This post is part of an ongoing series about organizations that have received grants from the Partnership for Sustainable Communities. Did your organization receive one of these grants? Tell us about it!
|Lapeer Ave in downtown Saginaw, originally uploaded by Ian Freimuth.|
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently selected 25 communities from across the country to receive technical assistance under its Smart Growth Implementation Assistance program – and one of them was Saginaw, Michigan. Saginaw was selected to receive assistance developing a plan to right-size its urban land area and coordinate its infrastructure investments. Both objectives are directly connected to improving sustainability and livability for the city’s residents and businesses.
Saginaw is a midsize, manufacturing-based city located in the heart of Michigan. Over the past decade, roughly 10% of its total population has moved out of the city limits. This population loss, coupled by an increase in abandoned and vacant properties, means nearly 5,500 properties in the city are currently unused and unmaintained. In total, nearly 25% of the city is physically empty or on the verge of demolition yet still requires a full range of public services, like sewer, water, roads, lighting, and police and fire protection.