New grant opportunity, take advantage of region’s preferred sustainability status

Looking for funding for your community? The Environmental Protection Agency has announced a new grant program  for community assistance to build resilience and pursue revitalization.

Use the region's preferred sustainability status to get a grant for your community!

Use the region’s preferred sustainability status to get a grant for your community!

EPA is offering this technical assistance through the Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities program  to help communities across the country, including underserved communities, small cities and rural areas, adopt sustainable growth strategies.

The program aims to increase resilience to natural disasters and strengthen the economy while protecting human health and the environment. It provides quick, targeted technical assistance to communities using tools with demonstrated results and widespread application.

Through the Growing Transit Communities Partnership, the central Puget Sound region is designated as a preferred sustainable community for this grant program, which means applications from the region will receive extra consideration.

Applications will be accepted until November 20, 2014. EPA will host a webinar to discuss the program and the application process on Thursday, October 30, 2014, from 1 to 2 p.m. PDT.

Communities may apply for assistance on one or more of the following topics:

  • Equitable development
  • Infill development for distressed cities
  • Bikeshare planning
  • Sustainable strategies for small cities and rural areas
  • Flood resilience for riverine and coastal communities

EPA will select up to 25 communities through a competitive process.

Selections will be made in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Transportation through the Partnership for Sustainable Communities.

If selected, the community will work with an EPA-supported team of experts during a one-to-two-day workshop, where participants will learn about relevant strategies, policies, and practices.


Growing Transit Communities wins 2014 Smart Communities Award

The Growing Transit Communities Partnership was one of the winners of the Governor’s 2014 Smart Communities Awards.

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PSRC President Pat McCarthy accepts the Smart Communities Award from Governor Inslee at the PSRC General Assembly on May 29.

This annual awards program recognizes achievements by local leaders who promote smart growth planning and projects that contribute to quality of life in Washington state.

“These projects help create and sustain a thriving economic climate and strengthen our ability to lead in the global economy,” said Gov. Inslee. “Washington is a great state in which to live and do business thanks to these examples of leadership and innovation in community planning and development.”

PSRC’s Growing Transit Communities Partnership was recognized for its strategy to attract growth and provide more housing choices near transit and improve equitable access to economic opportunity.

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Region is part of larger sustainable communities initiative

Creative approaches to building livable communities – including PSRC’s Growing Transit Communities partnership – are highlighted in a recent article describing the collective impact of HUD’s Sustainable Communities Initiative.

Downtown Everett

Downtown Everett

An estimated 119 million people live in communities and regions benefiting from Sustainable Communities grants.

In 2011, PSRC received a three-year $5 million grant to develop Growing Transit Communities, focused on helping local jurisdictions leverage transit investment to build sustainable communities.

The goal was to put jobs and opportunity closer to where people live. Read the rest

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Growing Transit Communities Equity Grants

The Growing Transit Communities Partnership’s Equity Network Grant Program has invested in community-based organizations to provide resources to organize and increase participation of historically underrepresented communities and give voice to community priorities.

Thirteen additional equity grants were given out in 2014.

Thirteen additional equity grants were given out in 2014.

A special extension of the HUD regional planning grant has allowed thirteen community-based organizations to receive grants through an additional funding round of the Equity Grant Program. This one-time funding opportunity focuses on implementation of earlier equity grant work. Community-based organizations will use the grant resources to identify next steps to advance community priorities.

The final round of the grant program will build on the enormous success of the first ever Puget Sound Equity Summit at Highline Community College on November 8-9, 2013.  The event brought together nearly 400 people from across the region, representing community organizations, policy makers, philanthropy, and others.  Through community-led workshops, strategy sessions, and plenaries, participants built on community activities underway to identify next steps and shared equity strategies in the areas of education, jobs, health, transit and more.

Final reports from previous grantees are now available online. A video that highlights the work of the Equity Network, the Puget Sound Equity Summit, and the grant program is also available online.

 

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Futurewise honors PSRC with Livable Communities Award

The Growing Transit Communities Partnership has been honored with Futurewise’s award for Local Government Excellence in Programs, Policies, and Regulations. 

Hilary Franz, Futurewise Executive Director, Bill Ross, Futurewise Board President, Josh Brown, Executive Director of PSRC, and Tony To, HomeSight Executive Director and Growing Transit Communities Oversight Committee Co-Chair with the Award.

Hilary Franz, Futurewise Executive Director, Bill Ross, Futurewise Board President, Josh Brown, Executive Director of PSRC, and Tony To, HomeSight Executive Director and Growing Transit Communities Oversight Committee Co-Chair with the Award.

The recognition is one of five Livable Communities awards for 2014 given to agencies, organizations and businesses that exemplify smart land use principles to create healthy communities.

Growing Transit Communities was selected because it’s making the most of the voter-approved $25 billion investment in regional rapid transit by developing policies, and financing tools to create increased economic opportunity, ensure adequate housing, provide multimodal transportation solutions, and improve health in areas associated with the new transit investments.

Futurewise has been a key partner in the Growing Transit Communities Partnership. The organization participated on all six of the stakeholder committees and has secured grants to help implement the Growing Transit Communities Strategy, focusing on social equity and community needs assessments in station area communities.

The Puget Sound Regional Council is honored to be recognized for this Livable Communities award and happy to have worked so collaboratively with Futurewise throughout the Growing Transit Communities process.

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Growth Management Policy Board meets March 6

The Growth Management Policy Board will meet on Thursday, March 6 at 10 am in the PSRC Boardroom.

The new Regional TOD Advisory Committee will be comprised of representatives of agencies and organizations who signed the Growing Transit Communities Compact.

The new Regional TOD Advisory Committee will be comprised of representatives of agencies and organizations who signed the Growing Transit Communities Compact.

Creation of a regional Transit-Oriented Development Advisory Committee will be the primary action item at the meeting.

The board will develop a proposal that covers the structure, functions, and membership of a new standing committee that will review implementation of the Growing Transportation Communities Compact and action strategies, and will make recommendations to the Growth Management Policy Board on regional Transit Oriented Development implementation.

An update on the first round of growth targets under VISION 2040 and the supplemental biennial budget and work program will be the main discussion items.

View the full agenda here.

 

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New Transit Supportive Planning Toolkit

PSRC has released a Transit Supportive Planning Toolkit designed to help communities incorporate transit-supportive elements into local plans.

PSRC has assembled a resource library with links to websites, reports, and other resources with information about the topics discussed in the Transit Supportive Planning Toolkit.

New Transit Supportive Planning Toolkit for local plans.

Between 2015 and 2016, most cities and counties in the central Puget Sound region will complete the state-mandated comprehensive plan update process.

Supporting transit requires looking at how streets and roads are built, what mix of land uses are there around them, making it easy for people to access transit, and making make sure people have reasons to ride transit.

Local governments are responsible for the land use decisions and public infrastructure that support the transit system. And, since the local comprehensive plan establishes the guiding vision for a community’s future growth and development, it is essential to include elements that will help to achieve transit-supportive outcomes.

The Growing Transit Communities Partnership is providing this toolkit to build on its strategy to create thriving and equitable transit communities in the central Puget Sound region.

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