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EPA Offers Proven Solutions to Support Sustainable Community Goals

EPA

Release date: 02/03/2011

Contact Information: Richard Yost

On February 3, 2011, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched the Sustainable Communities Building Blocks Program, an initiative designed to help interested communities adopt sustainable planning methods. The program will provide quick, targeted technical assistance to 20 local and/or tribal governments in the United States, using a variety of tools that have demonstrated results and widespread application. This technical assistance will help communities implement development approaches that protect the environment, improve public health, create jobs, expand economic opportunity, and improve overall quality of life.

Each technical assistance project will include:

  • Public engagement — for example, a one-day workshop that is open to the public.
  • Direct consultation with relevant decision-makers.
  • A memo outlining specific steps the community could take if it wants to implement the ideas generated during the site visit.

Among the tools that will be used are zoning code reviews, walkability assessments, parking policy analysis, climate action planning, commuter benefits, complete streets, and fiscal and economic tools.

EPA will work with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to select 20 participating communities through a competitive process.

Sustainable Communities Building Blocks is being coordinated through the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, a joint effort between the EPA, HUD, and DOT to coordinate federal actions on housing, transportation, and environmental protection. This interagency collaboration achieves efficient federal investments in infrastructure, facilities, and services that meet multiple economic, environmental, and community objectives.

The application period opens on February 3 and ends on February 23, 2011.

More information and submission instructions for the Sustainable Communities Building Blocks Program:

http://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/buildingblocks.htm

More information on the Partnership for Sustainable Communities:

http://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/partnership/index.html

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State and local officials interested in additional information about developing and implementing cost-effective climate and energy strategies that help further environmental goals and achieve public health and economic benefits may visit:

http://www.epa.gov/statelocalclimate

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