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EPA Recognizes Sustainable Communities with Smart Growth Awards

Release Date: 12/01/2010
Contact Information: Richard Yost,, 202-564-7827, 202-564-4355

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today recognized five projects with the 2010 National Award for Smart Growth Achievement for their comprehensive approach to improving quality of life. The projects make cities safer and more pleasant for pedestrians and bicyclists, manage growth to ensure long-term prosperity and health, and revitalize existing neighborhoods to provide new opportunities.

“We have a vision of American communities that are clean, healthy, environmentally responsible and economically resilient,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “The amazing work of the National Award for Smart Growth Achievement winners brings us closer to realizing that vision, and helps everyone – from government and business to everyday citizens – take part in addressing the urgent environmental and economic challenges we face as a nation.”

The recipients of the 2010 National Award for Smart Growth Achievement are:
Overall Excellence: Smart.Growth@NYC, New York, New York
PlaNYC 2030, New York City’s blueprint for planning future growth, provided the inspiration for multi-agency coordination on innovative policies and projects to improve the quality of life in the city. PlaNYC prepares for more population while adding small public spaces throughout the city, improving air and water quality, and improving public health with better access to fresh food and more options for walking and biking.

Smart Growth and Green Building: Miller’s Court, Baltimore, Maryland
Miller’s Court, a renovated tin can factory, offers new housing and commercial space in the center of a neighborhood that is gaining new life as a thriving, convenient urban setting. The project has spurred new economic activity nearby, from a small boutique bakery to a 200,000-square-foot retail and office development.

Policies, Programs, and Regulations: 2040 Growth Concept, Portland Metro, Oregon
Metro, the elected regional government of the Portland, Oregon, area, is making sure that future population growth can be accommodated through its “Making the Greatest Place” effort. Building on the 2040 Growth Concept, this effort helps protect current and future residents’ quality of life by providing access to transportation choices, investing in compact communities, and preserving farms and forests.

Rural Smart Growth: The Gateway 1 Corridor Action Plan, Maine
The Gateway 1 Corridor Action Plan covers a 100-mile stretch of Maine’s central coast along U.S. Route 1, from Brunswick to Stockton Springs. The collective effort by 20 towns to protect rural and scenic resources is a noteworthy achievement to preserve the environment and strengthen the economy along this regionally significant corridor.

Civic Places: Mint Plaza, San Francisco, California
Mint Plaza, in downtown San Francisco, is a formerly dilapidated city-owned alley converted into a public plaza and festival space with an innovative stormwater system. The project’s contemporary design respects its historic context while also providing a flexible public space for the surrounding neighborhood that brings people together.

These award winners embody the principles behind EPA’s work with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Transportation under the Partnership for Sustainable Communities. The agencies are improving access to affordable housing and providing more transportation options and lower transportation costs while protecting the environment. By investing in existing communities and valuing the unique assets found in rural, suburban and urban settings, they are also finding ways to spur new economic development and opportunity.

EPA created the National Award for Smart Growth Achievement in 2002 to recognize exceptional approaches to development that protect the environment, foster economic vitality, and enhance quality of life. The agency’s Smart Growth Program helps America’s communities turn their visions of the future into reality through research, tools, partnerships, case studies, grants, and technical assistance.

More information on the winners:

More information on the Partnership for Sustainable Communities: