Assistance from EPA
EPA’s Request for Letters of Interest has been posted on the Building Blocks page at http://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/buildingblocks.htm#afepa
Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities provides quick, targeted technical assistance using a wide variety of tools designed to help stimulate a discussion about growth and strengthen local capacity to implement sustainable approaches. EPA will select up to 44 communities through a competitive process; applications will be accepted between September 26 and October 26.
EPA will offer nine tools in 2013:
1. Planning Bikeshare Programs: Provides a framework for exploring the potential to establish or expand a bikeshare program in a community.
2. Supporting Equitable Development: Helps communities evaluate their needs around equitable development and identify the most effective tools and strategies.
3. Neighborhood Planning for Healthy Aging: Helps communities explore the role of supportive neighborhood design in creating great places for aging residents.
4. Parking Audit: Helps communities evaluate local parking policies and offers advice on parking management strategies, drawing from successful strategies in other communities.
5. Creating a Green Streets Strategy: Helps communities begin to develop strategies for greening their streets by adapting national best practices and case studies to their local context.
6. Using Smart Growth to Produce Fiscal and Economic Health: Helps communities evaluate how to get better economic results from private development and public investments.
7. Green Building Toolkit: Helps local governments identify policies that support compact development that features sustainably built homes and buildings.
8. Sustainability Strategies for Small Cities and Rural Areas: Offers a menu of quick fixes that rural and small-town governments can make to their zoning codes and planning documents to protect community character and quality of life.
9. Land Use Strategies to Protect Water Quality: Helps local governments examine land use approaches to green infrastructure that manage the negative impacts of storm water.
The EPA refines each tool in order to create a completed set of tools that any community can use with limited outside assistance. Once a tool “graduates,” it is placed online. In 2012, EPA launched its first completed tool, the Walkability Workbook, which guides communities through the process of conducting a walking audit. Developed by the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute with support from EPA, this tool helps communities assess the pedestrian environment and form a vision for short- and long-term improvements to sidewalks and streets.