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Together We Can Grow Better: Smart Growth for a Sustainable Connecticut Capitol Region

Connecticut's Capitol Region Council of Governments (CRCOG) recognized an opportunity to leverage state efforts to increase affordable housing with additional guidance to ensure that those investments result in sustainable, green development in the region's municipalities. CRCOG received technical support from EPA's Smart Growth Implementation Assistance Program in 2008 to develop guidance for communities to site, plan, and develop housing that incorporates smart growth approaches and green building techniques.

As part of the assistance project, the EPA team held a community workshop to apply the guidelines to four model sites in urban, suburban, and rural contexts. This effort resulted in concept plans for mixed-use, mixed-income developments on a vacant shopping center site, an undeveloped rural parcel, and two other underperforming sites that both add affordable housing and show the benefits of incorporating a more sustainable, green approach to growth and development. 

Together We Can Growth Better: Smart Growth for a Sustainable Connecticut Capitol Region (2010) outlines processes that planners, developers, and community leaders can consider in planning their neighborhoods, town centers, and regions. It focuses on the Connecticut Capitol Region as an example of a region striving to grow smarter and increase its economic competitiveness while continuing to provide affordable, distinctive neighborhoods.

EPA also turned materials from the CRCOG assistance project into a publication relevant to communities across the country, Smart Growth Guidelines for Sustainable Design and Development. The guidelines provide specific approaches that can be incorporated at each step of the housing development process from site selection to building design.

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