U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson recognized Tempe and three other diverse communities that are models of how to grow in ways that protect our nation’s air, land, and water; reduce greenhouse gas emissions; provide safe and affordable housing; and strengthen local economies. 

"Every year the Smart Growth Achievement Award winners show us new and creative ways to bring environmental sustainability to our communities -- and this year is no exception," says EPA Administrator Jackson. "Smart Growth has an important role to play in building a new foundation for prosperity in communities across the nation. Innovative Smart Growth techniques give communities from urban to suburban to rural the chance to be environmentally sustainable and economically resilient." 

For Smart Growth and Green Building, the City of Tempe is being honored for the Tempe Transportation Center. The Tempe Transportation Center is a model for sustainable design, a vibrant, mixed-use regional transportation hub that incorporates innovative and green building elements tailored to the Southwest desert environment. The Tempe Transportation Center is a true multi-modal facility that integrates a light rail stop, the main city bus station and paths for bicyclists and pedestrians.

The city of Tempe designed the Tempe Transportation Center as a multi-use green facility that is not only a transportation hub, but also a gathering spot for the community. The center, which replaced a 2.7-acre surface parking lot, provides much-needed public amenities, including a community room and a shaded public plaza.

Additional uses include a transit store, a cafe, shops and offices, including the city of Tempe’s Transportation Division. Also notable, the center does not provide any automobile parking beyond spaces reserved for persons with disabilities.