EPA > “you have also changed us.”

(videos.)  I went up to Washington D.C. this past week to attend a ceremony at US EPA, which awarded the Atlanta Beltline its “Overall Excellence in Smart Growth Award” for 2013. I made this short video diary (7:30) to share the experience with you.


Here’s the video that EPA made for the award, which was shown during the ceremony.


At the award ceremony in the Rachel Carson Green Room at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Washington D.C., EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said among other things, “There is no difference between economic growth and environmental protection as long as we agree that we’re serving the same public.” That is certainly true of the Atlanta Beltline, which received the EPA’s top honor. It was presented by John Frece, Director of EPA’s Office of Sustainable Communities and accepted by Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed on behalf of the Atlanta Beltline. In his speech, the Mayor noted the private sector’s investment along the 22-mile project, highlighting Ponce City Market as a quarter-billion dollar investment that has already attracted 1,000 jobs. At the end, EPA Chief of Staff Gwen Keyes-Fleming, the former director of EPA Region 4, Atlanta resident, and longtime fan of the Atlanta Beltline, closed out the ceremony by saying that while the work by all of the award winners was clearly changing those communities, “I want you to know that you have also changed us, here at EPA.”

The ceremony was followed by a reception and panel discussion on Capitol Hill in the Rayburn House Office Building hosted by Smart Growth America. The entire event had been delayed due to the federal government shutdown in fall 2013 and was held on Wednesday, February 5, 2014.

Check out EPA’s press release and its Office of Sustainable Communities. Read EPA Chief of Staff Gwen Keyes-Fleming’s blog post about the Atlanta Beltline. Learn more about the Atlanta Beltline and Smart Growth America.

Atlanta Beltline wins EPA award

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