4 Communities Win Smart Growth Awards
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson recognized four diverse communities that are models of how to grow in ways that protect our nation's air, land, and water; reduce greenhouse gas emissions; provide safe and affordable housing; and strengthen local economies.
"Every year the Smart Growth Achievement Award winners show us new and creative ways to bring environmental sustainability to our communities -- and this year is no exception," said EPA Administrator Jackson. " Smart Growth has an important role to play in building a new foundation for prosperity in communities across the nation. Innovative Smart Growth techniques give communities from urban to suburban to rural the chance to be environmentally sustainable and economically resilient."
The four recipients of the 2009 National Award for Smart Growth Achievement are:
- Overall Excellence: Lancaster County Planning Commission for A Envision Lancaster County. Lancaster County, in south-central Pennsylvania, is known for its historic towns and villages and its fertile farmland. To maintain the county's character, its diverse economy, and its natural resources for future generations, the Lancaster County Planning Commission established a countywide comprehensive growth management plan, which protects valuable farmland and historic landscapes by directing development to established towns and cities in the county.
- Policies and Regulations: City of Charlotte for Urban Street Design Guidelines. As the central city in a rapidly growing metropolitan area, Charlotte, N.C., is under intense development pressures. Rather than continue the automobile-dominated development patterns of the last 50 years, Charlotte adopted Urban Street Design Guidelines to make walking, bicycling, and transit more appealing and to make the city more attractive and sustainable.
- Built Projects: Chicago Housing Authority, FitzGerald Associates Architects, and Holsten Real Estate Development Corporation for Parkside of Old Town. Parkside of Old Town sits on eight city blocks that were once home to a public housing complex notorious for criminal activity. The redevelopment has transformed the neighborhood by reconnecting it to downtown Chicago and tying together mixed-income housing, parks, and new shops and restaurants.
- Smart Growth and Green Building: City of Tempe, Ariz. for the Tempe Transportation Center. The Tempe Transportation Center is a model for sustainable design, a vibrant, mixed-use regional transportation hub that incorporates innovative and green building elements tailored to the Southwest desert environment. The Tempe Transportation Center is a true multi-modal facility that integrates a light rail stop, the main city bus station, and paths for bicyclists and pedestrians.
These four award winners demonstrate the community benefits of aligning housing, transportation, and environmental objectives, one of the key goals of the new Partnership for Sustainable Communities between EPA, the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Dept. of Transportation. The partnership helps rural, suburban, and urban communities improve access to affordable housing, create more transportation options, and lower transportation costs while protecting the environment.