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EPA Recognizes Tempe, Ariz. for Smart Growth Achievements

Release Date: 12/01/2009
Contact Information: Margot Perez-Sullivan perezsullivan.margot@epa.gov 415-947-4149

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson today recognized Tempe and three other diverse communities that are models of how to grow in ways that protect our nation’s air, land, and water; reduce greenhouse gas emissions; provide safe and affordable housing; and strengthen local economies.

“Every year the Smart Growth Achievement Award winners show us new and creative ways to bring environmental sustainability to our communities -- and this year is no exception,” said EPA Administrator Jackson. “Smart Growth has an important role to play in building a new foundation for prosperity in communities across the nation. Innovative Smart Growth techniques give communities from urban to suburban to rural the chance to be environmentally sustainable and economically resilient.”

For Smart Growth and Green Building, the City of Tempe is being honored for the Tempe Transportation Center. The Tempe Transportation Center is a model for sustainable design, a vibrant, mixed-use regional transportation hub that incorporates innovative and green building elements tailored to the Southwest desert environment. The Tempe Transportation Center is a true multi-modal facility that integrates a light rail stop, the main city bus station, and paths for bicyclists and pedestrians.

The city of Tempe designed the Tempe Transportation Center as a multi-use green facility that is not only a transportation hub, but also a gathering spot for the community. The center, which replaced a 2.7-acre surface parking lot, provides much-needed public amenities, including a community room and a shaded public plaza. Additional uses include a transit store, a café, shops, and offices, including the city of Tempe’s Transportation Division. Also notable, the center does not provide any automobile parking beyond spaces reserved for persons with disabilities.

Other winners include Lancaster County Planning Commission for Envision Lancaster County, the City of Charlotte for Urban Street Design Guidelines and the Chicago Housing Authority, FitzGerald Associates Architects and Holsten Real Estate Development Corporation for Parkside of Old Town.

The four award winners demonstrate the community benefits of aligning housing, transportation, and environmental objectives, one of the key goals of the new Partnership for Sustainable Communities between EPA, the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Dept. of Transportation. The partnership helps rural, suburban, and urban communities improve access to affordable housing, create more transportation options, and lower transportation costs while protecting the environment.

EPA created the National Award for Smart Growth Achievement in 2002 to recognize exceptional approaches to development that protect the environment, foster economic vitality, and enhance quality of life. Over the past eight years, 623 communities in 47 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, have applied to EPA to be considered for this award. In addition to presenting the annual awards, EPA’s Smart Growth Program helps America's communities turn their visions of the future into reality through research, tools, partnerships, case studies, grants, and technical assistance.

More information on the winners and EPA's Smart Growth Program:
http://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/

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