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2012 National Award for Smart Growth Achievement

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2012 Awards cover: 2012 National Awards for Smart Growth Achievement.

Press Release: 2012 National Award for Smart Growth Achievement

2012 Award Winners

This publication is also available as a PDF (20 pp, 1.9 MB, About PDF). Hard copies available by emailing nscep@bps-lmit.com or calling (800) 490-9198 and requesting EPA-231-K-12-002.

A Message from EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson

Lisa P. Jackson, EPA Administrator

Congratulations to the winners of the 2012 National Award for Smart Growth Achievement. Every year, the winners of this award show us creative ways to build and maintain cleaner, healthier, environmentally responsible, and economically resilient communities, and this year is no exception. These projects, policies, and programs provide models that other communities can use to improve their overall well-being.

Smart growth investments produce results?shown clearly by the work of these and previous award winners. Communities are revitalizing brownfield sites, bringing jobs and amenities in and getting toxic contamination out. They are transforming forgotten spaces into clean and bustling neighborhood centers, creating thriving public places. They are increasing housing and transportation options for all residents, generating new economic opportunities, helping people save money, and reducing pollution from vehicles.

I?m proud to recognize the efforts of this year?s National Award for Smart Growth Achievement winners to protect the environment, improve quality of life, and strengthen the economy. This type of innovative thinking allows communities to continue enhancing where people live, work, and play. On behalf of everyone at EPA, thank you for helping to create a more sustainable, prosperous future for people all across the country.

Lisa P. Jackson
Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

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About the Award

EPA created the National Award for Smart Growth Achievement in 2002 to recognize exceptional approaches to development that respect the environment, foster economic vitality, enhance quality of life, and provide new opportunities for disadvantaged communities. Over the past 11 years, EPA has received 809 applications from 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. This year, EPA received 47 applications from 25 states.

The winning entries were selected based on their effectiveness in creating sustainable communities; showing innovative smart growth planning and implementation; establishing a robust public involvement process; generating partnerships among public, private, and nonprofit stakeholders; and serving as national models.

Award winners were selected by two separate panels. The first consisted of experts from the planning and design professions, nonprofits, academia, and federal agencies. The second was an internal EPA panel that provided the final review. EPA management made final selections.

Smart Growth Principles

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How Smart Growth Protects the Environment

While communities use smart growth strategies for many reasons?to improve quality of life, to attract new businesses and residents, to use taxpayer money more efficiently, and to take advantage of previous investments in infrastructure?protecting the environment is often one of their main goals. Smart growth policies can bring environmental benefits whether they are applied regionally or locally. Each element of smart growth development complements and enhances the other elements, and each investment reaps multiple environmental benefits. For example, rain gardens on streets capture and filter stormwater runoff, which protects water quality, but they also make the street more pleasant for pedestrians and bicyclists, encouraging more people to try options besides driving. In turn, driving less reduces air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Two previous National Award for Smart Growth Achievement winners, Portland, Oregon, and Breckenridge, Colorado, show how smart growth strategies can yield environmental results.

The photograph shows a man and a woman eating ice cream beside bicycles on a sidewalk.

In the Portland, Oregon metro region, the 2040 Growth Concept planning process and the Making the Greatest Place Initiative, a 2010 EPA Award winner, developed and implemented a vision of more compact development. This development pattern uses land more efficiently; encourages brownfield cleanup and redevelopment; and puts homes, workplaces, schools, and amenities close enough together to make walking, biking, and public transit more appealing and useful alternatives.

Thanks to the wealth of transportation options and the compact development pattern, Portland-area residents drive 20 percent fewer miles than residents of similarly sized metropolitan areas?despite a population increase of over 800,000 people during the past two decades. Since the mid 1990s, ridership on the region?s transit system, TriMet, has gone up annually, and since 2001 overall bike traffic in Portland is up 219%. Since 1990, TriMet ridership has increased more than regional population growth or driving rates. Smart growth policies contributed to Portland and Multnomah County?s 17 percent drop in per capita greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 to 2007, as well as the region?s attainment of high air quality standards.

Protecting green and open space has also been a priority of Portland Metro?s planning process. Using funds from bond measures, the city has bought more than 12,000 acres within city boundaries to protect water quality, increase wildlife habitat, and provide residents with easy access to nature. The region?s urban tree canopy has remained steady at over 30 percent, lowering ambient air temperature, absorbing rainfall and filtering pollution while creating beautiful streets and parks that maintain the region?s character.

The photograph shows a row of houses.

Breckenridge, Colorado?s Wellington neighborhood, a 2002 EPA Award winner, cleaned up and reused a contaminated former mining site to develop a compact cluster of homes, most of which are deed-restricted for residents who work in the county. All homes built today meet ENERGY STAR standards, meaning they have energy-efficient lighting and appliances and are constructed using renewable materials. Although the neighborhood has doubled from 20 to 40 acres in the past ten years, it has almost tripled the number of homes, maintaining a compact development pattern. Nearly 5 acres of open space and creek access have been preserved as public lands for hiking, biking, water sports, and other recreation, as well as protecting wildlife habitat.

The homes? energy-efficiency features allow residents to spend approximately 60 percent less on their energy bills than if they lived in a conventionally built house. The efficiency that saves people money also reduces air pollution. Compared to a conventional home, an equivalent property in the Wellington Neighborhood produces 3.2 fewer tons of carbon dioxide, 3.3 fewer pounds of sulfur dioxide, and 8.8 fewer pounds of nitrogen oxides per year.

The neighborhood is on the Purple Route of the free shuttle bus system to downtown Breckenridge, which gives residents the option of driving less. From 2007 to 2012, the Purple Route provided about 325,000 passenger trips, saving just under 100,000 pounds of carbon dioxide compared to each trip being made by a solo driver.

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Overall Excellence in Smart Growth


The BLVD Transformation

The redesign of Lancaster Boulevard helped transform downtown Lancaster into a thriving residential and commercial district through investments in new streetscape design, public facilities, affordable homes, and local businesses. Dubbed ?The BLVD Transformation,? this comprehensive effort engaged residents and businesses to revitalize the formerly dilapidated downtown and make it a distinctive destination. Completed after just eight months of construction, The BLVD demonstrates how redesigning a corridor guided by a strategic vision can spark new life in a community.

The photo shows a crowd gathered downtown at night.

The BLVD is now a downtown destination and hosts regional and community events ever year, like BooLVD Halloween and Harvest Festival.

City of Lancaster, California

The BLVD Association, InSite Development

For More Information:
Chenin Dow
Projects Assistant
City of Lancaster
(661) 723-6165

This photo shows construction at the BLVD.

The BLVD has had a huge economic impact on the Lancaster region, generating more than 1,900 full-time jobs.

This photo shows people gathered around a drawing table.

The city creatively engaged residents in the planning process, hosting downtown tours, community workshops, flashlight walks and creating ?information centers? in downtown storefront windows.

In the face of economic challenges brought on by the recession, the suburban town of Lancaster needed bold and decisive action. The local unemployment rate had risen to twice the national average in the late 2000s, and the city?s downtown had been in decline for more than 20 years, with vacant storefronts and few housing options. The area was relatively unwalkable and lacked shops, restaurants, public plazas, and entertainment venues. Using a variety of creative techniques, the city engaged residents, businesses, and other stakeholders to help create a Downtown Specific Plan to enhance the city?s lagging downtown area. An important element of the plan was to revive Lancaster Boulevard, the city?s former cultural and commercial corridor. The refurbished Lancaster Boulevard, known as ?The BLVD,? features an attractive new streetscape, more than 110,000 square feet of rehabilitated commercial space, a new park and museum, and more than 800 low- to moderate-income apartments and condos that are within walking distance of downtown. Three apartment buildings are designed for seniors and disabled adults, with amenities to engage residents in community life. Another provides homes for artists next door to extensive exhibition space in the Lancaster Museum of Art & History.

Uniform landscaping and signage, combined with a rebranding campaign, has helped create an identity for The BLVD as a welcoming destination for shopping, dining, farmers? markets, concerts, and community festivals. A central space in The BLVD can be used for parking and serves as an inviting, shaded, community gathering place when the street is closed to vehicle traffic for special events. Pedestrian-friendly amenities, like wider sidewalks, drought-tolerant landscaping that provides shade and shelter, benches, and mid-block crossings are inviting and encourage visitors and residents to walk or bike, which reduces pollution from vehicles.

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"It is so exciting to actually see all the pieces starting to come together. To go from blueprint to footprint in just a matter of months has been simply amazing."– Valerie Orcutt, owner of Bella West Salon & Spa and vice president of The BLVD Association

As the project progressed, the city worked closely with the downtown merchants? association and private developers to attract and retain businesses. The city transformed its regulatory system and established flexible development codes, clear rules, and an accelerated downtown permitting and construction schedule. City staff and developers coordinated with business owners to ensure that shops and restaurants could stay open during construction. The revitalization project breathed new life into the merchants? association. Now renamed The BLVD Association, it focuses on maintaining strong communication between the city and downtown businesses.

The city estimates that the project has resulted in $273 million in economic output and $130 million in private investment. The BLVD Transformation has yielded 48 new locally owned businesses and over 1,900 jobs, offering residents access to shops and stores that would have previously required driving. Now, people can walk from their homes to eat a meal, attend a concert, ride a commuter train that takes them to jobs in Burbank or Los Angeles, buy groceries in a local farmers? market, or play in a park. The city?s emphasis on communication, coordination, and cooperation helped ensure that The BLVD Transformation took into account the needs and concerns of local residents and businesses to once again make Lancaster Boulevard the heart of the community.

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Main Street or Corridor Revitalization


The Cooperative Building

The redevelopment of the Brattleboro Food Co-op from a strip mall surrounded by parking lots into a street-facing, mixed-use development, with commercial space, offices, and affordable apartments, has brought benefits to Brattleboro?s residents and economy. The new Cooperative Building incorporates money-saving and innovative environmental features while fitting with the character of a traditional walkable New England town. Community members were the true champions of this project, insisting on a downtown location for their co-op that integrates both the grocery store and mixed-income housing.

The photo shows a man walking outside the building's entrance.

The Cooperative Building?s many green features include permeable pavers outside the store entrance, a green roof, and an energy-efficient heating and cooling system.

Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, Brattleboro, Vermont

Brattleboro Food Co-op, Windham & Windsor Housing Trust, Housing Vermont

For More Information:
Connie Snow
Executive Director
Windham & Windsor Housing Trust
(802) 246-2103

This photo shows girls standing at a sidewalk booth with baskets of garlic.

The co-op and its members have a broad commitment to the community. The co-op teaches classes in nutrition and healthy cooking to Brattleboro residents.

The photo shows the Co-op's exterior.

The Cooperative Building helped restore Brattleboro?s historic streetscape by putting parking behind the building to make pedestrian access easier.

By 2003, the Brattleboro Food Co-op, a local grocery store owned and operated by its members, was outgrowing its space on the south end of Main Street and was looking for a new property. The co-op?s leadership and members wanted to keep the store in downtown Brattleboro rather than relocate to a much less expensive site several miles outside of town. A central location would remain close to transit, downtown residents, and other shops and maintain the co-op?s role as an important employer in the city. Ultimately, the co-op decided to buy its existing property when it came up for sale; the site would give the co-op space to expand and create rental housing, which was needed in downtown Brattleboro.

The project partners decided to demolish the existing, single-story strip mall and build a four-story, mixed-use building with a strong street presence. The new development restored the historic streetscape pattern by putting the building close to the sidewalk, in line with the rest of Main Street and within walking distance to the town?s primary transit hub. Known as the Cooperative Building, it has the co-op on the ground floor, office space on the second floor, and 24 mixed-income apartments on the two top floors. The housing was included in response to community concerns about the lack of affordable rental units close to jobs and services downtown.

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"This project was always so much more than just a grocery store. I grew up in this town. For me, it was about helping to create a livable community and something we could all be proud of." –David Cadran, co-op employee and Cooperative Building resident

The co-op?s members also wanted to reduce environmental impacts. The site, previously contaminated by a dry-cleaning facility, was cleaned up. The building was moved away from the nearby brook and a green buffer was added to protect the water from pollution and the building from flooding. The building is energy-efficient and includes high-tech insulation, window glazing, and a green roof. An innovative heat exchange system uses heat that would typically be wasted by the co-op?s refrigeration equipment to heat the apartments, saving the equivalent of nearly 8,000 gallons of oil per year. The exterior of the building uses local Vermont slate, a natural and durable surface that offers better energy performance than conventional materials, and the development team paid particular care to weatherization and air sealing, an important consideration in Vermont?s cold climate. These features have cut per-square-foot energy costs by approximately 50 percent, which helps keep the apartments affordable.

The new co-op, completed in June 2012, has already had a positive impact. The project?s $12-million construction budget created about 400 jobs for local workers with a variety of skill levels, in addition to the co-op?s growing workforce of nearly 200 people. The co-op, Brattleboro?s only downtown food store, also engages the community in a variety of ways?it buys from local, organic growers, provides health education in local schools and has even established a state-of-the-art demonstration kitchen where Brattleboro residents can learn about nutrition and healthy eating. The co-op and its members are committed to helping Brattleboro thrive.

Honorable Mention

University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning

Larkin Development Group, Empire State Development, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, City of Buffalo, Neighborhood Housing Services of South Buffalo, Old First Ward Community Association, First Niagara Bank, Kevin Connors and Associates

For More Information:
Donna Kostrzewski
Vice President
Larkin Development Group
(716) 362-2677

Photo of a plaza with food trucks

The Larkin District has a number of public plazas and restaurants that bring new life into a formerly industrial area.

The Larkin District

For nearly a century, former warehouses and factories in Buffalo?s Hydraulics District sat empty, making the neighborhood look rundown and desolate. When community organizations and a local developer, who developed the historic Larkin at Exchange building in 2004, partnered with the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning, it sparked revitalization throughout the neighborhood. Architectural students created a master plan for an urban village that became the foundation for redevelopment. The area, now referred to as the Larkin District, has become a lively, mixed-use neighborhood only a mile from downtown.

The market was uncertain during the initial redevelopment of the Larkin at Exchange Building, but the early success led to more demand, which in turn encouraged cleanup of brownfield sites and the reuse of additional historic buildings that fit with the neighborhood?s character. The plan called for creation of a strong identity driven by the area?s history of innovation, distinctive gateways and street themes, improved transportation, and a network of green public spaces. The Larkin District now has thousands of square feet of office space, three new eating establishments, loft-style apartments, parks, and plazas. Streets include new sidewalks, lighting, crosswalks, bicycle lanes, bus shelters, and other improvements to make walking, biking, and public transit more appealing. A ?Lark ?n? Ride? program offers bike-sharing and taxi services.

Revitalization of the Larkin District benefits the wider Buffalo community. It has demonstrated the market for living and working in a downtown neighborhood, preserved historic character, and brought new local and national businesses. A planned pedestrian-friendly traffic circle in the district would complete Buffalo?s Frederick Law Olmsted-designed park system by linking its northern and southern sections, which will open up new recreational amenities and also strengthen Buffalo?s historic and cultural connections.

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Programs and Policies


Destination Portsmouth

In 2009, after completing a revision of its comprehensive plan, the city of Portsmouth undertook a broad review of its development and land use regulations. The cumulative result was Destination Portsmouth?the passage of a package of new plans, zoning ordinances, and other development policies, developed in collaboration with community stakeholders, that support and implement the vision outlined in the city?s comprehensive plan. These policies replace outdated regulations to provide clarity for developers and help the city get the type of development it wants.

Man on a bike.

Destination Portsmouth is making streets throughout the city more pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly.

The City of Portsmouth Department of Planning

Ferrell Madden & Lewis, Wallace Roberts & Todd, Clarion Associates, Hellmuth Obata and Kassabaum (HOK) Architects, Commonwealth Architects

For More Information:
Fred Brusso
Interim Planning Director
City of Portsmouth
(757) 939-8836

Photo of sidewalk and street

High Street, the heart of Portsmouth?s downtown commercial district, will be transformed into multimodal thoroughfare with mixed-use buildings, light rail, and an inviting streetscape.

This is a photo of a woman running.

An extended pedestrian path along the Elizabeth River brings Portsmouth?s residents back downtown for exercise, picnics, and concerts.

Portsmouth, a mid-sized city in the Chesapeake Bay in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area, lost 20 percent of its population in recent years. Despite a strong employment base, including three major military installations?the Naval Hospital, Navy Shipyard, and Coast Guard Headquarters?Portsmouth was having trouble keeping those employees in the city after work, losing most of them to nearby suburbs. To encourage development, have workers live in Portsmouth, attract new businesses, and protect historic character, Portsmouth?s community leaders did a major update to their comprehensive plan to spur community-wide reinvestment and revitalization by supporting development in targeted growth areas. However, the city?s codes and ordinances, written in the mid-1980s, were not compatible with the type of development that the city wanted for its future, creating a wide gap between vision and implementation. City leaders realized they would need new, more flexible codes to implement the comprehensive plan, protect Portsmouth?s historic neighborhoods, and redevelop the downtown.

Over an 18-month period, the city rewrote its regulations to create a more walkable, sustainable, and convenient Portsmouth for residents and visitors. The new policies, which encourage redevelopment and infill to use land more efficiently, apply to all properties within city limits and were adopted unanimously by the city council. The regulatory revision makes compact, walkable development by-right, meaning that development proposals that meet these criteria are administratively approved with no need for costly or complicated variances. In addition, city staff can now quickly approve minor adjustments to development proposals. These reforms make the development process more predictable?and therefore easier and more cost-effective?for developers.

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"As a resident and business owner in Olde Towne Portsmouth, I appreciate the opportunity that the city afforded me for significant public engagement during the planning process in designing my city."– Ed Forlines, co-owner of Way Back Yonder Antiques

The new development policies include more flexible zoning ordinances; required streetscape and green infrastructure improvements; and plans for transportation, floodplain management, historic preservation, and environmental protection. The new regulations are intended to encourage growth in downtown and nearby neighborhoods and include guidance tailored to these areas to promote mixed-use, mixed-income development. The city provides incentives to developers to incorporate green building and pedestrian amenities into their designs by offering more flexible density and parking requirements. With the passage of each ordinance, the city underwent an extensive community engagement process to get feedback and ensure that the community?s goals and vision were fully represented. The ultimate goal of Destination Portsmouth is to give Portsmouth?s residents more choices while enhancing the city?s economic vitality and protecting critical natural resources.

Portsmouth is already seeing changes along its historic waterfront and in its central neighborhoods. New businesses are opening, buildings and homes are being redeveloped in the city?s core, streets are becoming more walkable, and military employees are remaining downtown after work for restaurants and events. Portsmouth?s comprehensive reform of its development regulations is helping set a foundation for growth that meets the community?s goals.

Honorable Mention

Metropolitan Transportation Commission

Low Income Investment Fund, Association of Bay Area Governments, Great Communities Collaborative, Ford Foundation, Living Cities, The San Francisco Foundation, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, Citi Community Capital, Morgan Stanley, Bay Area CDFI Consortium

For More Information:
Doug Johnson
Senior Planner
Metropolitan Transportation Commission
(510) 817-5846

Photo of a high rise building

The Eddy & Taylor Building will provide housing for low-income households, plus a ground-floor grocery store to serve the community.

Bay Area Transit-Oriented Affordable Housing Fund

The San Francisco Bay Area, known for its high cost of living, has notoriously high housing prices, particularly for homes near public transportation. Lower-income residents?the people who often depend most on affordable transportation options?find it hard to afford these homes and are pushed to the outer edges of metropolitan areas, away from jobs, amenities, and public transit. The Bay Area Transit-Oriented Affordable Housing Fund responds to this challenge by providing loans for developers to build affordable homes near public transportation in Priority Development Areas?areas in an existing community that are near fixed transit or comparable bus services.

The $50-million fund was launched through a program created by the Bay Area Metropolitan Transportation Commission. The Commission began with an initial $10 million, and private-sector partners, community development financial institutions, and foundations provided an additional $40 million. As a revolving fund, once the original investments are repaid, it can continue to finance additional projects without requiring new donations. This design gives the fund relatively high risk tolerance and low interest rates compared to conventional loans, and developers can secure funding for projects that would otherwise be impossible. The fund also helps developers preserve sites by providing ?patient capital,? allowing them to acquire and hold land before securing full project financing.

As of 2012, the fund has provided loans to two projects: Eddy & Taylor Family Housing, a 153-unit high-rise for low-income families located two blocks from a major transit station; and Leigh Avenue Senior Apartments, a 64-unit building for seniors that is close to a light-rail station and will provide free transit passes for all residents. In its first 10 years, the fund is expected to finance the construction of 800 to 2,200 affordable, energy-efficient units, which will continue to increase transit-accessible housing options for people in the Bay Area.

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Equitable Development


The Mariposa District

The transformation of Denver?s historic and diverse La Alma/Lincoln Park neighborhood into the Mariposa District is turning an area in need of redevelopment into a vibrant, mixed-use district close to schools, jobs, and the 10th and Osage light-rail station. Thanks to extensive community engagement, Mariposa?s development features environmental measures and emphasizes healthy living for residents.

Photo of booths set up on sidewalks.

Mariposa is home to a diverse group of residents who benefit from neighborhood events, nearby amenities, and proximity to public transit.

Denver Housing Authority

City of Denver, Colorado Housing Finance Authority, Colorado Department of Local Affairs, Governor?s Energy Office, Regional Transportation District, Denver Health, Denver Public School District, The Partnership for Sustainable Communities, National Renewable Energy Lab, Denver ARTS and Venues, Art District on Santa Fe, Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, Citibank, Enterprise Community Partners, The Richman Group

For More Information:
Kimball Crangle
Senior Developer
Denver Housing Authority
(720) 932-3000

Photo of community engaged at public meeting.

The Denver Housing Authority facilitated over 120 public meetings and community engagement events and translated documents into three languages.

Photo of the light rail.

The 10th and Osage light-rail stop quickly and easily connects Mariposa to downtown Denver.

In 2009, the Housing Authority of the City and County of Denver (DHA) began redevelopment of a 17.5-acre public housing site in the La Alma/Lincoln Park neighborhood. Partnering with community groups, the city of Denver, and other stakeholders, DHA led an extensive public engagement process to create the South Lincoln Redevelopment Master Plan for the new Mariposa District. The plan articulates a vision for an economically diverse neighborhood that preserves existing affordable housing while adding new middle-income and market-rate homes, for a total of about 800 housing units where only 270 existed before. The plan goes beyond housing to create a complete neighborhood with easy access to downtown Denver via light rail, within walking distance of health care and recreation facilities, and close to the vibrant Art District on Santa Fe.

To develop the master plan, DHA held more than 120 meetings, discussions, group consultations, workshops, and information sessions. Planners conducted door-to-door interviews, translated outreach materials into three languages, facilitated training sessions for affected public housing residents, and conducted surveys, many of which targeted traditionally underrepresented groups such as young people and non-English speakers. Through this process, residents expressed concerns about being priced out of their community as the renovations went forward. These concerns moved DHA to ensure that no public housing residents would be displaced against their choosing, even during construction.

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"I learned how the concerns of residents could become part of the plan for the redevelopment as long as we voiced our thoughts? Our goals and ideas have been included, which will make this a place where we want to continue to live."– Katrina Aguirre, Mariposa resident

Another main concern for the community was health, specifically the high frequency of obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and asthma among area residents, along with poor prenatal and senior health care. The community-led development team conducted a health impact assessment for the project and partnered with Denver Health, a public safety net hospital, to assess current conditions and set targets for progress. During the assessment, the team worked with the neighborhood?s Boys and Girls Club to complete a Pedestrian Environmental Quality Index to determine the site?s walkability and identify areas for improvement. The master plan responds to health concerns by adding sidewalks and pedestrian walkways throughout the development, bicycle lanes and bikeshare stations, secure bike parking in housing units and parking garages, and links between new open spaces and existing parks. Other community health concerns are addressed through education programs such as classes that teach healthy eating and cooking and job-training for young people in health-related fields.

The district uses creative practices to protect the environment. The plan prioritizes walking, biking, and transit, which reduces pollution from vehicles. Green building elements will reduce energy consumption by up to 50 percent across Mariposa, with 75 to 80 percent of building rooftops dedicated to renewable energy. Green infrastructure strategies will reduce stormwater flows into the storm sewers by 80 percent.

The Mariposa District, slated for completion in 2018, provides affordable, transit-accessible homes to residents of all income levels in a neighborhood that helps people live healthier lives. DHA?s efforts to build community trust make sure that the new development meets residents? needs while also preserving Mariposa?s exceptional assets: its neighborhood identity, a strong sense of community, and the culture shared by its residents.

Honorable Mention

The Housing Authority of the City of Fort Lauderdale

Carlisle Development Group, Step-Up

For More Information:
Ken Naylor
Chief Operating Officer
Carlisle Development Group
(305) 476-8118

Photo of people at a table handling seedlings.

Northwest Gardens? 7,000-square-foot urban farm generates $1,000 worth of vegetables per week and sells food to local restaurants and residents.

Northwest Gardens

After decades of disinvestment, Northwest Fort Lauderdale has struggled with high levels of crime, poverty, and unemployment. The Northwest Gardens development addresses these challenges by giving residents more affordable homes and new opportunities. Through safer streets and social support; job training and education programs; and more than 550 LEED-certified, high-quality, affordable homes, this rapidly transforming community is becoming a model for economic, environmental, and social sustainability.

Northwest Gardens is anchored by a commitment to community development through public engagement. The housing authority?s Step-Up Apprenticeship Program provides neighborhood youth with on-site construction training as they complete their GEDs. Apprentices have built all of the cabinets at Northwest Gardens; some have since found full-time positions, while others have taken leadership roles in overseeing Northwest Gardens? 7,000-square-foot urban farm?the true community center and heart of the neighborhood.

The redesigned neighborhood is one of the first communities in the nation to receive LEED for Neighborhood Development certification and offers a range of energy-efficient, community gathering spaces, while a network of wide sidewalks connects the district. Major bus lines and a community shuttle link the neighborhood to the rest of the city. Residents benefit from savings on water and electric bills each month, lower transportation costs, and an abundance of food grown in their own neighborhood.

By improving the quality of the neighborhood and bringing new residents, Northwest Gardens is continuing to fuel local reinvestment. The housing authority has replaced former public housing with affordable homes, generating enough rent to sustain the development over the long term. Proving that green building, safety, and education are not luxuries, Northwest Gardens has changed a community.

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Thanks to our review panel members

Chris Beck
U.S. Department of Agriculture

Kaid Benfield
Natural Resources Defense Council

Christopher Forinash
Institute for Sustainable Communities

Katie Grasty
U.S. Department of Transportation

Hank Greenberg

Julia Koster
National Capital Planning Commission

Doug Loescher
Civic Strategies Group

Sunaree Marshall
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Vernice Miller-Travis
Maryland State Commission on Environmental Justice and Sustainable Communities, Skeo Solutions

Melissa Quirk
National Low Income Housing Coalition

Jeff Speck
Speck & Associates LLC

Jess Zimbabwe
Urban Land Institute

Photo Credits

Front cover
Lancaster, CA: Photo courtesy of EPA.

How Smart Growth Protects the Environment
Portland, OR: Photo courtesy of Housing Authority of Portland, Oregon.
Breckenridge, CO: Photo courtesy of Poplar Wellington.

Overall Excellence in Smart Growth
The BLVD Transformation
Top: Photos courtesy of City of Lancaster.
Bottom: Photo courtesy of EPA.

Main Street or Corridor Revitalization
The Cooperative Building
Left: Photo courtesy of EPA.
Middle: Photo courtesy of Brattleboro Food Co-op.
Right: Photo courtesy of Gossens Bachman Architects.
The Larkin District
Photo courtesy of Larkin Development Group.

Programs and Policies
Destination Portsmouth
Top: Rendering courtesy of Urban Advantage.
Bottom and top right: Photos courtesy of EPA.
Bay Area Transit-Oriented Affordable Housing Fund
Photo courtesy of David Baker + Partners, Architects.

Equitable Development
The Mariposa District
Top: Photos courtesy of Denver Housing Authority
Bottom: Photo courtesy of EPA.
Northwest Gardens
Photo courtesy of Carlisle Development Group.

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