Five More Capitals Getting Green Makeover

Five more US state capitals have been chosen by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to get a green makeover. Through the EPA’s Greening America’s Capitals (GAC) project, the capitals of Alabama, Arizona, Mississippi and Nebraska, as well as the District of Columbia, will receive design assistance for cleaner, more efficient homes and transportation to encourage healthier, greener communities that are both environmentally and economically sound.

The five cities were selected from 23 hopefuls, each of whom sent in a letter of interest to the EPA. For the winners, the EPA will be sending out teams of urban planners, designers and landscape architects to help assess each community’s specific needs and develop a customized solution. And it won’t be just the capitals going green; other cities are encouraged to look to the changes being made in the capital cities as inspiration for their own sustainable development.

Washington DC

image via Shutterstock

Many of the cities are looking to increase street accessibility to pedestrians and cyclists, and are focusing on making different neighborhoods more easily accessible without a car. Montgomery, Jackson, and Lincoln are also looking into green infrastructure, namely managing stormwater. The cities are also looking to revitalize main commercial areas in the hopes of stimulating local economy.

This marks the second year of the GAC project, which is part of the Partnership for Sustainable Communities comprised of the EPA, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the US Department of Transportation. The project seeks to encourage successful and vibrant communities through environmentally- and economically-conscious urban planning. Last year, Boston, Mass.; Jefferson City, Mo.; Hartford, Conn.; Charleston, W. Va; and Little Rock, Ark. were selected as the first set of capitals to be “greened.”

Laura Caseley is a graduate of SUNY New Paltz and a resident of New York State’s Hudson Valley. She writes for several publications and when she’s not writing, she can usually be found painting in her makeshift studio or enjoying the scenery of her hometown.