Scenario Planning Peer Workshop Report - Birmingham, Alabama
Appendix B. Sustainable Communities Funding Opportunities
- Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grants have $70 million available to support regional planning efforts that focus on creating or enhancing sustainable communities. Of this funding, $17.5 million has gone to smaller regions with fewer than 500,000 residents. The minimum amount of an individual grant is $500,000; and the maximum amount is $5 million. It requires a 20 percent local match, but higher matches are more competitive.
- Community Challenge Planning Grants have $30 million available to help the planning departments of municipalities, counties, and MPOs update their plans, especially toward reducing barriers to sustainable development. Examples could be amending or replacing master plans, reforming zoning codes to allow mixed-use development, and modifying building codes to allow lower parking minimums or increase a building's height.
- The Capacity Building for Sustainable Communities Grant Program has $5.65 million available toward the professional side of creating and enhancing sustainable communities. This money can be used to hire experts and contractors or to fund professional development for staff.
- The Brownfields and Land Revitalization Program helps remove environmental contaminants from land in order to reduce environmental risks to nearby people and the ecosystem. In a livable communities context, this program can help to make industrial or ex-industrial areas safer for sustainable mixed-use development.
- The Climate Showcase Communities Program helps local and Tribal governments plan and implement climate change adaptation and mitigation projects. Such projects include increasing energy efficiency, implementing smart growth planning policies, and reducing landfill waste. The EPA does not anticipate offering more funding for this program.
- The Smart Growth Implementation Assistance Program awards governments time with consultants and technical experts to receive help with local policy reform or help running the public participatory process.
- The Sustainable Communities Building Blocks program provides smaller awards for targeted technical assistance such as providing complete streets, scoring water quality, and implementing smart growth policy, pedestrian policy, and others listed on the program webpage.
- The Greening America's Capitals project is a pilot program to help three to five state capital cities per year with technical assistance reforming local land use policy, and planning parks and waterways. The intention is that these projects act as models to encourage state legislatures and individual communities within the states to adopt sustainable community principles.