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.
Apply for the 2015 Awards
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has extended the deadline for applications for the 2015 National Award for Smart Growth Achievement to Friday, September 19, 2014. Organizations that have already applied do not need to resubmit their applications but may, if they wish, revise and resubmit their applications by September 19.
The competition is open to public-sector, private-sector, and nonprofit organizations that have successfully used smart growth principles to improve communities environmentally, socially, and economically. All entries must include a public-sector partner. The categories are:
- Built Projects
- Corridor or Neighborhood Revitalization
- Plazas, Parks, and Public Places
- Policies, Programs, and Plans
- Overall Excellence in Smart Growth
Winners will be recognized at an awards ceremony in Washington, DC in September 2015. EPA will also produce videos of the winning projects that will be featured at the 2016 New Partners for Smart Growth Conference and posted on EPA’s Smart Growth website.
Entries must be submitted electronically using the official EPA application form (DOCX).
2015 will mark the 13th year EPA has offered the awards. Please note that no awards will be made in 2014.
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.
Lower Eastside Action Plan (Honorable Mention) – 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.
Via Verde (Honorable Mention) – 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.