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Redding, Conn. Recognized by EPA for Balancing Development, Environmental Protection

Release Date: 11/16/2005
Contact Information:

Contact: Dave Ryan (, 202-564-4355
David Deegan (, EPA Office of Public Affairs, (617) 918-1017

For Immediate Release: November 16, 2005; Release # dd051111

(Washington, D.C.-Nov. 16, 2005) Redding Conn. was one of only five communities nationwide that today were presented with EPA's 2005 National Award for Smart Growth Achievement awards. The recognition is for enacting innovative approaches to development that strengthen community identity and protect the environment. The other award winners were in California, Florida and Colorado.

As communities around the country look for ways to grow that protect and enhance their natural environments and create prosperity, many are turning to smart growth strategies. They are cleaning and reusing previously developed land; providing more housing and transportation choices; preserving critical natural areas; and developing vibrant places to live, work, shop and play. In addition to creating great communities, these smart growth strategies also protect the quality of our air, water and land.

"Smart growth is smart for our environment, smart for our economy and smart for our quality-of-life. All in all, smart growth just makes sense," said EPA's Deputy Administrator Marcus Peacock. "The award-winning communities have embraced growth measures to the benefit of their residents, both today and in the future."

Redding was awarded under the "Small Communities" category. The town was recognized for the cleanup and redevelopment of the abandoned Gilbert & Bennett Wire Mill into a mixed-use, transit-oriented neighborhood. An extensive public and stakeholder participation process helped define the plans for cleanup of the contaminated facility and its redevelopment.

Many of the mill's original buildings will be preserved and rehabilitated, and buildings that covered over the mill stream will be removed. The stream will, once again, become an attractive feature of the town's landscape.

A performing arts center, health facility and 109,000 square feet of shops and restaurants will draw people back to the old commercial center of Redding, reducing the need to drive elsewhere for entertainment and shopping.

Now in its fourth year, The National Award for Smart Growth Achievement has recognized an impressive array of projects, policies and programs that protect the environment and promote healthy, vibrant communities.

The 2005 call for entries drew 63 applications from 26 states and the District of Columbia. The competition was open to state, regional, local governments and other public sector entities. Winners were selected based on how effectively they used smart growth strategies to improve their communities, and how well they engaged citizens and fostered partnerships.

EPA's Smart Growth program conducts research and policy analysis on smart growth issues, provides direct technical assistance to state and local governments and delivers outreach and public education in the Smart Growth Network. This network is a coalition of more than 30 state and national organizations focused on development issues.

For more information about the National Award for Smart Growth Achievement and this year's winners, visit:

The other Award categories and winners announced by EPA are:

Overall Excellence: Denver Urban Renewal Authority for redevelopment of an abandoned amusement park into Highland's Garden Village, an innovative, compact, mixed-use community that has become a model for development throughout the Denver metropolitan area.

Built Projects: City of Lakewood, Colo. and the Lakewood Reinvestment Authority for the redevelopment of a declining shopping mall into a walkable downtown called Belmar.

Policies and Regulations: City of Pasadena, Calif. Planning and Development Department for their Central District Specific Plan and Design guidelines. The plan was created with extensive input from citizens and stakeholders by utilizing a variety of outreach tools.

Military Base Redevelopment: City of Orlando, Fla. for redevelopment of the former Orlando Naval Training Center into a vibrant new neighborhood that will provide 4,100 homes, 6,000 jobs and 450 acres of lakes and parks, including two miles of lake front property reserved for public use.

Related Information:
Smart Growth
Brownfields Program in
New England

NE Brownfields Success Stories
Storm Water Topics
Non-Point Source