EPA Selects 32 Locations for Assistance with Sustainable Community Planning

From the EPA press release:

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today named 32 communities in 26 states as the initial participants in the Sustainable Communities Building Blocks program. The communities will receive technical assistance during a day-long session that will help them achieve their sustainable planning goals. Sustainable planning helps safeguard the environment and spur economic development while also improving Americans’ health.

“The public-private partnerships in the Building Blocks program give communities new and proven tools to maximize the health and economic benefits of brownfields revitalization,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “This is another great example of how a targeted investment in protecting public health can create jobs and strengthen the economic future of our communities.”

EPA selected the 32 communities from 354 applicants through a competitive process in consultation with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). During a day-long session with EPA-funded, private-sector experts, participants will focus on a specific sustainability tool such as zoning code reviews, walkability assessments, or economic and fiscal health assessments. They will also learn about additional environmentally responsible, economically healthy development techniques and general sustainable community strategies.

Sustainable Communities Building Blocks is coordinated through the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, a joint effort between EPA, HUD, and DOT to coordinate federal actions on housing, transportation, and environmental protection. This interagency collaboration achieves efficient federal investments in infrastructure development, facilities, and services that meet multiple economic, environmental, and community objectives.

The selected communities are: Bemidji, Minn.; Bluffton, S.C.; Cambridge, Md.; Chelmsford, Mass.; Deerfield Beach, Fla.; Dover, N.H.; Erie County, N.Y.; Essex, Conn.; Fitchburg, Wis.; Granville, Ohio; Helena, Mont.; Hellertown, Pa.; Jersey Shore, Pa.; Kayenta Township, Ariz.; Lincoln, Neb.; McKinney, Texas; Muskegon, Mich.; Nashville/Davidson, Tenn.; Northampton, Mass.; Oak Ridge, Tenn.; Oklahoma City, Okla.; Portland, Maine; St. Louis, Mo.; Pike’s Peak Council of Governments, Colo.; Ranson, W.Va.; Reedsburg, Wis.; Renton, Wash.; Rockport, Texas; Shelburne, Vt.; Spencer, N.C.; Syracuse, N.Y.; and Wichita, Kan.

More information on the Building Blocks program: http://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/buildingblocks.htm

More information on the Partnership for Sustainable Communities: http://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/partnership/index.html

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National Search Nets Complete Streets Workshop Instructor-Trainees

The National Complete Streets Coalition, in cooperation with the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals, has selected an outstanding slate of instructor-trainees for its expanding workshop program. The new trainees are national experts in the field and effective instructors of related topics.

Complete Streets

Webinar: Overcoming Obstacles in Regional Planning (Feb. 1)

Smart Growth America is pleased to host the following webinar on February 1, 2011:

Overcoming Obstacles in Regional Planning

Did you apply for or receive a HUD Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant? Are you trying to start or advance a regional plan? Join Smart Growth America to hear from Mariia Zimmerman, Deputy Director U.S. HUD Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities, and several HUD grant recipients from diverse parts of the country in various stages of regional plan development. The speakers will highlight the importance of regional planning, discuss coalition building, challenges they have faced in the planning and implementation process, and keys to success.

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Call for Complete Streets Workshop Instructor Trainees

Applications due December 17, 2010 Due to increasing demand for its Complete Streets Implementation Workshop series, the National Complete Streets Coalition, in cooperation with the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals, will train 6 to 8 nationally recognized professionals to co-instruct these workshops. These policy-oriented workshops help agencies fast track making their streets more complete. … Continued

Complete Streets

Federal Partnership announces Greening America’s Capitals technical assistance recipients

EPA has announced the five recipients of technical assistance through the Greening America’s Capitals program, a new, collaborative initiative from the HUD-EPA-DOT Partnership for Sustainable Communities. Boston, MA; Jefferson City, MO; Hartford, CT; Little Rock, AR; and Charleston, WV will receive direct, tailored sustainable design assistance from teams of urban planners and landscape architects. From … Continued

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Six Months of Complete Streets

As July unfolds before us, we look back on the progress of the Complete Streets movement since the year began: We’ve seen incredible progress federally, and we celebrated two new state laws. Eighteen communities have committed to complete streets since January, and we released a Best Practices report on policies and implementation.

Complete Streets