Meeting Archive:
Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Technical Assistance

Meeting Description:

Many communities around the country are asking for tools and resources to help them achieve their desired development goals, improve the quality of life for their residents, and make their communities more economically and environmentally sustainable. In response to this demand, EPA’s Office of Sustainable Communities developed the Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Program.

Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities seeks to provide quick, targeted technical assistance to communities using a variety of tools that have demonstrated results and widespread application. This technical assistance will help selected local and/or tribal governments to implement development approaches that protect the environment, improve public health, create jobs, expand economic opportunity, and improve overall quality of life. In addition to the direct technical assistance provided by EPA staff experts and contractors, EPA has also awarded grants to four nonprofit organizations—Forterra (formerly Cascade Land Conservancy), Global Green USA, Project for Public Spaces, and Smart Growth America—to provide further technical assistance to communities across the nation.

In this webinar, learn about the Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Program and how it can help your community get the kind of development it wants and needs.  First get an overview of the Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Program and EPA’s direct technical assistance. Then hear about each of the four grantee’s programs to provide free technical assistance.  Finally, learn the sustainable communities tools that each organization is offering as well as important deadlines and the application process.

Date: Wed, Nov 9, 2011
Time: 02:00 PM EST
Duration: 1 hour
Host(s): Forterra (formerly Cascade Land Conservancy), Global Green USA, Project for Public Spaces, Smart Growth America, and US EPA
 Presenter Information
Dr. John Thomas, Director, Community Assistance and Research Division, US EPA
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John Thomas is the Director of the Community Assistance and Research
Division in EPA’s Office of Sustainable Communities.  He received a
Masters in Urban Planning from Cornell University and a PhD from UC
Berkeley.  Over the past 15 years he’s worked on sustainable
transportation and land use planning issues at the Federal level and
provided technical assistance to state and local governments.  He serves
on advisory committees for the Transportation Research Board and
Montgomery County, Maryland and teaches as an adjunct professor at
George Washington University.  More recently, John has been spending
significant time on the HUD DOT EPA Sustainable Communities Partnership
and plays a leading role in providing technical assistance and
supporting performance measures development.

Roger Millar, PE, AICP
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Roger Millar is the Director of the Smart Growth Leadership Institute, which includes the Governor’s Institute on Community Design and other technical assistance programs for state and local government. Roger is a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers, a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and a Certified Floodplain Manager. He is a member of the ASCE Committee for America’s Infrastructure, which produces the ASCE Report Card for America’s Infrastructure. He is also Past President of the Oregon Section of ASCE and of the Montana Association of Planners.

Pippa Brashear, Project Manager, Project for Public Spaces
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Pippa Brashear is a project Manager with Project for Public Spaces. She works on PPS's Building Communities through Transportation Campaign and Streets as Places Training as well as workshops and projects with communities around the US that to improve the planning and design of their streets to be better places. She has recently completed a vision plan for the Eastern Gateway District of Bethlehem, PA, and is the project manager for PPS Building Block for Sustainable Communities grant from the US EPA's Office of Sustainable Communities.  Prior to joining PPS, Pippa worked with the New York City office of Wallace Roberts and Todd for three years after receiving her masters in Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning from the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Walker Wells, AICP LEED AP
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Mr. Wells is Director of the Green Urbanism Program for Global Green USA, a national non-profit organization headquartered in Santa Monica.   He works with affordable housing developers, municipalities, and school districts across the country to further green building and sustainable development practices by conducting charrettes, providing technical guidance, and developing programs and public policy.  Mr. Wells is editor and a co-author of the 2007 book Blueprint for Greening Affordable Housing and the 2006 publication Creating Successful Green Building Programs.

Mr. Wells holds a Master’s of City and Regional Planning from the California Polytechnic University San Luis Obispo. Prior to joining Global Green Mr. Wells was a Senior Urban Design with Gruen Associates in Los Angeles. Mr. Wells is a certified urban planner, a LEED Accredited Professional, a contributor to Planetizen, and a lecturer at the Claremont Colleges, UCLA, and Antioch University.

Alison Van Gorp, Urban Policy Director, Forterra
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Alison Van Gorp oversees efforts to advocate for regional, state, and federal policy to support well-planned growth and directs the Cascade Agenda Cities Program, a regional effort that partners with cities to help them understand their options and make smart choices for future growth. Alison has led development of the Community Stewards Program, CLC’s effort to build a network of informed local advocates for smart growth and sustainable community development.  Recently, Alison has worked with a group of city leaders as well as finance and legal experts to develop legislation that provides infrastructure financing and conservation tools to local jurisdictions.  She has also led an effort to incorporate community priorities into the redevelopment of a major new light rail station area in one of Seattle’s densest residential neighborhoods.  Alison is a board member of Great City, and sits on the Quality Growth Alliance’s Leadership Committee.