EPA Recognizes Old North St. Louis with "Smart Growth" Award

Top award focuses on creating sustainable communities

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Released: 12-13-2011

 (Kansas City, Kan., Dec. 1, 2011) - EPA today recognized the community of Old North St. Louis, Mo., with the National Award for Smart Growth Achievement. Now in its 10th year, the award recognizes effectiveness in creating sustainable communities; a robust public involvement process; and partnerships among public, private, and nonprofit stakeholders.

The Old North St. Louis Restoration Group (ONSLRG) is the not-for-profit neighborhood group that laid the foundation for the community’s project. The community of Old North St. Louis used complementary, forward-looking strategies that encourage a mix of land uses, promote walking, rehabilitate vacant buildings, and establish green spaces. Two main blocks of Old North St. Louis have been redeveloped, with new sidewalks, benches, street trees, and streetlights. In addition, nearly 200 homes have been built by renovating abandoned historic buildings rather than demolishing them and by developing on vacant lots.

“The redevelopment of Old North St. Louis is a project the whole community can be proud of,” said Karl Brooks, EPA Region 7 Administrator. “The residents of Old North St. Louis rallied together to restore the neighborhood in a way that strengthens the local economy, benefits residents, and protects and sustains the environment.”

Smart growth development practices support national environmental goals by preserving parkland and protecting critical habitat, by improving transportation choices, including walking, bicycling, and transit, which reduce emissions from automobiles, by promoting brownfield redevelopment, and by reducing impervious surfaces, which improves water quality.

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