Photo Credits: Courtesy of the City of Henderson
Southern Nevada Strong is a new collaborative regional planning effort, funded by a $3.5 million dollar grant from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). It provides the resources to conduct in-depth research and community engagement efforts to look at issues facing our community and propose collaborative solutions.
The Southern Nevada region has been particularly hard-hit by the recession and slow economic recovery. Our community faces challenges related to employment, education, health, property values and traffic congestion.
Southern Nevada Strong seeks to identify and build on our strengths and create opportunities for improvement so that our region successfully recovers from the economic downturn and becomes more economically competitive in the future. By connecting good jobs with housing, quality schools and transportation options, we can create the foundation for a strong and stable regional economy.
Southern Nevada Strong seeks to build a foundation for long-term economic success and community livelihood by better integrating: reliable transportation, housing, and job opportunities throughout Southern Nevada.
Specifically, Southern Nevada Strong will begin with in-depth research and analysis of our region so we have a clear picture of where we are now. It will bring together local community, business and political leaders to think about what we want our region to be like and how we can work together to achieve our goals. Southern Nevada Strong will also engage residents from across the valley to weigh in on these ideas and offer suggestions for how to make our communities stronger. This process will include a small number of demonstration projects that will model what this might look like in our local communities. The end product will be a regional plan that highlights implementation strategies and priority projects.
The City of Henderson is staffing this project on behalf of the Southern Nevada Regional Planning Coalition (SNRPC). The project team represents the interests of the entire region, and will be working with representatives from local governments and agencies throughout the valley. The SNRPC will oversee the process, and the plan will be subject to adoption by the SNRPC and all member agencies involved in implementation. The final plan is scheduled to be completed by February of 2015.
The project is leveraged by resources and in-kind matching funds from 13 regional partners. Consortium Partners include:
- City of Henderson;
- City of Las Vegas;
- City of North Las Vegas;
- City of Boulder City;
- Clark County;
- Regional Transportation Commission (RTC);
- University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV);
- Southern Nevada Regional Housing Authority (SNRHA);
- Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA);
- Clark County School District (CCSD);
- Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD); and
- Conservation District of Southern Nevada (CDSN).
A Consortium Committee will oversee the development of the Southern Nevada Strong plan and supporting activities. They are supported by six Task Groups who will focus on particular areas (such as housing or transportation) and will incorporate public input into the process.
This grant brings a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to conduct research and public outreach to address complex regional issues, like traffic congestion and economic competitiveness, which require multiple stakeholders to address. Regional planning can also bring a variety of benefits to our neighborhoods by identifying local solutions to regional problems. We can improve the quality of life in our communities by working together to provide cleaner air, safer streets, and homes closer to transit, jobs and services. Along with improving local conditions, these factors are essential to attracting and retaining quality jobs that provide opportunities at all employment levels.
This is also an opportunity to think about how we want our region to grow and evolve over the next several years in a way that meets our needs and matches our values. Completing the regional plan makes us eligible to compete for state and federal funding, as it becomes available, to make these plans and projects a reality.
Southern Nevada residents spend about 25% of their household income on transportation. We can lower these costs and save government resources by creating communities where businesses, housing, schools and stores are located closer together and are served by transit. This type of development supports the economy by making it cheaper and easier for people to get to work, increasing foot traffic for small businesses, and attracting employers and workers who value community quality of life.
Through land use and public infrastructure investments, public agencies influence private sector decisions about where to invest in real estate and grow businesses. Public agencies regularly create and update land use and transportation plans, but these are not always done in coordination. Southern Nevada Strong will create a regional plan that coordinates housing, transportation and the economy together, by:
- Encouraging land uses (jobs, stores, schools and homes) to be located closer together so people can drive less to meet their day-to-day needs;
- Improving and expanding existing transit networks near these amenities and community centers so people have more transportation options; and
- Prioritizing public investments in transportation and infrastructure that save public money and resources.
Building a strong economy means allowing people to travel efficiently and creating healthy neighborhoods where people want to live and employers want to invest.
A great way to get started is by visiting our website: www.southernnevadastrong.org. There you can see the latest news and updates, draft work products, and upcoming events, and sign up for email updates.
There will also be many other opportunities designed to gather input from and engage valley residents through the three-year planning process. These may include community workshops, neighborhood events, online questionnaires and more. All meetings of the Consortium Committee and SNRPC Board are open to the public.
Public participation is essential to the success of Southern Nevada Strong. We welcome you to join our team as a volunteer community liaison, attend a workshop, or just send us your ideas in an email. To learn more, contact us via email or call Brittany Markarian at (702) 267-1532.