Jump to main content or area navigation.

Contact Us

Progress Report 2014

Sustainable Communities

Opening the Path to Redevelopment, Revitalizing Local Economies

EPA's work has always focused on communities. We have an ongoing commitment to listen to, support and work alongside local communities and stakeholders to protect public health and the environment. Many communities in the Pacific Southwest are striving for sustainability through water and energy-saving infrastructure improvements, green development around transit hubs, and other beneficial practices. Highlighted here are four of the major cities EPA has partnered with and recognized in the quest for healthier, more sustainable communities. In all cases, environmental cleanup and planning for smart growth have opened the path to redevelopment and are helping revitalize local economies.

Fresno, CA

53% less land

will be consumed (saving 10 square miles of farmland) and 31% fewer vehicle miles travelled (reducing air pollution) by 2035 compared to current projections if Fresno's Smart Growth General Plan meets its goals. EPA, working with other federal agencies to support economic growth and revitalization under the Strong Cities, Strong Communities Initiative, is supporting the mayor's goals of redeveloping downtown and reversing decades of growth into farmland.

Fresno Street Scene 

Sacramento, CA

81 units

of transit-friendly affordable housing have been built at Sacramento's La Valentina complex, the Built Projects winner of EPA's 2013 Smart Growth Achievement Awards. The complex – located directly on a light rail line on a once-neglected brownfield – provides housing and services for 170 residents. The development achieves goals of the Sacramento Region Blueprint, a 2004 EPA award winner, to accommodate growth while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Sacramento Street Scene Photo: Bruce Damonte

Los Angeles, CA

11 miles

of the Los Angeles River within the City of Los Angeles has been evaluated for ecosystem restoration in a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Feasibility Study. Restoration based on this study is a top priority for the LA River Watershed Urban Waters Partnership, which was formed by EPA in 2011. The Partnership involves over 30 organizations working to leverage shared resources in revitalization efforts, including increasing recreational opportunities to reconnect local communities to the LA River and its tributaries.

Los Angeles Street Scene
Photo: City of Los Angeles

Phoenix, AZ

426 properties

were assessed for potential toxics along the first 13 miles of Phoenix's new light rail transit system, thanks to EPA Brownfields grants to Phoenix and Mesa, Ariz., helping clear the way for redevelopment along the light rail corridor. Phoenix is one of several cities in EPA's Greening America's Capitals program. EPA and HUD also convened stakeholders to plan for making downtown Phoenix's Lower Grand Avenue more pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly, and using green infrastructure to treat stormwater.

Phoenix, AZ scene 

Pacific Southwest Progress Reports

Jump to main content.