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EPA, HUD and DOT Partnership Supports Iowa City, Iowa, for Sustainable Communities Pilot

Release Date: 02/05/2010
Contact Information: Belinda Young, (913) 551-7463,

Environmental News


(Kansas City, Kan., Feb. 5, 2010) - Iowa City, Iowa, has been selected as one of five sustainable communities pilot projects in the United States as part of a partnership between EPA and the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Transportation. The Smart Growth pilots are part of EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson’s initiative to bring HUD, DOT and EPA together in areas where there are formerly contaminated sites, transportation infrastructure investments and the need for affordable housing.

“We are proud that one of our communities has been chosen for this pilot,” said Karl Brooks, EPA Region 7 Administrator. “We hope this sustainable communities pilot will help us learn how to bring new life to communities while preserving the environment. We especially praise the city for their efforts. Local government makes the key land use decisions. We look forward to working together in the future.”

Iowa City was chosen for the flood-impacted Riverfront Crossings District and the redevelopment potential of the brownfields, petroleum brownfields, underground storage tank sites, vacant properties, and other underused sites. The goal of this project is to create strategies to identify, clean up, and redevelop these properties into a revitalized Riverfront Crossings District. Iowa City has already completed the groundwork necessary to successfully redevelop the Riverfront Crossings District. The city is working with EPA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and state partners to develop a vision for the District’s redevelopment.

Currently, the District contains a mix of student housing, auto-oriented commercial businesses and industrial use sites. Iowa City plans to revitalize the District by developing walkable urban neighborhoods that will provide a mix of affordable housing, ground floor retail and office space, pedestrian-oriented streetscapes, entertainment and recreation facilities and public open space, trails, and other open space amenities along the Iowa River. Transportation investments for a light rail system are pending.

The remaining four sustainable communities pilots are located in Boston; Indianapolis, Ind.; Denver, Colo.; and National City, Calif.

The technical assistance provided through these sustainable community pilots will serve as a model for future partnerships between EPA, HUD and DOT to address blight and sustainable redevelopment throughout the nation.

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More information on the Partnership for Sustainable Communities

More information on EPA’s Smart Growth Program

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