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Ford Foundation to Send $200M to Local Transit-Oriented Development

The Ford Foundation, created seven decades ago by a U.S. car industry
scion, notably diverged from its past today by announcing a new, $200
million grant program aimed at promoting the local integration of
transportation and land use planning and a movement beyond auto-based
development.

Fruitvale_Village.jpgA "transit village" in the San
Francisco area, cited by the Ford Foundation as an example of projects
eligible for its new grants. (Photo: Bay Area MTC)

The foundation's president, Luis Ubiñas, revealed the move in a
speech to local community leaders gathered at the White House to discuss
the future of the nation's once auto-dominant cities.

Ubiñas cited several examples of existing transit and urban
development projects that would be good candidates for the foundation's
five-year grant program. The Bay Area's residential-commercial "transit
villages,"
Detroit's public-private M1
light rail
plan, and New Orleans' push
to rebuild
its Claiborne Avenue corridor topped the list.

“When we look at metro regions and see pockets of serious
unemployment
but also pockets of employment opportunity, and disjointed transit
systems that
fail to connect people to the services they need and the jobs they seek,
it’s clear that a different approach is needed,” Pablo J. Farías, a vice
president at the foundation, said in a statement on the grants.

The foundation was established
in 1936 with an initial gift from Edsel Ford, son of the automaker
Henry Ford, and managed by members of the Ford family for several
decades after its founding.

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