National Award for Smart Growth Achievement
Through the National Award for Smart Growth Achievement, EPA recognizes and supports communities that use innovative policies and strategies to strengthen their economies, provide housing and transportation choices, develop in ways that bring benefits to a wide range of residents, and protect the environment.
Smart growth development practices support national environmental goals by preserving open spaces and parkland and protecting critical habitat; improving transportation choices, including walking, bicycling, and transit, which reduces emissions from automobiles; promoting brownfield redevelopment; and reducing impervious surfaces, which improves water quality.
To learn more about smart growth and the environment, see our Environmental Benefits of Smart Growth page.
The application period for the 2014 EPA Smart Growth Awards is not yet open. Please sign up for updates on the awards and other news from EPA’s Office of Sustainable Communities on the EPA Smart Growth Listserv or follow us on Twitter @EPAsmartgrowth.
2013 Award Winners
On January 30, 2014, EPA announced the winners of the 2013 National Award for Smart Growth Achievement. This year's award recognizes five winners and two honorable mentions in five categories.
- Overall Excellence in Smart Growth: Atlanta BeltLine Eastside Trail and Historic Fourth Ward Park – Atlanta, Georgia
The redevelopment of a formerly contaminated rail corridor into a multi-use trail and connected park system is sparking economic development, community engagement, and new affordable housing options in 45 city neighborhoods.
- Corridor or Neighborhood Revitalization: Historic Millwork District and Washington Neighborhood – Dubuque, Iowa
The conversion of a mostly vacant former mill district into a lively mixed-use neighborhood reconnected the area to downtown and the adjacent residential neighborhood.
- Policies, Programs, and Plans: GO TO 2040 – Metropolitan Chicago, Illinois
This seven-county regional plan for growth and economic development engages a wide variety of partners and links local planning efforts to a broad regional vision through tools and technical assistance.
Policies, Programs, and Plans (Honorable Mention): Lower Eastside Action Plan – Detroit, Michigan
This grassroots effort formed a plan for revitalization that engaged residents in creating a vision for a low-income, high-vacancy neighborhood and influenced citywide planning.
- Built Projects: La Valentina – Sacramento, California
An energy-efficient, mixed-income, mixed-use apartment building on a former brownfield site next to a light-rail station is transforming an industrial neighborhood and giving residents transportation options.
Built Projects (Honorable Mention): Via Verde – The Bronx, New York
This affordable, transit-oriented, highly energy-efficient building features design that emphasizes health and wellness for residents.
- Plazas, Parks, and Public Places: Charles City Riverfront Park – Charles City, Iowa
This multi-facility park built on a flood plain connects to downtown and adjacent low-income housing, brings economic benefits, and has become the recreational heart of the city.