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Jason Reece

During the Obama Administration the principles of sustainability and progressive regionalism had made their way into the thinking of many federal agencies. The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Sustainable Communities’ Initiative (SCI), sought to take these principles and translate them to practice at a scale not previously attempted in the United States. The following chapter examines the experience of the SCI planning process to assess if the program produced stronger equity outcomes for marginalized communities. For some regions, SCI was transformational in supporting equity planning and serving broader community development needs. The SCI experience speaks to the potential benefits of stronger, more proactive federal support by HUD for regional equity planning. Additionally, the program enabled regional planning to better engage community development goals in marginalized communities. Despite this progress, the long-term legacy of SCI remains extremely perilous.