The US EPA recently announced a new set of technical assistance tools available through the Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Program. The next round of applications will be accepted starting September 24. EPA is providing webinars 9/21 and 9/27 for communities interested in learning more.
Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities provides quick, targeted technical assistance to selected local and/or tribal governments using a variety of tools that have demonstrated results and widespread application. The purpose of delivering these tools is to stimulate a discussion about growth and development and strengthen local capacity to implement sustainable approaches.
In 2013, EPA will select up to 44 communities for assistance. Each technical assistance project in a community will include:
- Public engagement, a one-day workshop that is open to the public.
- Direct consultation with relevant decision-makers.
- A memo outlining specific steps the community could take to implement the ideas generated during the site visit.
Technical assistance will be delivered by EPA staff and by four nonprofit organizations with extensive expertise in sustainable communities. These organizations—Forterra, Global Green USA, Project for Public Spaces, and Smart Growth America—have received grants from EPA to offer assistance using tools they have chosen.
Luke Forrest is Project Coordinator for the Center for 21st Century Communities. Contact him by email or Twitter.