Tag: Smart growth awards

EPA recognizes seven communities with National Award for Smart Growth Achievement

Atlanta BeltlineThe Atlanta Beltline, one of this year’s award winners. Photo by Christoper T. Martin, courtesy of Atlanta Beltline.

This morning in Washington, DC, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will recognize some of the best examples of smart growth projects in the country today.

The annual National Award for Smart Growth Achievement, established in 2002, 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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Small places with big goals win national awards for smart growth achievement


Geoff Anderson, President and CEO of Smart Growth America (left) with representatives from seven communities honored with the 2012 National Award for Smart Growth Achievement.

On Wednesday evening in a hearing room on Capitol Hill, the winners of this year’s National Award for Smart Growth Achievement gathered to discuss how their projects are helping their communities become better places to live and work.

The awards this year went to projects that have improved streets, redeveloped historic buildings, built new homes and stores in the heart of downtown, created better transportation choices and more. And though the projects are all very different from one another, none would have been possible without community support and collaboration.

“That’s the word of the day, partnerships,” said Kenneth Chandler, former City Manager of the City of Portsmouth, VA. Portsmouth’s comprehensive overhaul of the city’s development and land use regulations won it the Programs and Policies award. Portsmouth’s new codes are already creating a more livable and pedestrian-friendly city with opportunities for economic development and reinvestment.

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The seven most innovative development projects – and policies – in the country


The BLVD in Lancaster, California is one of seven communities being honored this year by the EPA. Photo by Charlie Essers via Flickr.

What do a boulevard in California, a Denver neighborhood, new zoning ordinances in Virginia and an organic food co-op in Vermont all have in common?

They are all being honored with the 2012 National Award for Smart Growth Achievement from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s Office of Sustainable Communities. The seven winning communities – including four winners and three honorable mentions – were announced this morning.

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Partnership in the News: High School Initiative Turns Into Community Effort For Howard, South Dakota

What began as a high school study of the local economy in Howard, South Dakota has turned into a community revitalization effort that has sparked growth again in a declining rural community, reports an article published today in the Daily Yonder.

After nearly 15 years of work, Howard has become a poster child of community resolve. And it all began at the high school, building on an imaginative and intensely practical assignment…The town had lost nearly a hundred local businesses between 1960 and 1999. Farm production was declining. And young people, without prospects, were moving away.


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Know of a great smart growth project in New Jersey? Nominate it!

Do you know of an innovative project, plan or initiative that deserves to be honored for bringing smart growth ideals to light in New Jersey? Smart Growth America’s coalition member New Jersey Future is looking for nominees for their 2012 Smart Growth Award.

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Smart growth news – December 2

The Best Smart Growth Projects in America
The Atlantic, December 1, 2011
One of the country’s very best revitalizing neighborhoods and one of our most articulate city plans for a more sustainable future are among this year’s five national honorees for achievement in smart growth, awarded by the Environmental Protection Agency. The other very worthy winners include a green learning center in a small South Dakota town, a green, affordable apartment building in New Mexico and an innovative civic gathering space in Illinois.

More Broken Bridges than Golden Arches: U.S. Urban Infrastructure Infographic
Sacramento Bee, December 1, 2011
“There are more deficient bridges in our metropolitan areas than there are McDonald’s restaurants in the entire country,” stated James Corless, Director of Transportation for America.

‘Walkable’ Steps Into Spotlight
New York Times, December 1, 2011
Walkability is an asset of an increasing number of Island communities as the fabric of suburbia changes, and it was a must for Judy Rosenthal, a health care writer from Great Neck, when she recently sought a new home for her mother not far from her own.

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EPA honors five communities with National Award for Smart Growth Achievement

Washington, D.C. — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized five cities and towns that are making smart growth a reality. The communities received awards at the EPA’s 10th annual National Award for Smart Growth Achievement.

Through the National Award for Smart Growth Achievement, the EPA recognizes and supports communities that use innovative policies and strategies to strengthen their economies, provide housing and transportation choices, develop in ways that bring benefits to a wide range of residents, and protect the environment.Congratulations to the award recipients of the awards.

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Send your nominations for Smart Growth America’s second annual 2012 Leadership Award

Nominations are now being accepted for Smart Growth America’s Leadership Institute second annual Leadership Award. This is a great opportunity to recognize elected officials in your area who have championed smart growth and sustainable development policies.

Smart Growth America’s Leadership Institute’s Award for Outstanding Leadership is bestowed annually on an elected official that has shown exceptional leadership in smart growth policy development or implementation. Last year, North Carolina State Senator Floyd B. McKissick and Representative Jennifer Weiss received the award for their outstanding leadership in smart growth policy making that will make North Carolina neighborhoods even greater places to live. Their efforts helped create the innovative Sustainable Communities Task Force, which created $250,000 in task force grants for regional sustainable development partnerships.

The Leadership Institute will be accepting nominations from Smart Growth America coalition members until September 1, 2011. Please contact Shelly Hazle, Program Manager, Smart Growth America for further details at 202-207-3355 x120 or shazle@smartgrowthamerica.org.

Click here to download the full submission guidelines (PDF)

Nominations will be accepted through our online submission form. Click here to submit your nomination online >>

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EPA’s 2010 smart growth awards go to innovative urban redevelopment and rural revitalization

Smart growth achievement awards 2010
Clockwise from top left: Smart growth projects in Baltimore, New York City, San Francisco and Maine.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s 2010 National Awards for Smart Growth Achievement were awarded yesterday to five projects from across the country deemed “exceptional approaches to development that respect the environment, foster economic vitality, and enhance quality of life.” The awards were given in five categories.

The Civic Places award went to San Francisco’s Mint Plaza, which turned a derelict alley into a public plaza that reclaims stormwater and provides a flexible gathering place for neighborhood residents. The Rural Smart Growth Award went to the Gateway 1 Corridor Action Plan in midcoast Maine, a collaboration of 20 townships in the state to preserve the environment and economy along the corridor. The Programs, Policies and Regulations award went to Portland, OR, which has used city ordinances to encourage sustainable land use for future population growth. The Smart Growth and Green Building Award went to Miller’s Place in Baltimore, MD, which rehabilitated an abandoned building on a brownfield site to create housing and office spaces for teachers and non-profits. And the award for Overall Excellence went to New York City’s Smart.Growth@NYC program, a multiagency coordination to bring smart growth ideas to all five boroughs.

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EPA’s smart growth awards recognize exceptional projects across the country

The recession may have slowed growth in many places across the country, but the economic difficulties have only reaffirmed the need to be smarter than ever about what we build, and where we build it. Earlier this week, four municipalities from across the country were recognized by the US EPA for their innovative work in promoting smarter growth and creating places worth caring about. EPA created the National Award for Smart Growth Achievement back in 2002 to recognize outstanding and innovative approaches to development that “respect the environment, foster economic vitality, and enhance quality of life.”

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