EPA Greening America's Communities Program

Greening America's Communities (formerly known as Greening America's Capitals) is a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) program to help cities and towns plan for environmentally friendly neighborhoods that incorporate innovative green infrastructure strategies. In collaboration with U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) through the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, EPA provides design assistance to help support sustainable communities that protect the environment, economy, and public health - and to inspire state leaders to expand this work elsewhere. Every year since 2010, the program has selected 5 cities to support through a national competitive process. 

EPA provides design assistance to the selected state capital cities and hires a team of designers to help each city with a particular design problem. EPA funds a team of designers to visit each city to produce schematic designs and illustrations intended to complement a larger planning process for the pilot neighborhood.  For example, in 2013 Olympia, Washington received assistance in order to incorporate green infrastructure along Capitol Way to reduce stormwater runoff, improve access to businesses and the waterfront, and adapt to climate change.

The projects demonstrate green, sustainable design that can create and enhance interesting, distinctive neighborhoods that have multiple social, economic, and environmental benefits. These solutions also can help communities improve streets to accommodate bicyclists and pedestrians as well as drivers, encourage new economic development, prepare for climate change, build on local history, and create a sense of place.

A pamphlet, “Lessons from Greening America’s Capitals projects - Five helpful hints for communities wanting to be greener” describes five lessons from the first two rounds of Greening America's Communities projects that can help all communities incorporate green design strategies into their planning and development.

In 2020, Greening America’s Communities is partnering with the EPA’s Heat Island Reduction Program to serve four communities addressing heat issues: Bernalillio County, New Mexico, Birmingham, Alabama, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, Idaho.

If you have any trouble accessing the website link above, please find here an archived page. You may find this has limited use. 



Publication Date: 2010

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