Smart Growth Winners Show Innovative Solutions
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced the four winners of the first National Awards for Smart Growth Achievement.
The award recognizes innovative approaches and actions taken by state, local and regional governments to achieve smart growth. Each award recipient incorporated principles of smart growth to create places that respect community culture and the environment, foster economic development and enhance quality of life.
Arlington County, Virginia won the award for Overall Excellence, for Smart Growth in the Rosslyn/Ballston Corridor. Arlington planned dense, mixed use development at five commuter train stations creating urban villages where people live, shop, work and play using transit, pedestrian walkways, bicycles or cars.
The Breckenridge Planning Department in Colorado won the Built Projects award for the Wellington Neighborhood. This project recycles land, creates affordable housing for working families, provides a free transit shuttle to the nearby downtown and helps the region avoid mountain sprawl.
The City County Association of Governments of San Mateo County, California won the award for Policies and Regulations for its Transit-Oriented Development Incentive Program. This program uses transportation funds to help towns that build housing near rail stations, linking land use with efficient use of the existing transportation system.
The state of Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs won the Community Outreach and Education award for the Community Preservation Initiative. This is a statewide smart growth program that helps municipal officials and community leaders understand the potential effects of future growth and make more informed choices.
“Communities from around the country can learn from today’s winners,” said Whitman. “Each one provides valuable lessons that can be put to use to improve the quality of life today and for generations to come.”
The creation of the National Awards for Smart Growth Achievement was announced by Whitman on January 24, and over 100 applications were submitted in this first competition. Winning entries were selected based on their ability to be replicated and the effectiveness in advancing smart growth and on the level of citizen and stakeholder participation or partnership.
The competition was open to state, regional or local governments and other public sector entities.
Provided by theEnvironmental News Service.