Colorado Awarded Partnership for Sustainable Communities Grant

Colorado is getting a boost from the federal government in its efforts to promote sustainability.

Three federal agencies have awarded Colorado $4.5 million to promote sustainable and livable communities. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Department of Transportation announced the award on Wednesday October 20, 2010 as part of the Partnership for Sustainable Communities.

The Partnership for Sustainable Communities, announced in 2009, is an interagency agreement that “will coordinate federal housing, transportation, and infrastructure investments to protect the environment, promote equitable development, and help address the challenges of climate change,” according to the EPA website. Click here for more information regarding the Partnership for Sustainable Communities.

These joint grants will give $1.2 million to Colorado governor Bill Ritter’s Sustainable Main Streets Initiative. Announced in April 2010, the Initiative closely mirrors the EPA partnership and the pilot program includes four Colorado communities, the Five Points Neighborhood in Denver, Fowler, Monte Vista, and Rifle. The goal of the pilot program is for each community to show significant progress toward sustainability in one or more areas by the end of 2010. The communities are focusing on affordability and livability in the downtown areas, increasing access to local food sources, the reduction of greenhouse gases, and energy efficiency.

Prior to the federal award, the Sustainable Main Streets Initiative had yet to receive any government funding and there is no dedicated funding source in the initiative.

Hopefully, this federal grant will spark interest and action from state and local governments, as well as private developers. By promoting sustainability and livability in urban areas, many of the economic and environmental challenges we face today can be mitigated and communities as a whole can begin to thrive economically and environmentally.

For more information regarding Colorado’s $4.5 million grant, please read John Rebchook’s article at InDenverTimes.

Dave DeNovellis is currently pursuing a Masters in Environmental Law and Policy at the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law.

Welcome to the University of Denver Sturm College of Law/Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute Blog, a special section of! Here, University of Denver Sturm College of Law students will report on emerging, novel and contested land use and development issues from a sustainability perspective. We believe the development of the American West, and indeed the entire planet, necessitates a closer and more responsible look at not only how we use natural resources but how we build our communities and economies.We invite you to comment and engage with us over issues of interest to you. And we invite you to suggest topics for us to research and report on from our unique perspective as law students. But most of all, we invite you to take these ideas and share them with your friends and colleagues so we can all be involved in a more informed and forward-thinking discussion about our future.