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.