sustainable communities building blocks technical assistance

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Sustainable Communities


The Building Blocks program provides quick, targeted technical assistance during a two-day workshop to communities across the country to help them implement a wide range of smart growth strategies. Many of the 79 communities Renaissance has served through 2016 are small or distressed cities and towns that lack the resources to bring in outside consultants.

The workshops help local stakeholders identify and create strategies to implement solutions that protect the environment, sustain local economies, expand transportation choices and improve overall quality of life. Each workshop is supported by a set of tools with best practices and policy approaches. At the conclusion of each workshop, we work together to develop an action plan. 

Renaissance has lead four rounds of the technical assistance and helped develop tools for the following smart growth topics: Walkability, Complete Streets, Preferred Growth Areas, Sustainable Design and Development, Rural and Small Town Smart Growth, Infill Development, Equitable Development, Bikeshare, and Flood Resiliency.  The Building Blocks program orients many of its deliveries towards the development of a community action plan, modeled after the Local Foods, Local Places toolkit, which we helped develop.