Tag: EPA

EPA recognizes Dubuque, IA and Mayor Roy Buol among top smart growth projects of 2013

Dubuque, IA's Millwork DistrictFormerly vacant factories in Dubuque’s Millwork District will include affordable housing units, retail space for small businesses, and a variety of art, social and civic spaces. Photo by “turn off your computer and go outside,” via Flickr.

Congratulations to Dubuque, IA, one of seven communities chosen to receive the U.S. Environmental Protection Agencies’s annual National Award for Smart Growth Achievement this year. Dubuque Mayor Roy Buol is a member of Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council and played an instrumental leadership role in Dubuque’s award-winning project.

The award recognizes exceptional approaches to development that respect the environment, foster economic vitality, enhance quality of life, and provide new opportunities for disadvantaged communities.

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Announcing the recipients of Smart Growth America’s 2014 free technical assistance

Market Street  Portsmouth, NHMarket Street in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, one of 2014′s free technical assistance recipients. Photo by Harvey Barrison, via Flickr.

Smart Growth America is pleased to announce the 18 communities selected to receive a free workshop in 2014 as part of our free technical assistance program.

Each year, Smart Growth America makes a limited number of technical assistance workshops available to interested communities for zero cost. This competitive award gives communities a chance to understand the technical aspects of smart growth development through a one- or two-day workshop on a subject of their choosing.

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What smart growth advocates need to know about the omnibus appropriations bill

Congress
Last night, Congress released a $1.1 trillion omnibus appropriations bill for fiscal year 2014, which lays out funding for agencies and their programs working to help communities build in smarter, stronger ways.

The bill contains many high points for smart growth advocates, and if you were one of the many people who encouraged Congress to pass a strong appropriations bill in the past few days, thank you. Your voices were heard!

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Congress is nearing a budget deal – speak out today

This is a crucial time for national community development programs.

Today, committees in both the House and Senate are working on bills to fund the federal government for the rest of the fiscal year—including key programs at the Department of Transportation, Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Environmental Protection Agency. How much these programs receive in the coming year is currently under debate.

The bills will soon go to a vote, and so now is the time to speak out for these important programs.

Tell Congress to support community development in this year’s budget: Send a letter to your representatives today.

Together we can help communities clean up brownfields, reuse already developed land, revitalize neighborhoods and expand transportation options.

The Partnership for Sustainable Communities’ planning grants, brownfields assessment and clean up assistance, and the innovative TIGER program are all critical to this work. These programs get more out of public investment and help communities build in ways that will support local economies for decades to come—but Congress needs to hear from you.

Tell Congress to fund community development programs: Send a letter to your members today.

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Applications now being accepted for Smart Growth America’s 2014 free technical assistance workshops

Technical assistance workshop
A technical assistance workshop in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Applications are now being accepted for Smart Growth America’s 2014 free technical assistance workshops. Each year Smart Growth America offers free assistance to local communities interested in building stronger local economies and creating great neighborhoods. These workshops will be awarded to a limited number of qualifying communities.

Now in its third year, this free workshop program helps city, county and regional leaders find solutions to local issues and concerns. Our workshops help participating communities to grow in ways that benefit families and businesses while protecting the environment and preserving a sense of place.

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Partnership in the News: Cincinnati makes strides toward transit oriented development

Cincinnati-Streetcar-Announcement

Cincinnati, OH is a regional leader in pursuing ways to make the city more livable and attractive to residents and business. To help advance the city’s smart growth goals even further, Cincinnati will receive technical assistance from Smart Growth America’s Leadership Institute to inform residents and community leaders about the benefits of transit oriented development (TOD).

Roger Millar, Vice President of Smart Growth America, says, “This workshop will provide the community with an opportunity to learn more about transit options and transit oriented development in the context of Cincinnati. Now is a great time to assess how Cincinnati can most effectively align its development with transit investments.”

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Spotlight on Sustainability: Maryland capitalizes on grant, plans growth around Metro stations

Screen Shot 2013-09-25 at 9.59.18 AM
The southern expansion of the Washington, D.C. Metro green line opened in 2001 – costing over $900 million. Prince Georges County, Maryland, seeking to capitalize on the existing transit system developed a corridor action plan that incorporates transit oriented development around four southern green line stations; Southern Ave, Suitland, Naylor Rd. and Branch Ave.

With an annual ridership of over 200 million trips the Metro system is an invaluable asset to spur future growth in the DC metropolitan region. Job and housing growth was higher in the area along the southern green line than it was along any other transit line in the DC metro system between 2000-2010.

The Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission (MNCPPC) capitalized on the growth potential of the southern green line with an $800,000 Community Challenge grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to develop the corridor action plan.

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Upcoming Webinars: September 2013

Want to learn about new, innovative strategies for creating great places? Several upcoming webinars provide ideas and inspiration for local leaders. Building Vibrant Local Economies: Diversifying local economies to strengthen county resilience Thursday, September 12, 2013 2:00 PM Eastern Click here …

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House of Representatives calls economic redevelopment programs “nice-to-have,” moves to eliminate all funding

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Brownfields Program helps communities clean up abandoned land and put it back into productive use. Tomorrow Congress will begin considering whether the program will continue this work in 2014.

The Brownfields Program is rebuilding local economies across the country, and that’s not work we consider “lower-priority.”

On Wednesday, July 31, the House of Representatives’ Appropriations Committee will mark up the Interior and Environment and Related Agencies funding bill, which allocates funding for all EPA programs, including Brownfields. Last week, a House subcommittee passed a draft version of the bill. The draft bill would cut funding for the EPA by 34% overall—and zero out funding for the Brownfields Program.

Don’t let Congress zero out funding on community redevelopment: Send a letter to your Representative today.

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Upcoming Webinars: July 2013

Want to learn about new, innovative strategies for creating great places? Several upcoming webinars provide ideas and inspiration for local leaders.

Adopting CSS: The Florida Greenbook
Wednesday, July 10, 2013 – 2:30-4:00 PM EDT
Click here to register
In May of 2011, the Florida Department of Transportation revised their Manual of Uniform Minimum Standards for Design, Construction and Maintenance for Streets and Highways, commonly referred to as the Florida Greenbook. The addition of Chapter 19: Traditional Neighborhood Development adopts a context sensitive approach to transportation and land use as standard practice, focusing on network functionality and design standards that support communities.

FDOT District One Secretary Billy Hattaway will discuss Chapter 19 and explain how CSS is essential to diverse projects from maintenance to major construction, in settings both urban and rural. Florida’s experience provides clear direction for other states striving towards safety and livability outcomes in a 21st Century transportation system.

Green Infrastructure: Achieving Stormwater Management, Neighborhood Stabilization, and Complete Streets Using Formula Funds
Tuesday, July 16, 2013 – 2:30-3:45 PM EDT
Join here, no pre-registration necessary
Experts from HUD, DOT, EPA, and the city of Indianapolis will discuss ways communities can use green infrastructure to manage stormwater, help revitalize neighborhoods, and create complete streets, and how federal formula funds can be used to finance green infrastructure.

Green infrastructure involves using landscape features to store, infiltrate, and evaporate stormwater. This reduces the amount of water draining into sewers and helps reduce the discharge of pollut¬ants into water bodies. Examples of green infrastructure include rain gardens, swales, constructed wetlands, and permeable pavements. Green infrastructure solutions can cost less than typical grey infrastructure solutions, such as installing large drainage pipes, and can be equally effective.

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