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Smart Growth

Greening America's Communities

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Greening America's Communities (formerly known as Greening America's Capitals) is an EPA program to help cities and towns develop an implementable vision of environmentally friendly neighborhoods that incorporate innovative green infrastructure and other sustainable design strategies. EPA provides design assistance to help support sustainable communities that protect the environment, economy, and public health and to inspire local and state leaders to expand this work elsewhere.

Screenshot of map from Community Stories story mapRead about the Little Rock, Arkansas, Greening America's Capitals project and its results in the EPA Community Stories map (link will open in new window or tab).EPA funds a team of designers to visit each community to produce schematic designs and exciting illustrations intended to catalyze or complement a larger planning process for the pilot neighborhood. Additionally, these pilots are often the testing ground for citywide actions, such as changes to local codes and ordinances to better support environmentally sustainable growth and green infrastructure. The design team and EPA, along with partners from other federal agencies, also help city staff develop specific implementation strategies.

In 2020, Greening America's Communities partnered with EPA’s Heat Island Reduction program to serve four communities that are exploring the use of green infrastructure to address excessive heat issues:

  • Bernalillio County, New Mexico
  • Birmingham, Alabama
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, Idaho

Please contact Clark Wilson (202-566-2880, if you have any questions.

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Past Partner Communities

EPA has helped 33 communities with sustainable design strategies through either the former Greening America’s Capitals Program or the newer Greening America’s Communities Program:

  • Austin, Texas
  • Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • Brownsville, Texas
  • Burlington, Iowa
  • Carson City, Nevada
  • Charleston, West Virginia
  • Columbia, South Carolina
  • Columbus, Ohio
  • Des Moines, Iowa
  • Frankfort, Kentucky
  • Hartford, Connecticut
  • Hattiesburg, Mississippi
  • Helena, Montana
  • Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Jackson, Mississippi
  • Jefferson City, Missouri
  • Lansing, Michigan
  • Lincoln, Nebraska
  • Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Madison, Wisconsin
  • Montgomery, Alabama
  • Montpelier, Vermont
  • Multnomah County, Oregon
  • Muscatine, Iowa
  • Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  • Olympia, Washington
  • Phoenix, Arizona
  • Pierre, South Dakota
  • Richmond, Virginia
  • Rochester, New Hampshire
  • Washington, D.C.

    The reports from these projects offer detailed ideas for communities that are looking for environmentally friendly ways to revitalize neighborhoods, spur economic development, offer transportation options, improve public health, and protect natural resources.

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