by Kaid Benfield
The US Environmental Protection Agency announced seven winners of its 2012 National Awards for Smart Growth Achievement. As I have noted in the past, the smart growth awards are given for creative, outstanding initiatives that protect the health and the environment of our communities while also strengthening local economies. One of this year’s winners is a personal favorite, Denver’s Mariposa (South Lincoln) revitalization.
The 2012 award winners are being recognized in four categories, below:
BLVD Transformation Project, Lancaster, California
The redesign of Lancaster Boulevard helped transform downtown Lancaster into a thriving residential and commercial district through investments in new streetscape design, public facilities, affordable homes, and local businesses. Completed after eight months of construction, the project demonstrates how redesigning a corridor guided by a strategic vision can spark new life in a community. The project has generated almost $300 million in economic output and nearly 2,000 jobs.
Mariposa District, Denver, Colorado
It’s hard for me to overstate how much I love this project. In particular, the redevelopment of Denver’s historic and ethnically diverse South Lincoln neighborhood is turning an economically challenged area into a lively and transit-accessible community enthusiastically supported by current residents. The community’s master plan preserves affordable housing while adding energy-efficient middle-income and market-rate homes. Influenced by extensive community engagement, the newly named Mariposa development will include actions to improve the health of residents, reduce pollution, and control stormwater runoff.