Tuesday, February 17, 2015

EPA Sustainability Workshops

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is conducting sustainability workshops in 18 states and 22 communities. On January 27, EPA announced that it will provide technical assistance designed to engage smart and sustainable development strategies in local economies.

As part of this initiative one or two day sustainability workshops will be conducted in 22 communities selected from among 121 applicants to the Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities program.

Since 2011 The Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities program has helped 130 communities in 41 states to, "implement smart growth and sustainable approaches that protect the environment, improve public health, create jobs, expand economic opportunity, prepare for the effects of climate change, and improve overall quality of life.” ​​

The 2015 EPA workshops will incorporate the following five tools in 22 communities:

1. Bikeshare Planning: Helps communities lay the groundwork to establish a bikeshare system, discussing feasibility, system planning, business plans, system operations, and health, safety, and social equity.

Communities: Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Fresno, California; Passaic County, New Jersey; St. Petersburg, Florida

2. Infill Development in Distressed Communities: Helps local governments in distressed communities identify obstacles to development in their downtown core and strategies for overcoming those obstacles.

Communities: Canton, Mississippi; Danville, Illinois; Marysville, Washington; Terre Haute, Indiana

3. Flood Resilience for Riverine and Coastal Communities: Helps communities adapt to climate change and plan for disaster resilience by auditing local plans, policies, and development regulations.

Communities: Mobile, Alabama; Newburyport, Massachusetts; New Paltz, New York; Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, California; Scituate, Massachusetts

4. Sustainable Strategies for Small Cities and Rural Areas:Uses EPA's Small Town and Rural Code and Zoning Audit Tool to identify barriers to smart growth in local development codes, programs, initiatives, and policies to help small cities and towns achieve their goals for sustainable development patterns and economic growth.

Communities: Damariscotta, Maine; Nederland, Colorado; Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Wisconsin; Steamboat Springs, Colorado

5. Supporting Equitable Development: Helps communities evaluate their needs around equitable development and identify strategies to manage neighborhood change and support community goals around housing, culture, and local businesses.

Communities: Asheville, North Carolina; Austin, Texas; Cincinnati, Ohio; Polk County, Iowa; Prichard, Alabama

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