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EPA Administrator Joins Denver Mayor at Sustainable Community as part of President Obama’s “Clean Energy Week” / Administrator Jackson cites Denver community as a model, highlights new federal partnership to advance sustainable communities

Release Date: 06/23/2009
Contact Information: Betsaida Alcantara,, 202-564-1692, 202-564-4355

WASHINGTON – As part of President Obama’s Clean Energy Week, EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson joined Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper for a tour of Highlands’ Garden Village community in Denver. Administrator Jackson commended the residential, office and retail development as a model for urban planning and energy efficiency and highlighted a new federal partnership to advance sustainable communities across the nation.

Earlier Tuesday, President Obama spoke about a comprehensive energy plan for America’s future, highlighting the potential for job creation, cost savings, and environmental protection. Colorado’s success and innovation on renewable energy and energy efficiency is leading the way in our nationwide transition to a clean energy future.

“Today President Obama called for America to lead the world in the clean energy future – and that leadership begins in our communities. The planning, energy innovation and efficiency at Highlands’ Garden Village provide a local model for economic growth and environmental sustainability that can happen all around the world,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “Our national transition to clean energy – including sustainable communities – can create millions of jobs, give us global leadership in the clean energy industry, and provide the security of real energy independence.”

Highlands’ Garden Village is an EPA award-winning compact, mixed-use community that includes housing, office, retail, parks and entertainment. The energy-efficient residences in the neighborhood were built in 1998 and include a mix of apartments, townhomes, single-family homes, and a co-housing community that host professionals, families and older residents. Residents can access downtown Denver easily via bus or bicycle and the accessibility of many nearby services and amenities offer significant reductions in car trips and vehicle miles traveled.

“Highlands’ Garden Village is a great example of how, when we work together, we can bring about socially and environmentally responsible development,” said Mayor Hickenlooper. “This community is a model for the country that shows we can create an alternative to urban sprawl and reduce greenhouse gas emissions without sacrificing our quality of life.”

Recent development at the community includes the addition of a large grocery, gym and a dry cleaning business that use renewable energy and employ environmentally friendly and resource-saving technologies. The Sunflower Market is a LEED Gold-certified facility with state-of-the-art energy and waste management systems. Solar awnings operated on the windows of the 24 Hour Fitness generate electricity for the business area’s street and parking lights.

The event at Highlands’ Garden Village underscores last week’s agreement between EPA, the Department of Transportation, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development to help promote sustainable communities across the nation. The partnership is focused on the principles of livability, creating communities with improved access to affordable housing, more diverse transportation options, and closer proximity to schools, markets, jobs and recreation.

EPA awarded the Highlands’ Garden Village project a national SmartGrowth Excellence Award in 2005. Since that time, the development has continued to adopt environmentally sensitive technologies and practices.

More information on Interagency Partnership for Sustainable Communities:

More information on the Highlands’ Garden Village SmartGrowth award:

More information on the Highlands’ Garden Village Development: