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Sustainable Communities Pilot Project in 5 Cities, Including National City, CA

Sustainability depends on the "system" in which we live, work and play. And that is the ENTIRE community. EPA, HUD and DOT are piloting system-wide sustainable community retrofits.

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Taking one look at the nighttime photo of the United States and you can guess that sustainability is a BIG issue. Then peer out the window of a 200mph airliner as you cross the midwest...and you get another glimpse of mono-culture communities. Sustainability is a BIG project, and only by tackling it at the community level will we be able to make significant, optimal movement toward a "green economy".

EPA, HUD and DOT Partnership Supports Iowa City, Iowa, for Sustainable Communities Pilot

Iowa City, Iowa, has been selected as one of five sustainable communities pilot projects in the United States as part of a partnership between EPA and the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Five sustainable communities pilots are included in this "Sustainable Communities Pilot"

  • Iowa City, IA
  • Boston, MA
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • Denver, CO
  • National City, CA

The Smart Growth pilots are part of EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson’s initiative to bring HUD, DOT and EPA together in areas where there are formerly contaminated sites, transportation infrastructure investments and the need for affordable housing.

“We are proud that one of our communities has been chosen for this pilot,” said Karl Brooks, EPA Region 7 Administrator. “We hope this sustainable communities pilot will help us learn how to bring new life to communities while preserving the environment. We especially praise the city for their efforts. Local government makes the key land use decisions. We look forward to working together in the future.”

Iowa City was chosen for the flood-impacted Riverfront Crossings District and the redevelopment potential of the brownfields, petroleum brownfields, underground storage tank sites, vacant properties, and other underused sites. The goal of this project is to create strategies to identify, clean up, and redevelop these properties into a revitalized Riverfront Crossings District. Iowa City has already completed the groundwork necessary to successfully redevelop the Riverfront Crossings District. The city is working with EPA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and state partners to develop a vision for the District’s redevelopment.

Currently, the District contains a mix of student housing, auto-oriented commercial businesses and industrial use sites.

Iowa City plans to revitalize the District by developing walkable urban neighborhoods that will provide a mix of

  • affordable housing
  • ground floor retail and office space
  • pedestrian-oriented streetscapes
  • entertainment and recreation facilities
  • public open space, trails,
  • other open space amenities along the Iowa River
  • transportation investments for a light rail system are pending

The technical assistance provided through these sustainable community pilots will serve as a model for future partnerships between EPA, HUD and DOT to address blight and sustainable redevelopment throughout the nation.

For more information on the Partnership for Sustainable Communities go to:

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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