Recognizing a fundamental web linking peoples' quality of life to ecology, long-term economic vitality and affordable housing, social vibrancy, diverse transportation options, and a coherent and integrated built environment, the Northwest Center for Livable Communities seeks to promote awareness of these connections and affect the creation of more livable communities through applied research and community initiatives.
The work of the center is primarily directed toward incorporating the following principles of livability, some of which have been adapted from the Ahwahnee Principles, into decisions concerning the shape, function, and potential of the built environment:
Develop "compactly" so that walking and biking between places of activity such as home, work, shopping, and public events is encouraged.
Provide a diverse transportation system with an emphasis on safe walking and biking routes, as well as clean and efficient public transportation.
Preserve open spaces, sources of natural beauty, and agricultural, historic, and cultural resources in the landscape, as well as spaces for various recreational activities.
Sustain economic vitality through a diverse range of locally-generated job types.
Encourage social interaction by having well designed and easily accessible open spaces in the form of public squares and parks, as well as vibrant and walkable urban centers that have a combination of commercial, civic, cultural, and recreational uses.
Protect ecological resources that are both critical to other species and overall environmental quality.
Provide equal services and opportunities to all people.
Contain a variety of housing types that respond to a wide range of socio-economic needs.
Coordinate transportation and other services, environmental protection, and economic development with other governments and jurisdictions within the region.