The Department of State administers the Smart Growth grant program, which is funded through the State Environmental Protection Fund. Since 2007, grants have been awarded to communities in three geographic areas – the Adirondack Park, the Central Catskills (Route 28 corridor) and the Lower Hudson Valley regions- for municipal planning and other related activities that promote the principles of Smart Growth.
For information on Smart Growth grants for the Adirondack and Catskill Parks administered at the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, go here.
In 2009 the New York Department of State awarded $500,000 in for seven smart growth projects in the lower Hudson Valley that covered a variety of planning projects that focus on economic, community and environmental issues to improve both local economies and the environment.
Six of the awards were for the planning of revitalization and redevelopment of municipal and regional centers, totaling $250,000:
Three of these awards will also advance transit-oriented development in the Lower Hudson Valley. Transit-oriented development is compact, walkable, mixed-used development that is focused around mass transit, such as trains, light rail, trolleys or buses. By focusing development around transit, communities can become sustainable places to live, work and play.
One award to the Open Space Institute (OSI), for $250,000, will enable the development of a Lower Hudson Valley regional smart growth plan. OSI is partnering with the Regional Plan Association, the Trust for Public Land, the Environmental Defense Fund, Scenic Hudson and Patterns for Progress. The smart growth plan will address carbon emissions, economic efficiency and quality of life issues for the region and will produce plans for priority growth and preservation areas to balance the rapid growth of the region with emissions reduction and environmental protection for the Lower Hudson Valley.
In response to the catastrophic flooding caused by Tropical Storms Irene and Lee, the DOS incorporated the Smart Growth funds into its Long Term Recovery Plan for affected communities – part of Governor Cuomo’s broader effort to assist communities with short-term recovery and long-term planning. Grants were provided to communities to establish a blueprint for how they will rebuild and reduce their vulnerability to future disaster as they move beyond the immediate recovery phase. A community recovery strategy will include a vision of the community’s future; identification and description of projects needed to achieve the vision and reduce future hazard damages; prioritization of projects that will have the most significant recovery value and can be accomplished quickly; and development of implementation strategies for priority projects.
For more information on this grant program, go here. Also, see Governor Cuomo’s press release on his Upstate Storm and Recovery Task Force here.