EPA Greening America’s Capitals
Helena, Montana & Olympia, Washington
Greening America’s Capitals is an EPA program to help state capitals develop an implementable vision of distinctive, environmentally friendly neighborhoods that incorporate innovative green infrastructure strategies. In collaboration with U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) through the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, EPA provides design assistance to help support sustainable communities that protect the environment, economy, and public health and to inspire state leaders to expand this work elsewhere. As part of the Greening America’s Capitals program, Urban Rain Design was selected by the United States Environmental Protection Agency to develop bold concept plans that introduce multi-modal and green infrastructure streetscape strategies within the historical downtown of Helena, Montana. and Olympia, Washington. As redevelopment continues within these downtown capital cities, the Greening America’s Capitals program will help each city and community stakeholders create common visions that make street and intersections friendlier to walking and biking while maintaining the neighborhood functionality for all users. For Helena, the project will help the City solve the challenges of a five-point intersection along Last Chance Gulch. Intersection improvements would be designed to improve traffic flow, create safer crossings for pedestrians and bicyclists, improve the connection to downtown, and integrate sustainable stormwater management throughout these improvements. The design team underwent an intensive multi-day design charrette with the both the City of Helena, City of Olympia and their respective stakeholders. The final concept reports was were completed in 2013 and 2014.