Stormwater, green infrastructure design assistance for five state capitals through EPA program

Through its Greening America's Capitals (GAC) project, EPA will help the capital cities of Alabama, Arizona, Mississippi, Nebraska and the District of Columbia to create healthy communities through green development...

WASHINGTON, DC, Aug. 15, 2011 -- Through its Greening America's Capitals (GAC) project, EPA will help the capital cities of Alabama, Arizona, Mississippi, Nebraska and the District of Columbia to create healthy communities through green development.

Through the GAC project, EPA will provide design assistance from private-sector experts to help these capital cities demonstrate sustainable designs that create vibrant neighborhoods with multiple social, economic, environmental, and public health benefits.

The agency said the project will help stimulate economic development, provide more housing and transportation choices, and reduce infrastructure and energy costs.

The five selected cities are:

• Montgomery, Ala.
Montgomery will receive assistance to redesign a one-mile segment of the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail to improve the streetscape for walking and biking, include natural solutions to manage stormwater, known as green infrastructure, and create better connections between neighborhoods for pedestrians in an area crisscrossed by major highway overpasses.

• Phoenix, Ariz.
Phoenix will receive assistance that focuses on revitalizing Lower Grand Avenue, a key commercial strip that has the potential to become an area of economic growth by reusing historic buildings for a new mix of uses. The project will also provide examples of how to use green infrastructure in arid climates.

• Washington, DC
The District of Columbia will receive assistance to make three intersections at the Anacostia Metro Station safer and more effective for cars, pedestrians, and bicycles. The project will also develop design options for the surrounding streets and open spaces to improve the area for pedestrians and increase connections to nearby homes, stores, and the new St. Elizabeth's campus.

• Jackson, Miss.
Jackson will receive assistance to redesign a downtown segment of Congress Street, which runs past the Mississippi State Capitol and Jackson City Hall. Assistance will include retrofitting the street and adjacent public spaces with green infrastructure to manage stormwater, improve pedestrian access and safety, and encourage economic development.

• Lincoln, Neb.
Lincoln requested assistance to create a green infrastructure pilot project in the South Capitol neighborhood. In this residential area, just two blocks from the state capitol, improved streetscape design could better manage stormwater while supporting more walking, biking, and transit options.

The five capital cities were selected from 23 letters of interest received through a solicitation of interest by EPA. The agency will organize teams of regional urban designers, planners, and landscape architects to provide customized technical assistance as requested by each community.

GAC is a project of the Partnership for Sustainable Communities among EPA, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). The interagency collaboration coordinates federal investments in infrastructure, facilities, and services to get better results for communities and use taxpayer money more efficiently.

This is the second year of the GAC program. The capital cities selected last year were Boston, Mass.; Jefferson City, Mo.; Hartford, Conn.; Charleston, W.Va.; and Little Rock, Ark.

More information on GAC: http://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/greencapitals.htm

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