Sustainable Communities Building Blocks

Background

Many communities around the country are asking for tools and resources to help them achieve their desired development goals, improve the quality of life for their residents, and make their communities more economically and environmentally sustainable. In response to this demand, EPA developed the Sustainable Communities Building Blocks Program.

The Sustainable Communities Building Blocks Program seeks to provide quick, targeted technical assistance to 20 communities using a variety of tools that have demonstrated results and widespread application. This technical assistance will help selected local and/or tribal governments to implement development approaches that protect the environment, improve public health, create jobs, expand economic opportunity, and improve overall quality of life.

Each technical assistance project in a community will include:

  • Public engagement — for example, a one-day workshop that is open to the general public.
  • Direct consultation with relevant decision-makers.
  • A memo outlining specific steps the community could take if it wants to implement the ideas generated during the site visit.

Among the tools that will be used are zoning code reviews, walkability assessments, parking policy analysis, climate action planning, commuter benefits, complete streets, and fiscal and economic tools.

Applying for Sustainable Communities Building Blocks

EPA announced a Request for Letters of Interest (RFLI) on February 3, 2011 (PDF)
About PDF. Letters must be received by February 23, 2011. See the RFLI for information on how to apply.

Subsequent application periods will depend on budget constraints and will be announced here.

Please notify Julia Lave Johnston in the Governor’s Office of Planning & Research if you apply. Julia.johnston@opr.ca.gov

916-324-4002

There are 8 tools that communities can ask EPA to provide technical assistance on at a one day workshop. They include:

Tool #1: WALKING AUDITS

Tool #2: PARKING AUDITS

TOOL #3: SUSTAINABLE LAND USE CODE AUDITS

TOOL #4: SMART GROWTH ZONING CODES FOR SMALL CITIES AND RURAL AREAS

Tool #5: COMMUTER BENEFITS

Tool #6: USING SMART GROWTH TO PRODUCE FISCAL AND ECONOMIC HEALTH

Tool #7: COMPLETE STREETS

Tool #8: CLIMATE ACTION PLANNING