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Atlanta among Recipients of Smart Growth Assistance Provided by EPA

Release Date: 02/12/2013
Contact Information: William McBride, 404-562-8378 (direct), 404-562-8400 (main), mcbride.william@epa.gov

ATLANTA – Today, The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that the City of Atlanta, GA will receive technical assistance through the Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Program.

EPA consulted with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Transportation to select this year’s 43 recipients from 121 applicants through a competitive process. EPA staff and national experts will conduct workshops that focus on the specific sustainability goal each community chose in their initial application to EPA. The agency offered nine tools this year, including using smart growth to build economic and fiscal health, exploring neighborhood planning for healthy aging
, creating a Green Streets Strategy, and creating sustainable strategies for small cities and rural areas.

Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities is a project of the Partnership for Sustainable Communities among EPA, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). The interagency collaboration coordinates federal investments in infrastructure, facilities, and services to get better results for communities and use taxpayer money more efficiently. 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.

Atlanta is receiving assistance with supporting Equitable Development. This tool will help communities evaluate their needs around equitable development and identify the most effective tools and strategies to address these priorities. Equitable development principles provide communities with a path to improve their quality of life and economic opportunities while ensuring that existing residents are not displaced and have full access to the benefits of these improvements. Equitable development is not just about affordable housing; it includes the full range of factors that contribute to residents’ quality of life, including access to high-quality employment; safe, walkable neighborhoods; regional transportation connections; and access to the amenities, services, and community institutions residents need to thrive.

“Creating resilient communities is vital to protecting public health and the environment, “said Regional Administrator Gwen Keys Fleming. “EPA’s Building Blocks Program will give city leaders and other community partners the necessary tools to stimulate local economies and promote thriving, sustainable communities”.

Nationally 43 communities - rural, urban, and suburban - will receive technical assistance to pursue sustainable growth that encourages local economic development while safeguarding people’s health and the environment.
To date, 141 communities have received EPA’s assistance through the Building Blocks program. Together, EPA, HUD and DOT form the federal Partnership for Sustainable Communities, which coordinates investments in housing, transportation, and environmental protection to get better results for communities and use taxpayer money more efficiently.

More information on the Building Blocks program:
http://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/buildingblocks.htm



More information on the Partnership for Sustainable Communities: http://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/partnership/index.html


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