Three areas across the country will receive assistance from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to implement smart growth strategies. The State of Rhode Island; Mississippi County, Arkansas; and Kelso, Washington hope to strengthen their local economies while protecting public health and the environment through intentional planning efforts. The three communities were selected from a pool of 79 applicants.
Rhode Island’s grant will help the state plan for the effect of climate change on economic activity. Mississippi County will plan to maximize the economic benefits of new steel manufacturing jobs coming to the area by addressing future housing opportunities and infrastructure development. Kelso, WA and the EPA will focus on improving the public health of an industrial area south of the city’s downtown through infrastructure, job creation and economic development opportunities.
The EPA’s Smart Growth Implementation Assistance grants help communities, that would otherwise lack the capacity to do so, plan for development and improve regional economic resilience. The EPA prioritizes redevelopment for job creation, workforce housing and sustainable neighborhood design, community resilience, the strength of the local partners, and the ability to support existing local policy implementation processes in it’s selection of grants. The program has provided assistance for 49 communities though 36 grants since its inception in 2005.
The Smart Growth Assistance program is part of the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, a collaboration between the EPA, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Department of Transportation (DOT). The Partnership has allocated more than $4 billion for communities across the United States. The Partnership works with communities to create more housing and transportation choices, and support neighborhoods’ sustained vibrancy by attracting new business. If you want to see grants like these continue, speak out to support the Partnership today.