Recognition Program Overview

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Recognition Criteria and Instructions

Program Overview




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Implementing Reality Check Washington

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Who We Are
In recent years, smart and sustainable growth has gained national attention as a solution to the challenges associated with growth. Successful initiatives have relied on a simple but powerful formula based on collaboration. Here in the National Capital Region, seven distinct organizations representing business, development, civic, and environmental interests that often sit on opposite sides of table when it comes to growth issues, have elected to put aside their differences and work together on common goals for smart growth. Together, these organizations create a unique partnership for success - the Sustainable Growth Alliance.  The Alliance is based in Bethesda, Maryland at 4909 Cordell Avenue.


By 2030 the Washington region is expected to grow by 2 million new people and over 1.6 million new jobs. To ensure that the quality of life and economic competitiveness of the region are maintained and improved while it grows, Alliance members have agreed that the region's unique economic, cultural, community and environmental assets must be protected. This will require all interests -- government, business, civic, and environmental -- to work collaboratively to develop policies and practices that ensure that every new resident and every new job enhances, rather than detracts from, the region's quality of life. If this can be achieved, the region will meet its broad economic objectives, while enhancing the environment and preserving the character and culture of its communities.

The mission of the Alliance is to research, identify, and encourage land use development and transportation policies and practices that support smart and sustainable growth in the Washington region.

Goals and Objectives
The goal of the Alliance is to enhance regional collaboration; encourage mixed-use, pedestrian- and transit-oriented development projects; promote housing and transportation choices for a range of incomes throughout the region, particularly infill situations; and respect and conserve significant environmental, cultural, and recreational resources. To achieve that goal, the Alliance established the following objectives to guide its work program:


  • Conduct education and outreach programs to inform and elevate the sustainable growth dialogue at the regional, community and neighborhood levels.
  • Compile and communicate growth and development trends and their impact on economic, environmental and equity resources and interests.
  • Identify barriers and incentives, collect best practice case studies, and develop strategies to improve policy decisions that advance sustainable growth in the region.
  • Develop and implement a recognition program for proposed development projects that reflect the core characteristics of smart and sustainable growth.
  • Develop and implement a program to promote regional conservation initiatives that will contribute most to more sustainable development patterns and our regional quality of life in the future.





Alliance News



Recognition Program Welcomes Applications for Recognition of Approved or Completed


The Alliance now welcomes project applications for approved or completed projects under the expanded development recognition program. Successful applications highlight the region’s growing inventory of smart and sustainable developments as examples of excellence and accomplishment. 

The original purpose of the program remains – to help smart and sustainable development projects gain local approval and acceptance. 

Click here to read the press release detailing this and changes to the program deadline schedule.  Click here for the updated Call for Applications in PDF format.


Alliance in Print

Click here to read a nine-page full-color article about the Alliance entitled "Promoting Sustainable Development Through a Recognition Program." (PDF 3.5MB)

The article appears in a 2012 issue of Land Development, a publication of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). Land Development is a quarterly must-read for the development industry and is available by subscription at www.nahb.org/landdevelopment.   NAHB promotes smart growth and sustainable development through this and other publications and web resources. Local home builder organizations MNCBIA, DCBIA, and NVBIA participate in NAHB and are also important members of the Alliance.