it works with the Gulf Regional Planning Commission and other partners in the development and execution of a regional plan that integrates affordable housing with neighboring retail and business development for the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The grant will leverage existing infrastructure and reward local collaboration and innovation. Faculty and students from City and Regional Planning will be charged with several aspects of the planning process. Their work will begin starting in January.

In addition, Ohio State’s Kirwan Institute will provide training and support in designing the public engagement process to gain public input. The Kirwan Institute will also conduct an opportunity mapping process to identify key areas where investment would support the growth of opportunity for marginalized populations in communities across the Mississippi Gulf Coast region.

"It's so important to continue helping the Gulf Coast recover from Hurricane Katrina and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill," said Jennifer Evans-Cowley, professor of City and Regional Planning and Ohio State’s lead in the partnership. "One of the most exciting aspects of our research and planning efforts is the teaching and outreach element. We'll work on a recovery plan for the Mississippi Gulf Coast, determining how to most effectively rebuild the seafood industry after the recent oil spill."

According to HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, 45 regional areas will receive funding through the new initiative intended to build economic competitiveness by connecting housing with good jobs, quality schools and transportation.
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Contact: Jennifer Evans-Cowley,, 614-292-1012