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Balancing Growth and Quality of Life: National Smart Growth Achievement Award Recipients Announced

Release Date: 11/19/2003
Contact Information:

Judy Pino 202-564-7338/

(11/19/03) - Finding a balance between growth and development reaps rewards. Five communities were recognized today by the Environmental Protection Agency for their innovative approaches to projects ranging from the revitalization of brownfields to the renewal of urban centers, while still maintaining a sense of community identity and respect for the environment. The five recipients of EPA’s National Smart Growth Achievement Awards announced in a ceremony at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., incorporated the principles of smart growth in ways that could be replicated elsewhere.

“Our winners are models for other communities, and their efforts prove that people everywhere care about how and where we grow,” said EPA Administrator Michael Leavitt. “How we grow today influences not only how we live, but how future generations live. We must plan for growth in a way that protects our streams and rivers, keeps our air clean, and preserves areas of natural beauty and ecological importance.”

Smart growth development practices support national environmental goals by preserving open space and parkland and protecting critical habitat; improving transportation choices to reduce emissions from automobiles; promoting Brownfield redevelopment; and reducing polluted run-off.

The award categories and winners are as follows:
    Overall Excellence: The Metropolitan Council of Minneapolis-St. Paul for the Livable Communities program. The Met Council has awarded 292 grants totaling nearly $100 million to106 local jurisdictions in metropolitan area. The recipients have used funds to revitalize brownfields, create mixed use town centers, and to provide affordable and life cycle housing in rural, suburban, and urban settings.
    Built Projects: The Department of the Navy for the Village at Naval Training Center (NTC). This project reuses a decommissioned training center and creates attractive affordable housing for military families. The neighborhood is located 3 miles from downtown San Diego, adjacent to existing retail, and provides access to public transportation.
    Policies and Regulations: Cuyahoga County (OH) Treasurer’s Office for their Housing Enhancement Loan Program. This program is designed to encourage housing improvements in Cleveland and its first-ring suburbs. The County works with 6 banks to issue home improvement loans at 3 percent below market rate to residents in eligible communities. Since 1999 the program has generated over 4,700 loans totaling more than $57 million.
    Community Outreach and Education: Georgia Department of Community Affairs for the Georgia Quality Growth Program. The state offers a number of services to communities throughout Georgia including: on-site visits by resource teams, small grants, and a clearinghouse of Georgia examples of smart growth.
    Public Schools: Wake County Public School System/City of Raleigh, NC for the Moore Square Museums Magnet Middle School. The newly-constructed Moore Square school is located on a 4-acre block on the edge of downtown Raleigh near several museums and arts facilities. The school is drawing new residents and redevelopment to the adjacent neighborhoods, helping to stabilize the community.

This year, EPA received 112 applications from 31 states and the District of Columbia. Winning entries were selected based on the effectiveness in advancing smart growth, the ability to be replicated, and the level of citizen and stakeholder participation or partnership. The competition, now in its second year, was open to state, regional or local governments and other public sector entities. For more information about the National Awards for Smart Growth Achievement program and this year’s winners visit:

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