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EPA Helping Five State Capitals Develop Green Infrastructure, Improve Climate Resiliency

Release Date: 09/23/2014
Contact Information: Enesta Jones, jones.enesta@epa.gov, 202-564-7873, 202-564-4355

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that it will provide technical assistance to help five capital cities develop green infrastructure that will contribute to greener, more vibrant neighborhoods and increase resiliency from the impacts of our changing climate. EPA selected the following cities for this year’s Greening America’s Capitals program through a national competition: Austin, Texas; Carson City, Nev.; Columbus, Ohio; Pierre, S.D.; and Richmond, Va.

“EPA is excited about the opportunity to work with five new capital cities as they pursue their vision of a more sustainable future through the Greening America’s Capitals program,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “Their projects will lay the groundwork for a greener, healthier environment that can help these cities become more resilient to climate change and other challenges, while acting as models for other communities.”

EPA will work with each city to provide design assistance that will make improvements in specific neighborhoods. Each project will focus on incorporating green infrastructure by using vegetation, soils, and natural processes to manage stormwater. Green infrastructure can help cities realize numerous benefits for people and the environment.

EPA will provide assistance for the following projects:


    Austin, Texas, will receive assistance to create design options to improve pedestrian and bike connections in the South Central Waterfront area, and to incorporate green infrastructure that reduces stormwater runoff and localized flooding, improves water quality, and increases shade.

    Carson City, Nev., will receive assistance to improve William Street, a former state highway that connects to the city’s downtown. The project will help the city explore how to incorporate green infrastructure through the use of native plants, and to enhance the neighborhood’s economic vitality.

    Columbus, Ohio, will receive assistance to develop design options for the Milo-Grogan neighborhood that use green infrastructure to improve stormwater quality, reduce flooding risks, and encourage walking and cycling.

    Pierre, S.D., will receive assistance to redesign its historic main street, South Pierre, in a way that uses green infrastructure to reduce stormwater runoff and improve resiliency to extreme climate conditions.

    Richmond, Va., will receive assistance to design options for more parks and open spaces, and to incorporate green infrastructure to better manage stormwater runoff on Jefferson Avenue, a street which serves as the gateway to some of Richmond’s oldest and most historic neighborhoods.


Since 2010, EPA has helped 18 capital cities and the District of Columbia create community designs that help clean the air and water, stimulate economic development, and make existing neighborhoods more vibrant places. The final designs provide models for other communities interested in adopting similar approaches that can improve the environment, strengthen local economies, and protect public health.

The Greening America’s Capitals program aims to help communities consider ways to incorporate sustainable design strategies that yield multiple environmental, economic, and social benefits into their planning and development. EPA implements this program in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Transportation through the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, a program that helps communities create more housing and transportation choices that result in better environmental outcomes for communities.

More information on Greening America’s Capitals:
https://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/greencapitals.htm

View design options for several Greening America’s Capital cities on Flickr:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/usepagov/sets/72157647526563747

More information on green infrastructure: http://water.epa.gov/infrastructure/greeninfrastructure/index.cfm