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Smart Growth Implementation Assistance

Smart Growth Implemenation Assistance
Many communities want to foster economic growth, protect environmental resources, enhance public health, and plan for development, but may lack the tools, resources, and information to achieve their goals. In response to this demand, EPA developed the Smart Growth Implementation Assistance (SGIA) Program.

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Background on the Smart Growth Implementation Assistance Program

The SGIA program is an annual, competitive solicitation open to state, local, regional, and tribal governments (and non-profits that have partnered with a governmental entity) that want to incorporate smart growth techniques into their future development.

Once selected, communities receive direct technical assistance from a team of national experts in one of two areas: policy analysis (e.g., reviewing state and local codes, school siting guidelines, transportation policies, etc.) or public participatory processes (e.g., visioning, design workshops, alternative analysis, build-out analysis, etc.). The assistance is tailored to the community's unique situation and priorities. EPA provides the assistance through a contractor team – not a grant. Through a multiple-day site visit and a detailed final report, the multi-disciplinary teams provide information to help the community achieve its goal of encouraging growth that fosters economic progress and environmental protection.

EPA initiated the SGIA program in 2005 with three goals in mind:

  1. To support communities interested in implementing smart growth policies;
  2. To create regional examples of smart growth that can catalyze similar projects in the area; and
  3. To identify common barriers and opportunities for smart growth development and create new tools that other communities can use.

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Applying for SGIA

EPA selects communities from responses to Requests for Letters of Interest that are issued roughly once a year. The most recent request closed on March 1, 2013, but is available here for reference: Request for Letters of Interest (RFLI) (PDF) (6 pp, 236K, About PDF)

Frequent questions about the SGIA application process are answered here.

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Communities that have received assistance

EPA typically helps 3 to 5 communities each year through the SGIA program. Summaries and the final reports for the communities that have received assistance are available here.

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Other tools and technical assistance programs

Please see our Making Smart Growth Happen page for links to more tools and technical assistance programs.

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