of 1999 Sustainable Community Awards Honored in White House Ceremony
fifteen winners of the 1999 Sustainable Community Awards gathered from
around the country December 13 to be honored at the White House for their
collaborative efforts at making their communities more sustainable. The
city/county or city/city partnerships covered topic areas ranging from
brownfields redevelopment to park restoration to workforce development.
The winners were selected from a group of 48 applicants and represent the
best examples of collaborative efforts at sustainability.
Department of Housing and Urban Development co-sponsored the awards. HUD
also named five Secretary's Awards for City/County Innovations.
Secretary's Awards went to programs in Yuma, Arizona; Denver, Colorado;
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania; Chattanooga, Tennessee; and Northampton
County, Virginia. The Secretary's awards honor innovative city/county
collaboration in areas such as governance, economic strategies, affordable
housing, reducing housing discrimination, and sustainable growth.
Ibarra, Director of White House Intergovernmental Affairs, welcomed the
winners to the White House and also offered words of congratulations from
President Clinton. Boise Mayor H. Brent Coles and Howard County Executive
C. Vernon Gray praised the work of the cities and counties and lauded them
as being examples for future collaborations. The awards were presented by
HUD Assistant Secretary Bill Apgar following release of a video and
publication describing the award winning projects. Following are brief
descriptions of the award winning projects.
Regional Growth Management and Joint Land Use Planning:
City and County, Arizona have developed a joint land use plan that
provides a common "blueprint" for land uses and development
policies within and around the City of Yuma. Under this plan, the primary
economic assets of the area-agriculture, the airstation/airport and
tourism-are protected, reinforced and enhanced by new industrial
opportunities that will provide more year-round employment.
County and the Town of Cape Charles, Virginia, are leading a sustainable
development initiative designed to build a strong and lasting economy that
benefits all of the people of the community and protects the region's
natural and cultural assets. The most significant result of this effort is
the design, financing, and construction of the Cape Charles Sustainable
Technology Park, America's first eco-industrial park.
and Canyon Counties along with the Cities of Boise, Meridian, Garden,
Nampa, Caldwell, Eagle and Kuna in Idaho have created the Treasure Valley
Partnership (TVP), a proactive coalition that allows neighboring area
leaders to unite to discuss regional growth issues. The TVP's efforts are
strengthening cooperative activities in areas such as transportation,
parks, water supply and quality, air quality, public safety, emergency
management and disaster preparedness.
County, Pennsylvania, and its 60 independent municipalities have come
together to address development in a unified and coordinated manner.
Hundreds of public meetings, countywide surveys, and citizen opinion polls
have resulted in the adoption of The Lancaster County Growth Management
Strategy-an action agenda to manage growth; contain sprawl; preserve
greenspace and agricultural land; protect water quality; and clean up
Reusing Existing Public and Private Infrastructure and Brownfields
local government leadership from the City of Chattanooga and Hamilton
County, Tennessee, and the support of the private sector, neighbors and
business owners have worked with planners to redesign a decaying mall and
its surrounding area into a new town center, called Eastgate. The project
represents a sustainable reuse of public and private infrastructure and
provides a model of redevelopment that is not dependent on the provision
of new roads, sewers, and utilities.
City/County of Denver and the City of Aurora, Colorado, launched a
community-based effort to plan for reuse of the Lowry Air Force Base when
it was placed on the federal base closure list in 1991. The resulting
Lowry redevelopment plan is designed to promote sustainability through
in-fill development; increasing affordable housing; and reducing
homelessness. As a consequence, it is helping to stabilize older
surrounding neighborhoods and address the need for mixed-use development
in a centralized accessible location.
County, in concert with the City of Tempe, Arizona, have created the Rio
Salado Project, a community-inspired effort to transform Tempe's portion
of the Salt River from a barren urban utility corridor into an exciting
attraction for the county's three million residents. Rio Salado-dominated
by a large Town Lake and surrounded by parks and habitat-is an ambitious
and comprehensive undertaking that simultaneously provides flood control,
encourages economic development, and promotes recreation.
City of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, Ohio, have established the Port
Authority for Brownfields Redevelopment to reverse the environmental,
social and economic consequences of its industrial and urban heritage,
including 500 acres of potential brownfields. The agency is an independent
economic development authority, created exclusively to target brownfields
through the remediation and reuse of land, buildings and infrastructure.
small Maryland towns-Bladensburg, Colmar Manor, and Cottage City-have
partnered with Prince George's County to implement a successful community
revitalization strategy, called the Port Towns Revitalization Initiative.
Major accomplishments include creation of a common Port Towns identity;
attraction and retention of new businesses through infrastructure and fa?ade
improvements; acquisition of historic properties and plans for their
reuse; and reconstruction of the waterfront park and marina.
Cities of Youngstown, Struthers and Campbell in Ohio have created a
broad-based public/private coalition to encourage dialogue, planning,
priority setting and action to responsibly redevelop industrial
brownfields along the Mahoning River. The Mahoning River Corridor of
Opportunity, as the coalition is called, is breathing new life into this
900-acre brownfields site and generating interest in promoting the site's
balanced and sustainable clean up and redevelopment.
Cities in southwest Ohio-Kettering, Oakwood and Dayton-have banded
together with hundreds of volunteers in a cooperative effort to reclaim a
57-acre park from years of neglect and abuse. The park can now be used
safely by the community and has served as a catalyst for further
response to new demands in the local labor market, Multnomah and
Washington Counties and the City of Portland, Oregon, have created a
vision for a world-class workforce development system that meets the needs
of all employers, jobseekers, career-advancers, and youth. This vision has
led metro Portland's elected leaders to replace two regional boards, The
Private Industry Council and a Regional Workforce Quality Committee, with
a newly appointed Workforce Development Board made up of diverse community
leaders from the private and public sectors. The board is charged with
transforming the region's fragmented employment and training programs and
initiatives into a cohesive workforce development system.
Better Environmental Services Management:
Cities of San Bernardino and Colton, California have partnered with a
regional water agency to build an innovative tertiary wastewater treatment
plant. The process the plant uses, called rapid infiltration/extraction,
has saved local taxpayers millions of dollars in construction and
operating costs, and produces extraordinarily high quality recycled water
that benefits downstream, recreational users and the environment.
Sonoma Green Business Program is a collaborative effort of Sonoma County,
California, and the cities within it to create a unified program that
streamlines environmental requirements for the business community, and
provides incentives to businesses for sustained environmental compliance.
Distinguishing characteristics of the program include: a regionalized,
environmental regulatory approach; a focus on business education rather
than enforcement; and a cooperative, coordinated program between
businesses and regulators.
Reducing Violence and Creating Healthy Communities:
City of Westminster and Orange County, California have created a
collaborative team known as the "Family Protection Unit." The
team, which is physically located within the Westminster police
department, includes a domestic violence detective, child abuse detective,
deputy district attorney, senior social worker and victim services
specialist, who all work together to collectively assess and respond to
domestic violence cases.
a copy of the "First Annual Joint Center Sustainable Community Award
Winners 1999: Outstanding City/County Collaborations" call Kimberly
Peterson at (202) 861-6784 or visit the Joint Center's website at www.usmayors.org/sustainable