Help for communities pursuing smart growth
Communities that want obtain technical assistance to help them tackle smart growth objectives are invited to submit letters of interest by Oct. 28 to the US Environmental Protection Agency or to any of four nonprofit organizations that are helping deliver assistance.
EPA is providing free consultation through two programs:
• The Smart Growth Implementation Assistance (SGIA) program is an annual, competitive solicitation open to state, local, regional, and tribal governments (and non-profits that have partnered with a governmental entity) that want to incorporate smart growth techniques into their future development. At the SGIA website, EPA says the communities that are selected "will receive direct technical assistance from a team of national experts in one of two areas: policy analysis (e.g., reviewing state and local codes, school siting guidelines, transportation policies, etc.) or public participatory processes (e.g., visioning, design workshops, alternative analysis, build-out analysis, etc.)." This program focuses on "complex or cutting-edge issues, and projects take about 18 months," according to EPA. "These projects explore innovative ideas to overcome barriers that are preventing communities from getting the kind of development they want."
Applicants for the SGIA program must contact EPA to be considered for this assistance.
• EPA's Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities program is geared to providing short, quick assistance on common development challenges. It helps communities interested in Complete Streets, a green streets strategy, a parking audit, preferred growth areas, a walking audit, and other topics. This assistance is delivered through four nonprofit organizations: Cascade Land Conservancy, Global Green USA, Project for Public Spaces, and Smart Growth America.
The four nonprofits have received grants from EPA to offer technical assistance—generally a one-day visit by a team of experts organized by EPA, HUD, and DOT.
To find out what kinds of assistance are available through the four nonprofits, as well as the application processes and schedules for applying for assistance from them, EPA asks that communities contact those organizations directly.
For answers to frequent questions about the Building Blocks program, click here.
For more in-depth coverage on this topic:
• Subscribe to New Urban News to read all of the articles (print+online) on implementation of greener, stronger, cities and towns.
• See the September 2011 issue of New Urban News. Topics: Walk Score, sprawl retrofit, livability grants, Katrina Cottages, how to get a transit village built, parking garages, the shrinking Wal-Mart, Complete Streets legislation, an urban capital fund, and much more.
• Get New Urbanism: Best Practices Guide, packed with more than 800 informative photos, plans, tables, and other illustrations, this book is the best single guide to implementing better cities and towns.