Communities across the United States are exploring smart growth and other environmentally sustainable approaches to revitalize their economies, create jobs, protect clean air and water, prepare for climate change-related impacts, and improve quality of life. However, when trying to implement these approaches many communities run into barriers such as outdated zoning codes and other regulations, polluted sites that deter investment, and deteriorating public infrastructure. Moreover, many communities lack the technical expertise to implement smart growth strategies and the resources to educate local stakeholders about the environmental, economic, health, and quality of life benefits these approaches can bring.
The Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Program provides quick, targeted technical assistance to selected communities using a variety of tools that have demonstrated results and widespread application. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) delivers the assistance using teams of experts who conduct workshops in the selected communities. The program is geared toward communities that are relatively new to environmentally sustainable approaches but have a basic understanding of smart growth principles and how they apply locally.
EPA is offering two tools this year to select communities.
- Communities with Superfund and/or Brownfield properties are invited to apply for our Strategies for Neighborhood Reinvestment tool. The tool will help them identify and implement policies to increase the redevelopment potential of contaminated properties by creating better conditions for real estate investment in the neighborhoods surrounding them.
- Communities embarking on street infrastructure projects, and thus digging up and reconstructing streets, are invited to apply for our Green and Complete Streets tool. The tool will help them capitalize on water infrastructure upgrades as an opportunity to rebuild more pedestrian and bike-friendly streets that better manage stormwater on-site.
The applicant can be a local, county, or tribal government, or a nonprofit organization that has the support of the local government on whose behalf they are applying.
Please see the online FAQs
or contact Charles Gurkin at Gurkin.Charles@epa.gov