News Releases from Region 04
EPA Recognizes Jackson Walk in Jackson, TN for Smart Growth Achievement
(09/16/15 - ATLANTA) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today recognized the Jackson Walk Project in downtown Jackson, Tennessee as one of three winners of the 2015 National Award for Smart Growth Achievement. Other winners include a new public park on a formerly contaminated site along the Passaic River in Newark, N.J. and new mixed-use developments in Hamilton, OH.
This award is given annually for creative, sustainable initiatives that better protect the health and environment of our communities while strengthening local economies. The 2015 award is presented to projects in three categories: Plazas, Parks, and Public Places; Corridor or Neighborhood Revitalization; and Built Projects.
"As part of our commitment to help communities grow in ways that protect the environment and support local goals, EPA is pleased to recognize the winners of this year's National Award for Smart Growth Achievement," said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. "The smart growth strategies behind this year's award winners are making a visible difference in their communities, and they provide models that can guide and inspire many others."
Jackson, Tennessee was recognized for its efforts in the Corridor or Neighborhood Revitalization category. For years, the city struggled to revitalize a declining downtown. In 2003, powerful tornados ripped away much of the downtown, destroying property and displacing residents and businesses. Jackson used the disaster as an opportunity to bring residents together to create a new vision for the downtown. That vision guided the development of Jackson Walk, a 20-acre mixed-use redevelopment district around a cleaned-up brownfield site that now provides affordable homes, new businesses, and a wellness center with an urgent care clinic. Increased property values have generated new tax revenues, and from 2012 to 2014, more than 30 new businesses opened, bringing jobs.
Award winners were chosen based on their effectiveness in creating sustainable communities; fostering equitable development among public, private, and nonprofit stakeholders; and serving as national models for environmentally and economically sustainable development.
EPA created the National Award for Smart Growth Achievement in 2002 to highlight exceptional approaches to development that protect the environment and public health, encourage economic vitality, and enhance quality of life. To date, more than 900 communities have applied for the award. Sixty-two communities from 26 states have been selected for smart growth approaches that other states, tribes, cities, suburbs, and rural communities can use to create economically strong, environmentally responsible development. EPA's Office of Sustainable Communities manages the awards program.
EPA will host a ceremony on September 17 to recognize the winners.
More information on the winners, including pictures and videos: http://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/awards.htm.