US Department of Transportation

Thriving Communities Program

Thriving Communities Program

The Thriving Communities Program (TCP), created through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), was established to ensure disadvantaged communities disproportionately affected by environmental, climate, and health policy outcomes have the tools to comprehensively plan for community development projects. Equitable Cities has been brought on as a Capacity Builder to provide targeted technical assistance, planning, and capacity building. Equitable Cities is supporting projects in Indianapolis, Indiana; Orange and East Orange, New Jersey; and the town of Atlantic Beach, South Carolina, to assist on data collection, community engagement and fundraising. The specific projects are described below.

Orange and East Orange, NJ: Both East Orange and Orange (“NJ Oranges”) are predominantly populated by racial and ethnic minorities and are characterized by high levels of poverty and transit dependency. The NJ Oranges are contiguous cities that were both physically sliced in half by the construction of I-280 and Freeway Drive in the 1960s. This disconnect continues to have a detrimental safety, environmental justice, economic, livability, housing, connectivity, and mobility impact on residents. With the help of Equitable Cities, the NJ Oranges are conducting community outreach to redesign Freeway Drive while prioritizing the health and safety of residents.

Atlantic Beach, SC: Founded in 1934 by an African American entrepreneur, Atlantic Beach was established as a segregated beach community for African American workers. In 1969 Atlantic Beach became an independent municipality and has remained an independent African American owned and governed community for more than 88 years. Atlantic Beach’s isolation has created challenges in many areas including infrastructure development and economic growth. Atlantic Beach has seldom been included in the State of South Carolina, Horry County or Grand Strand Area Transportation Improvements Plans. Equitable Cities is supporting the Connect, Revitalize, Restore Atlantic Beach, S.C. or “The Black Pearl” project, designed to address these challenges with an innovative upgrade of the Atlantic Beach transportation grid.

Indianapolis, IN: Despite the city’s nicknames as the “Crossroads of America” and “Railroad City,” Indianapolis lacks a robust public transportation system and has very limited regional transportation options. Indianapolis also has the state’s highest concentration of citizens re-entering the labor force after incarceration as well as the largest population of individuals experiencing homelessness. Sherman Drive serves as an industrial thoroughfare supporting economic development activity, and it also connects Sherman Park, a 50-acre brownfield redevelopment site, to the Community Justice Campus (CJC), a newly redeveloped 140+ acre brownfield site. Equitable Cities is providing technical assistance to transform Sherman Drive into a safe, accessible corridor that supports multi-modal transportation and serves the needs of those who live and work in the East Indy Promise Zone.

Project Details

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