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Bowling Green and Zolfo Springs, FL 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 neighboring Bowling Green, FL and Zolfo Springs, FL will partner to 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, Building Fiscal and Economic Health, and creating Sustainable Strategies for Small Cities and Rural Areas.

Bowling Green and Zolfow Springs are receiving assistance with creating sustainable strategies for Small Cities and Rural Areas. This workshop, tailored to small cities and rural areas, will offer a menu of “quick fixes” local government can make to their zoning codes to promote smart growth. Identifying hurdles to smart growth in local development codes—and ways to remove them—will help small cities and towns promote community goals, sustainable and efficient development patterns, and economic growth. This workshop will help participants understand the basic principles of smart growth and potential code changes that could be adopted to promote compact, walkable communities that encourage investment in existing neighborhoods while preserving farmland and open space.

“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”.

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.

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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