Making Smart Growth Happen
EPA offers many tools and resources to help communities learn about and implement smart growth approaches. Please also see the resource list of topics, education and outreach resources, and examples of smart growth communities and projects available on our site.
- Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities: One-day, targeted technical assistance to give communities tools to implement smart growth development approaches
- Governors' Institute on Community Design - Helps governors to share information and learn about tools and strategies to help their states develop in an environmentally sound, economically sustainable way.
- Greening America's Capitals: Technical assistance to help state capital cities envision and implement more sustainable communities.
- Smart Growth Implementation Assistance: Technical assistance for localities that want to incorporate smart growth techniques into their future development.
- Smart Growth Implementation Assistance for Coastal Communities (EPA and NOAA): Technical assistance through Sea Grant universities to help communities develop in ways that meet environmental and other goals.
- Special technical assistance projects: Additional technical assistance projects done in partnership with other entities.
- The Sustainable Community Indicator Catalog - A catalog of indicators to help communities measure progress toward their sustainability objectives.
- Flood Resilience Checklist - A checklist to help communities determine whether they are adequately prepared for a flood.
- Smart Location Database - A nationwide geospatial database characterizing the built environment for use in travel demand studies and scenario planning.
- Access to Jobs and Workers Via Transit Tool - A geospatial data resource and web mapping tool for comparing the accessibility of neighborhoods via public transit service.
- Impervious Surface Growth Model - A simple spreadsheet tool for estimating net impervious surface growth associated with development proposals based on the development location.
- Sustainable Communities HotReport – A web-based tool that gives community leaders and residents a quick and easy way to determine how well their community is performing on a variety of sustainability indicators, including transportation, housing, economic development, income, and equity.
- Mixed-Use Trip Generation Model - Spreadsheet tool that makes it easy to estimate trips generated by a new mixed-use development to more fairly assess these projects in development review processes.
- Sustainable Design and Green Building Toolkit for Local Governments (PDF) (92 pp, 15 MB, About PDF) - Addresses the local codes of ordinances that affect the design, construction, renovation, and operation and maintenance of a building and its immediate site to help local governments, the development community, and other building professionals identify and remove barriers to sustainable design and green building in their permitting processes.
- Smart Growth Guidelines for Sustainable Design and Development - Guidelines that can serve as a checklist to ensure that programs, plans, and proposed developments incorporate the elements needed at the location, site, and building levels to result in more sustainable, affordable housing.
- Water Quality Scorecard - Tool to help local governments identify opportunities to remove barriers and revise and create codes, ordinances, and incentives to better protect water quality.
- Tools and Key Resources for Sustainable Communities – A list of useful tools and key resources compiled to support the goals of the HUD-DOT-EPA Partnership for Sustainable Communities.
- Essential Smart Growth Fixes for Urban and Suburban Zoning Codes - Tool to help local governments apply targeted fixes to their zoning codes to address specific issues.
- Examples of Codes That Support Smart Growth Development - Sample codes and ordinances that support smart growth.
- Sample Requests for Proposals (RFPs) - Examples of RFPs issued by communities to find consultants experienced in smart growth to work on plan updates.
- Model Course Prospectuses: Teaching smart growth at colleges and universities - A compilation of course prospectuses that offer students hands-on experience in smart growth issues.
- Smart Growth Scorecards: Useful examples from across the country - Sample scorecards that can help communities assess their development patterns and related aspects like walkability.
- Local Foods, Local Places – EPA, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), U.S. Department of Transportation, Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), and Delta Regional Authority (DRA) partnership to help communities develop and implement action plans promoting local food enterprises and downtown revitalization in areas served by ARC, DRA, federally designated Promise Zones, and USDA-designated StrikeForce counties.
- Livable Communities in Appalachia – EPA, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Appalachian Regional Commission partnership to help Appalachian communities revitalize their downtowns and neighborhoods to make them healthier, more walkable, and more economically vibrant.
- Memorandum of Agreement with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) - EPA and FEMA partnership to help communities prepare for and recover from natural disasters in safer, healthier, and more resilient ways.
- HUD-DOT-EPA Partnership for Sustainable Communities – Information about how the three agencies will work together to help improve access to affordable housing, more transportation options, and lower transportation costs while protecting the environment in communities nationwide.
- Smart Growth Network - Partnership of more than 30 national organizations that promote smart growth and offer resources to help communities.
- Regional Smart Growth Alliances - Urban Land Institute project, partially funded by EPA, to create regional alliances to promote smart growth development.
- Memorandum of Agreement with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) - EPA and NOAA partnership to improve the quality of development in coastal communities.
- Memorandum of Understanding with the American Institute of Architects (AIA) (PDF) (3 pp, 366 K, About PDF) - EPA and AIA agreement to work together to promote sustainable development and green building.
Grants and Other Funding
- EPA Smart Growth Grants and Other Funding Sources - Funding from EPA and other sources to assist local and state governments, communities, and non-governmental organizations that are seeking to address various aspects of smart growth.