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Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release September 2, 1998
                     VICE PRESIDENT GORE CALLS FOR

                   Announces New Targeted Incentives 
                      to Encourage Smarter Growth

Washington, DC -- Vice President Gore called today for stronger efforts nation-wide to build livable American communities as a foundation for continued economic competitiveness and strength in the 21st Century.

In a major speech at the Brookings Institution, the Vice President highlighted successful efforts across the country to achieve smart, sustainable growth in cities, suburbs, and rural areas, and he announced new federal initiatives to encourage similar efforts nationwide. He also announced that, this fall, he and members of the President's Cabinet will hold a series of "listening sessions" around the country to hear how communities are grappling with sprawl and how the federal government can help.

"In the future, livable communities will be the basis for our competitiveness and economic strength," the Vice President said. "Our efforts to make communities more livable today must emphasize the right kind of growth -- sustainable growth. Promoting a better quality of life for our families need never come at the expense of economic growth. Indeed, in the 21st Century, it can and must be an engine for economic growth."

The Vice President said the Administration will work "to put more control, more information, more decision-making power into the hands of families, communities, and regions -- to give them all the freedom and flexibility they need to reclaim their own unique place in the world."

In addition, the Vice President announced the following new Federal and private efforts to provide the tools necessary to make communities more livable and to target new incentives to encourage smarter growth:

     $17.2 Million to Help Preserve Farmland in 19 States:  The Vice
     President announced new federal, state, and local partnerships to 
     help preserve our most vulnerable farmland.  The Agriculture 
     Department (USDA) will provide $17.2 million to 19 states that, 
     when coupled with their own funds, will go to purchase development 
     rights and keep productive farmland in use.  The $17.2 million 
     from USDA's Farmland Protection Program will be leveraged with 
     state and local funds so that about $105 million will be available 
     to protect 53,000 acres of valuable farmland on 217 farms in 19 

     Location-Efficient Mortgages:  The Vice President announced that
     Fannie Mae, working with three federal agencies and several 
     nonprofit groups, is launching a $100 million pilot program to 
     allow communities to benefit from "location efficient mortgages."  
     First implemented in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Seattle, this 
     program will recognize the economic reality that our mortgage 
     system has long ignored -- that families living near mass transit 
     save as much as hundreds of dollars a month and, thus, should 
     qualify for larger mortgages.  These new location-efficient 
     mortgages, which come with a 30-year transit pass, will give 
     families more choices by enabling them to live in more desirable 
     neighborhoods, with higher property values.

     New Tools For Community Planning:  The Vice President announced 
     that the federal government will expand its support for 
     communities with tools, information, and new computer software to 
     enable them to make easy-to-understand maps that show the 
     different aspects of their region -- from farmlands to parks to 
     buildings -- and even provide predictions for future growth.  This 
     tool, called Geographic Information System Technology, will make 
     it dramatically easier for communities to come together to 
     envision and adopt land growth that suites them.

     A Community-Federal Information Partnership:  The Vice President
     announced that the President's 2000 budget would significantly 
     expand grants for communities to gain access to the National 
     Spatial Data Infrastructure clearinghouse -- a public-private 
     resource that the Vice President conceived as part of his 
     reinventing government initiative in 1993 -- and its implementing 
     body, the Federal Data Geographic Data Committee, chaired by 
     Interior Secretary Bruce Babbit.

     Demonstration Projects in Six Communities:  The Vice President
     announced the launch of six demonstration projects in communities
     across the country to provide technical support for locally-drive
     efforts to address issues such as land-use and crime prevention.  
     The following communities received demonstration status:  Dane 
     County, WI; Gallatin County, Montana; Tillamook County, Oregon; 
     Tijuana River Watershed, California; the Upper Susquehanna/
     Lackawanna River area; and the City of Baltimore.

     New Regional Efforts to Combat Crime:  The Vice President 
     announced, in conjunction with the Justice Department, an effort 
     to apply regional mapping software to fighting crime.  The program 
     will include new software -- called Regional Crime Analysis 
     Geographic Information Systems -- that will be delivered to 
     regional police next year as a pilot program, beginning in the 
     Baltimore-Washington, D.C. region.  The pilot program will allow 
     communities in the region to easily share crime data and engage 
     in a cooperative regional crime reduction plan.