No-Cost Technical Assistance
Applications Due: December 20, 2013 at 6pm PST
Does your community want greener, more cohesive, and more vibrant neighborhoods?
Is your community interested in increasing resilience in the face of extreme weather events?
Are there significant projects on the horizon that your community wants to make sustainable?
Promoting Sustainability at the Right Scale: The Neighborhood
The current sustainability dialogue is increasingly focused on cities as a tool for improving ecological functions, enhancing economic growth, and supporting social equity. As a spatial and social unit, neighborhoods offer the potential for environmental resources to be shared, economies to be localized, and sustainable behavior to become embedded into social norms. Neighborhoods are also integral to increasing resiliency in the face of global climate change and extreme weather events. Resilient neighborhoods are better prepared to withstand, respond to, and recover from these events. Global Green is focused on reducing impact risks and increasing adaptive capacity at the neighborhood scale in an effort to introduce resiliency into the planning and development of sustainable neighborhoods.
How it Works: Sustainable Neighborhood Assessment
The assistance is based on the LEED for Neighborhood Development standard, which provides a nationally recognized method for creating neighborhoods that are walkable, bikeable, resource-efficient, and equitable. This free assistance is being provided under a grant to Global Green from the US EPA’s Office of Sustainable Communities Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Program. The estimated value of this assistance is approximately $20,000.
Through a 3-day intensive visit and consultation, the Global Green team of national experts evaluates how the sustainability of a specific neighborhood can be enhanced through an upcoming catalytic project.
Prior to the visit, the team conducts an extensive review of existing plans, the neighborhood form, and the existing pattern of development. During the site assessment, the team identifies the existing positive qualities of the neighborhood, consults with community stakeholders in meetings and a public workshop, and identifies major opportunities to improve neighborhood sustainability and resiliency.
At the conclusion of the visit, the team presents recommendations for both physical and policy changes that may include street width reductions, ecological restoration, integrated energy and water infrastructure, creating standards for in-fill and transit-oriented development, or zoning code revisions to allow for urban agriculture or mixed-use development.
Eligibility and Selection Process
Approximately seven communities will be selected for assistance in 2014. Eligible applicants are local and tribal governments. The Global Green team plans to select communities in a variety of regions, community sizes and types, and with a diverse set of populations.
Of the seven communities selected for assistance, up to two may be selected that were impacted by Hurricane Sandy. Eligible applicants for this category are located in counties in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut or Rhode Island that:
- Have received a major disaster declaration from FEMA as a result of Hurricane Sandy
- Are exploring opportunities to promote sustainability and increase resiliency in their recovery and rebuilding efforts
- Have considered or are in the process of considering changes to land use or street patterns during the process of rebuilding that will make their community more sustainable and resilient
All applications must be submitted online through the Global Green web portal. The deadline for applications is December 20, 2013 at 6:00 PM PST. Applications received after this deadline will not be reviewed.
Need and Urgency of Assistance [20 points]
How will this assistance make a difference in the community’s ability to apply sustainable neighborhood planning to local issues? How strong is the community’s interest in and commitment to creating sustainable neighborhoods?
Significant Upcoming Project [20 points]
Is there a significant specific project such as affordable housing, transit system upgrades, main street improvements that can be a catalyst for change in the selected neighborhood? What is the implementation timeline of the project?
Impact from Hurricane Sandy [20 points]
Is your community within EPA Regions 1 or 2 and does it meet the elegibility criteria described above for Hurricane Sandy? Describe the extent of damage incurred by the neighborhood as a result of Hurricane Sandy. Describe the rebuilding effort- what is the level of commitment to resilient and sustainable strategies? Describe any planning or rebuilding efforts to date.
Equity and Community Engagement [15 points]
To what degree does the identified neighborhood include low-income and historically disadvantaged communities? Is there a neighborhood organization actively working in the community or neighborhood on these issues? Are they involved in the assistance application?
Public Involvement and Team Support [20 points]
What is the city’s capacity to assist with public engagement and provide coordination and logistical support for the duration of the technical assistance process? How have local government, business and community leaders demonstrated their commitment in and capacity to participate in the technical assistance effort? The application requires a letter of commitment signed by the mayor, chair of the county commission, or comparable elected leader.
Involvement of City Leadership [10 points]
Is the city able and willing to implement the outcomes and findings of the technical assistance through various mechanisms which require cross departmental coordination?
Demonstration that the Project Contributes to a Larger Plan [10 points]
How does the project contribute to the larger vision of the community that is supported by key stakeholders?
Ability to leverage other federal, state, or philanthropic funds [5 points]
Has the community received related technical assistance from EPA, HUD, DOT, or other federal agencies in the past that could be augmented by this Building Blocks technical assistance effort? Has the city received other sources of funding that could support, leverage, or expand upon the technical assistance? Is the community concurrently applying for other assistance that could further leverage the assistance being requested here?
More LEED-ND Information can be found at: www.usgbc.org/leed/rating-systems/neighborhoods
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