WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today committed to help the capital cities of five states pursue high quality green development that includes cleaning up and recycling vacant lands, providing greater housing and transportation choices, and reducing infrastructure and energy costs. Through its new Greening America’s Capitals program, the EPA will fund private sector experts to provide sustainable design assistance to Boston; Jefferson City, Mo.; Hartford, Conn.; Charleston, W.Va.; and Little Rock, Ark. The cities will demonstrate how to develop sustainable designs that create interesting, unique neighborhoods with multiple social, economic, environmental and public health benefits.
“America’s cities can be the engines of green innovation, leading the way in new technologies, energy efficiency and sustainable development,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “EPA and our colleagues in the Partnership for Sustainable Communities are working with capital cities throughout the country to spark the sustainable, green innovations that can meet the needs of multiple communities, and keep our cities on the cutting edge of the global green economy.”
Greening America’s Capitals is a new project of the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, an agreement between EPA, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to coordinate federal housing, transportation, and environmental investments; protect public health and the environment; promote equitable development; and help address the challenges of climate change. HUD and DOT were involved in the city review and selection process and will be providing technical expertise on relevant portions of each project.
The five state capitals were selected from a total of 38 cities that responded to a solicitation of interest by EPA in June 2010. The agency will organize teams of urban planners and landscape architects to provide direct, customized technical assistance as requested by each community.
Greening America’s Capitals is not a grant program, but provides direct technical assistance to communities by working with private sector experts and leveraging partnerships, such as with HUD and DOT, to help communities consider development options. In addition to helping the selected state capitals build civic pride and a greener future, this assistance will help create models that other cities can look to in creating their own sustainable designs.
For more information: http://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/greencapitals.htm