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EPA Smart Growth Grants from 2003 RFIPs


Five communities awarded cooperative agreement for Smart Growth in Brownfield Communities

EPA's "Open Space Preservation Strategies for Promoting Smarter Growth and Environmental Preservation" initiative, announced in 2002, recognizes the critical importance of linking open space preservation and brownfield redevelopment through a smart growth approach to achieve better environmental protection. The Smart Growth in Brownfield Communities grant program is an important component of this plan.

In 2003, the grant program awarded about $400,000 to five Brownfields Showcase communities across the U.S. to incorporate smart growth into their planning, revitalization, and/or redevelopment efforts. Using smart growth principles in brownfield redevelopment can create greater benefits from the reuse of these infill sites, reduce demand for land for development on the urban fringe, and improve the air and water quality of the regions in which they are applied. Grant recipients emphasize projects that feature innovative community actions or successful responses to barriers to smart growth implementation and brownfields redevelopment that can be replicated in communities across the country.

City of Allegan, Michigan

EPA will provide funding for the city to conduct an intensive, two-year, citizen-based planning process. This planning will result in the development and adoption of a building code to facilitate brownfield and infill development consistent with the town's vision of stimulating investment and creating a compact, mixed-use, and pedestrian-friendly community.

City of Toledo, Ohio

The Toledo Public School System is currently financing the construction and renovation of schools at a total cost of nearly $800 million over a 12-year period. The city would like to leverage this investment and stimulate brownfield redevelopment in neighborhoods where schools are located. EPA funding will help coordinate brownfields redevelopment and school construction/renovation by providing funding that helps the city adopt a ranking system to evaluate development proposals and implement a community involvement plan.

Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

Residents and public officials envision a county where existing urban centers are major hubs of commerce and population. Current traffic and parking standards limit the county's ability to achieve this vision. EPA funding will be used to implement a Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy that promotes investment in the county's historic urban centers and changes current parking and traffic standards, thus removing barriers to smart growth and brownfield redevelopment.

Update: The county approved the Gateways Revitalization Strategy (PDF) (58 pp, 10MB) in May 2007.

The Gateway plan was created to: (a) reconnect various areas of the community through a coherent and cohesive visioning and land use plan; (b) revitalize the economic base by recycling industrial land consistent with job-producing opportunities tied to clean growth industries; (c) improve and build on infrastructure and public/private partnerships that will help attract a variety of uses needed to support residents, prospective employers, and visitors; and (d) strengthen opportunities to retain current residents and attract infill development in the form of new, mixed-use development that will enhance the sense of community.

More information about this project is on the Lancaster County Planning Commission web site for the Gateways Project. Link to EPA's External Link Disclaimer This site includes additional project products, including case studies and ordinance change recommendations, as well as demographic and market data and analysis. 

City of Emeryville, California

The city is committed to expanding housing and transportation choices and creating a distinctive and attractive community through brownfield redevelopment. Concerns about groundwater contamination, incompatibility of land uses, traffic congestion, and density have curtailed brownfield redevelopment. EPA funding will help Emeryville address these concerns by supporting development and implementation of guidelines to minimize stormwater runoff and groundwater contamination; coordinating land use changes with current parking supply and transportation options; and promoting human-scale, pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use development.

Update: The city adopted these guidelines in December 2005. Click here to read more about Emeryville's Stormwater Guidelines for Green, Dense Redevelopment.

Downriver Community Conference in Southgate, Michigan

The funding will help develop a tool for certifying communities in the Detroit region as being "smart growth ready." Communities that meet best practices in site plan approval, RFP/RFQs, land assembly, title clearance, and inter-agency coordination will be certified as "smart growth ready." This certification will help stimulate private sector interest and increase demand for brownfield redevelopment.

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Smart Growth America awarded cooperative agreement for Streamlining Development and Regulatory Reform

On August 27, 2003, EPA awarded a cooperative agreement to Smart Growth America to provide assistance to localities and municipalities interested in addressing three important obstacles to environmentally friendly, smart growth development: 1) regulatory barriers, 2) development approval processes, and 3) development design review. The deadline for proposals was April 29, 2003.

Update: The Smart Growth Leadership Institute, a project of Smart Growth America, developed the Smart Growth Implementation Toolkit to help communities identify and overcome barriers to smarter growth and more sustainable development. The toolkit includes a scorecard to examine proposed projects and "audits" of policies and codes. Smart Growth Implementation Toolkit.Link to EPA's External Link Disclaimer

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United States Green Building Council awarded cooperative agreement for National Smart Growth Certification Program

On September 2, 2003, EPA awarded a cooperative agreement to the US Green Building Council to develop a third-party certification system for smart growth development. EPA believes that smart growth certification systems can help achieve the smart growth goals communities set for themselves and at the same time improve the environment. The deadline for proposals was April 25, 2003.

Update: Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND) is being developed in partnership with the Congress for the New UrbanismLink to EPA's External Link Disclaimerand the Natural Resources Defense CouncilLink to EPA's External Link Disclaimer. Through funding from EPA and other sources, the USGBC was able to develop the pilot version of the voluntary rating system and begin the pilot process. The pilot version of the rating system assesses points in three categories: Location and Linkage; Neighborhood Pattern and Design; and Green Construction and Technology. Depending on the number of points earned, an applicant will get a certified, silver, gold, or platinum rating. After the pilot is completed, revisions will be made to the rating system and the public will have an opportunity to comment. Adoption of the final rating system is anticipated in 2009. Click here for more informationLink to EPA's External Link Disclaimer.

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Smart Growth America awarded cooperative agreement for Smart Growth Starter Kits

On September 5, 2003, EPA awarded a cooperative agreement to Smart Growth America to develop new outreach tools to educate decision-makers, professional groups, and other interested parties about smart growth to reduce the environmental impacts of development. The deadline for proposals was April 29, 2003.

Update: In 2005, Smart Growth America produced an electronic library of smart growth resources from more than 100 organizations, which includes road-tested presentations and materials by local and national leaders and organizations, publications and fact sheets, and Web links to more than 100 additional resources.
Visit Smart Growth America's Web site to order a copy of the Smart Growth SharewareLink to EPA's External Link Disclaimer.

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Local Government Commission awarded cooperative agreement for National Smart Growth Conference

On September 17, 2003, EPA awarded a cooperative agreement to the Local Government Commission to organize a national smart growth conference. This conference will be a national, multi-disciplinary event that focuses on diverse smart growth issues and participants. The deadline for proposals was April 25, 2003.

Update: Visit the New Partners for Smart Growth web site to learn about the annual conferenceLink to EPA's External Link Disclaimer.

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Local Government Commission awarded cooperative agreement for Combining Smart Growth and Emergency Response

On September 26, 2003, EPA awarded a cooperative agreement to the Local Government Commission to address the nexus of smart growth street design and emergency response issues. Smart growth street designs can be key to mitigating the air and water impacts of development and the environment. The deadline for proposals was April 25, 2003.

Update: LGCLink to EPA's External Link Disclaimerhas produced two fact sheets through this grant. The first, "Traffic Calming and Emergency Response," discusses retrofit solutions, and the second, "Street Design and Emergency Response," looks at initial street design. LGC also used the funding to conduct meetings with planners, engineers, and fire officials in California. Click here for copies of the fact sheets and more information about the projectLink to EPA's External Link Disclaimer.

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CONCERN, Inc awarded cooperative agreement for SGN web site

On July 6, 2004, EPA awarded a cooperative agreement to CONCERN, Inc for the development and management of a Smart Growth Network web site to provide environmental education on responsible development practices and smart growth. This award was made in response to EPA's SGNWEB-04 solicitation that was issued on October 15, 2003. The proposal deadline was December 15, 2003.

Update: Visit the Smart Growth Network Web siteLink to EPA's External Link Disclaimer

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