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EPA to Provide Smart Growth Technical Assistance to Omaha, Neb.

Release Date: 02/07/2013
Contact Information: Kris Lancaster, 913-551-7557, lancaster.kris@epa.gov

Environmental News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(Lenexa, Kan., Feb. 7, 2013) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced that the City of Omaha, Neb., will receive technical assistance through the Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities program. The announcement was made at the New Partners for Smart Growth Conference in Kansas City, Mo.

EPA awarded Omaha an Economic and Fiscal Health Workshop. The workshop will provide Omaha with key assistance to minimize private and public development costs while maximizing property values and associated revenues.

“The Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities program coordinates federal investments in infrastructure and helps communities make smart planning choices,” said Karl Brooks, EPA Region 7 Administrator. “We would like this Omaha project to inspire other cities to embrace smart growth initiatives and programs.”

EPA's technical assistance will help Omaha find ways to reinvest in the city's core by establishing the proper mix of land uses, creating a range of housing options, and strengthening existing neighborhoods transforming the city into a more sustainable community. This assistance will build on work being done in the community in partnership with International Business Machines’ Smart Cities Challenge program.

Across the nation, EPA awarded 43 communities with technical assistance through the Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities program. EPA selected this year’s recipients from 121 applicants through a competitive process in consultation with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Transportation. The partnership is helping communities across the country create more housing choices, make transportation more efficient and reliable, reinforce existing investments, and support vibrant and healthy neighborhoods that attract businesses.

With assistance from EPA-funded private sector experts, the communities will focus on a specific development tool, such as green building, land use strategies to protect water quality and using smart growth to produce economic and fiscal health. Communities will also learn about other strategies for development that can improve the environment and the economy.

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