Boston, Hartford Among Cities Chosen for Green Capitals Program

Boston, Hartford Among Cities Chosen for Green Capitals Program

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has named the five cities that will be the first to participate in the Greening America's Capitals program and receive free expert assistance to turn their towns into models of sustainable design.

The state capitals that were chosen as the inaugural beneficiaries of the program are Boston, Jefferson City, Mo., Hartford, Conn., Charleston, W.Va., and Little Rock, Ark.

Launched this summer, Greening America's Capitals is a project of the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, which is a collaborative effort involving the EPA, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Transportation.

As part of the project, the EPA provides and funds the design teams that are to work with state capitals.

Green development projects can include cleaning up and finding new uses for vacant lands, providing greener housing and transportation options, and devising ways to reduce costs for infrastructure and energy. The goal is to create neighborhoods provide social, economic, environmental and public health benefits.

Greening America's Capitals is one of many efforts focused on creating more sustainable neighborhoods.

In April after a three-year pilot, the U.S. Green Building Council launched its LEED standard for neighborhood development, LEED-ND, which serves as a national benchmark for sustainable community design.

In July, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation announced its funding of the Affordable Green Neighborhoods Grant Program, which is intended to break down barriers to pursuit of LEED-ND projects in which affordable green housing is a key component. The deadline for application for the first program grants is September 9. Application information is available from the USGBC.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors also has several initiatives to make cities and the buildings in them greener.

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