EPA wants communities to apply for smart growth assistance

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is inviting applications from communities interested in exploring barriers to smart growth and testing innovative strategies that can create healthier, more sustainable places to live, work, and play.

EPA’s Smart Growth Implementation Assistance (SGIA) program provides technical assistance to help communities grow in ways that improve the local economy, the environment and people’s health.

The program aims to help applicants develop solutions to local challenges, such as managing stormwater, increasing transit-oriented development, and adapting to climate change, and to share those solutions with other communities.

EPA will be accepting applications from tribal, local, regional and state governments and nonprofit organizations that have partnered with a governmental entity for their request for assistance. Applications will be accepted until March 1, 2013. EPA will provide assistance to three to four communities selected from this round of applications.

EPA is seeking applications in the following four categories:

1. Community Resilience to Disasters and Climate Change — Projects should aim to develop planning principles and building design guidelines that ensure future development provides communities with better protection against storms, floods and other natural disasters.

2. Redevelopment for Job Creation — Projects should aim to support growing industries that provide quality jobs for existing residents using land use policies that direct development to existing neighborhoods, are pedestrian-friendly, allow for transit connections, and are close to businesses and public services.

3. Manufactured and Modular Homes in Sustainable Neighborhood Design — Projects should help communities that are using manufactured and modular homes to address sudden population and economic growth. These communities should provide a mix of uses and maximize existing streets and other infrastructure investments, community gathering spaces and water and energy efficiency.

4. Medical and Social Service Facilities Siting — Projects should aim to explore planning for high-quality community service facilities, including health care centers and social services centers, in ways that support neighborhood economic development and healthy communities.

Since 2005, the SGIA program has helped an array of communities from across the country on issues such as stormwater management, code revision, transit-oriented development, affordable housing, infill development, corridor planning, green building and climate change.

In 2009, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) became involved with the SGIA program through the Partnership for Sustainable Communities.

This interagency collaboration coordinates federal investments in infrastructure, facilities, and services to get better results for communities and use taxpayer money more efficiently. In many cases, HUD and DOT serve on the SGIA technical assistance teams, and help identify how SGIA projects can complement and build on past and future federal investments.

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The Clarion Energy Content Team is made up of editors from various publications, including POWERGRID International, Power Engineering, Renewable Energy World, Hydro Review, Smart Energy International, and Power Engineering International. Contact the content lead for this publication at Jennifer.Runyon@ClarionEvents.com.

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