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EPA Provides Smart Growth Assistance in Six States


Communities in six states will receive customized technical assistance from EPA to help them put the principles of more efficient, affordable, and environmentally sensitive growth into action.

The communities were selected under a competitive, nationwide application process that drew 67 submissions from 30 states. Under a federal contract, each community will receive approximately $45,000 in direct assistance from a team of national experts organized by EPA and other partners to work with local leaders. Team members will have expertise in disciplines relevant to each community’s unique needs. The projects will start this summer.

The communities selected are:

Atlanta Regional Commission

The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC), a local organization working on growth and development issues, has requested assistance for a policy analysis that would support development of a land use strategy that can meet housing and other needs of older adults. ARC understands the need for a land use strategy that accommodates the needs of older adults along with the general population. Part of this strategy includes compact, walkable neighborhoods where seniors can live near services and social opportunities in existing communities. Such neighborhoods will mean that seniors and other residents can drive less in their daily activities, which can help reduce air pollution from automobiles. The city of Fayetteville, located in the Atlanta metropolitan region, and Fayetteville Senior Services will serve as the local model for this process.

California Department of Transportation

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has requested assistance to develop a “smart mobility scorecard” that evaluates the transportation options available for residents in urban, suburban and rural areas. The scorecard will be used by the state and regional transportation agencies to evaluate local and regional land use plans to assess whether a community is being designed in a way that provides transportation choices. Where these choices exist, Caltrans will invest its resources and funding to support them. Examples would include investment in transit-oriented development, bike lanes, and safe routes to school programs. These investments will help reduce pollution from automobiles.

City of Denver, Colorado

The city has requested assistance for policy analysis and public participation to explore retrofitting the Downtown-Cherry Creek corridor for transit and land uses that support transit. Along the corridor one finds dense urban neighborhoods, a major employment and retail center, suburban neighborhoods, and strips of commercial development. Local officials understand that this route will take on additional capacity as the region grows, but they also want to improve the corridor to increase regional connectivity and create opportunities for linking transit centers. Compact, dense mixed-use redevelopment along the corridor enables transportation choices like walking and biking. Enhanced choice reduces vehicle miles traveled and congestion, thus reducing air toxics. Accommodating growth in the corridor will relive growth pressures in other parts of the region, including undeveloped land in outlying areas.

City of Greensboro, North Carolina

Civic leaders recognize that growth is coming to Greensboro, and they want to direct that growth toward their downtown and inner neighborhoods. Putting more development in the center of the city will preserve land on the edge of town, as well as make it easier for people to walk, bike, or take transit. Targeting development in areas where it already exists will also use existing infrastructure and help to preserve water quality. To encourage this type of development and satisfy market demand, the city requested assistance for public workshops focusing on infill-related design issues in four neighborhoods, addressing topics related to universities, neighborhood planning, housing shortage, historic preservation, and pedestrian amenities.

Sanitation District No. 1 of Northern Kentucky

The Sanitation District has requested assistance for a policy analysis to implement smart growth principles for protecting water quality. Faced with rapid growth pressures and a burdened combined sewer system that frequently overflows, the sanitation district wants to identify solutions that sustain growth without exacerbating overflows and impacting water quality. The project will examine: (1) how the District might modify regulations to prevent overflows; (2) what types of best management practices and smart growth strategies are effective in areas with steep slopes and soils that limit water infiltration; and (3) how the district can encourage developers to adopt more environmentally-friendly practices.

Valley Metro Transit with the cities of Phoenix and Mesa

This partnership has requested assistance in developing land use regulations that promote transit oriented development under Arizona law. The Phoenix metropolitan area is the eighth fastest-growing region in the country. Communities comprising the metropolitan area are responding to the growth by expanding transit service and enacting local ordinances promoting more compact, mixed-use and transit-oriented development. Light rail is being built in the most densely populated parts of the Phoenix metropolitan area, and is expected to alleviate congestion on heavily traveled commuter corridors. This investment in rail will help to reduce the projected increased air pollution caused by automobile use as the region grows.


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