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Governors' Institute on Community Design


About the Governors’ Institute on Community Design

The Governors’ Institute on Community Design helps governors and their staff make informed decisions about investments and policy decisions that influence the economic health and physical development of their states.

By harnessing the expertise of leading practitioners and academicians in public policy, economic development, community design, real estate development, and regional economics, the Governors’ Institute helps state executive teams shape the future of communities throughout their states.

The Governors’ Institute recognizes that each state faces its own challenges. Working with a governor’s staff and cabinet, the institute provides tailored technical assistance, typically through one- to two-day workshops that bring together the governor and his or her staff with nationally renowned experts to address issues the governor has identified. This assistance is designed to provide state leaders with practical strategies for creating vibrant, economically competitive communities. Assistance often includes:

The Governors’ Institute is led by a council of former governors who have a long history of promoting smart growth approaches to development. The council includes Parris Glendening (former governor of Maryland), Christine Todd Whitman (former governor of New Jersey and a former EPA Administrator), Tom Ridge (former governor of Pennsylvania), Chet Culver (former governor of Iowa), and James Lee Witt (former head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency). The institute is an initiative of the HUD-DOT-EPA Partnership for Sustainable Communities and is administered by Smart Growth America.

While the assistance the Governors’ Institute provides differs from state to state, there are common elements.

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Examples of Past Workshops

The Governors’ Institute conducts three to four workshops a year. Some examples include:

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Why Is EPA Involved?

Decisions about how and where to grow are the prerogative of states and localities. State policies have a profound impact on growth patterns and, ultimately, on environmental quality and human health. EPA provides financial and technical support to the Governors’ Institute because air quality, water quality and supply, and public health all are linked to how and where we grow. EPA’s support for the institute helps states better understand how growth affects their environment and human health and provides tools for them to plan for economic growth while protecting the environment and public health.

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How to Apply

To request assistance, contact the Governors’ Institute at info@govinstitute.org or 202-207-3355 x120. The Governors’ Institute is an ongoing project, so requests for assistance can be made at any time. There is no application deadline.

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More Information and Resources

For more information on the Governors’ Institute, please visit the Governors’ Institute website Link to EPA's External Link Disclaimer.

If you have questions about EPA’s role in supporting the Governors’ Institute, please contact Stephanie Bertaina (202-566-0157, bertaina.stephanie@epa.gov).

Policies that Work: A Governors' Guide to Growth and Development Link to EPA's External Link Disclaimer is a publication for governors, staff, and cabinet secretaries that outlines policies, administrative actions, and spending decisions that have led to smarter growth in states.

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