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  Smart Growth Leadership to Assist in Richmond Revitalization
December 30, 2003

Richmond was selected from among 100 applicants as one of nine communities stretching from Florida to Alaska selected to participate in the 2004 Smart Growth Implementation Assistance Program – a cooperative  program provided by Smart Growth America’s Smart Growth Leadership Institute, the University of Southern California and the University of Colorado, funded by a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Richmond was the only California city and the only city in the western U.S. (except Anchorage, Alaska) selected for funding.


The Smart Growth Implementation Assistance Program is a pilot program designed to provide communities with expert technical assistance to carry out Smart Growth reforms. This technical assistance will help communities to better manage growth so that communities can revitalize their older neighborhoods to protect valuable farmland (in this case, sprawl in eastern Contra Costa County) and provide transportation and housing choices to their citizens.


Over the next nine months, the experts will be providing assistance to the communities in two specific areas:


  • Assessing codes and zoning ordinances to identify inconsistencies between Smart Growth policies and implementing codes that may still contain obsolete standards.
  • Creating design standards and review protocol that will help achieve Smart Growth objectives and mitigate neighborhood concerns.


Experiences and lessons learned from the selected communities will help to shape a national Smart Growth Implementation Kit that will provide guidance to other communities around the nation to use as they work to implement smart growth.


The Smart growth Leadership Institute anticipates selecting more communities to work with in the fall. For more information on the Smart Growth Leadership Institute, see www.sgli.org. For more information on Smart Growth America, see www.smartgrowthamerica.org.


Special thanks goes to Richmond Redevelopment Agency staff for successfully pursuing this grant opportunity, which will fit in well with the upcoming General Plan and Zoning Ordinance revisions and the revitalization of Richmond’s traditional downtown area.. It will also coincide with the Contra Costa Shaping Our Future Initiative.