U.S. EPA to Help Six Communities Develop Sustainable Design Strategies
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today it has selected six cities for technical assistance with sustainable design strategies under its Greening America’s Communities (GAC) program. The 2016 cities chosen for assistance are: Columbia, SC; Brownsville, TX; Oklahoma City, OK; Muscatine, IA; Honolulu, HI; and Multnomah County, OR.
“EPA is excited to roll up our sleeves and start working with the next round of cities through Greening America’s Communities,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “This program is another example of EPA making a visible difference in communities—helping build healthy, vibrant neighborhoods and stronger local economies centered on environmental sustainability.”
In the coming months, EPA will fund a team of designers to visit each selected city to create designs that will support a larger planning and implementation process for a pilot area. Through the Greening America’s Communities program, these teams will provide assistance to help communities use green infrastructure and other environmentally friendly designs to create more walkable, bikeable, and vibrant neighborhoods.
EPA will provide assistance for the following projects:
- Columbia, SC will create designs to protect an urban stream and create a greenway that will minimize flooding and establish a walkable connection through the Capital City Mill District.
- Brownsville, TX will add green infrastructure to the International Greenway along the U.S.-Mexico border to manage stormwater, create a more walkable street, and add shade and plants to cool an area experiencing higher temperatures due to climate change.
- Oklahoma City, OK will use green infrastructure to minimize flooding from a local stream and make improvements to streets in four neighborhoods that will increase safety and improve quality of life for residents.
- Muscatine, IA will receive assistance to redesign a former state highway that now serves as a city street to help it become a safer gateway into downtown for both cars and bicycles.
- Honolulu, HI will receive assistance to design street improvements and green infrastructure to better support walking and economic development around two planned rail stations.
- Multnomah County will create designs for streets and public spaces in the Jade District to address heat island and air quality issues, manage stormwater, bolster infill development, and support the character and concerns of the surrounding community.
Under the GAC program, formerly known as Greening America’s Capitals, EPA helped 23 capital cities and the District of Columbia with sustainable design strategies. Results from previous GAC projects include:
- Little Rock, AR received more than $3.2 million in public investment to revitalize Main Street.
- Charleston, WV received a $650,000 grant from the U.S Department of Transportation for Slack Plaza redesign.
- Lincoln, NE invested over $1.5 million from a U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development Community Development Block Grant and from local funds to add green infrastructure and other improvements along 11th Street.
- Baton Rouge, LA has secured $250,000 to begin detailed design of the Downtown Greenway and $100,000 for construction on the first section of the greenway trail.
- Phoenix, AZ spent $575,000 to complete the first phase of bike lanes and other road improvements along Grand Avenue.
- Montgomery, AL has spent $1.3 million of local funds to make improvements to the historic Selma to Montgomery Trail.
More information on Greening America’s Communities: