ICF presented a webinar focusing on the development, testing, and application of a project selection tool for use by Rhode Island state agencies and nonprofits to evaluate applications for competitive funding. The tool was developed through a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Smart Growth Implementation Assistance grant to the KeepSpace Partners, a coalition of state agencies and nonprofits.
In this webinar, ICF discussed the research conducted on existing smart growth scorecards, project selection frameworks, available funding, and appropriate project types for evaluation. ICF also outlined the process used to develop the tool with KeepSpace partners, other state agencies and nonprofits, and communities. This included discussions of alternative project selection approaches (to meet KeepSpace/smart growth/livability/sustainable communities criteria), appropriate criteria weighting, and appropriate processes to meet state and local needs for project selection and evaluation.
The tool's six categories are based on Rhode Island's KeepSpace Elements and the HUD-DOT-EPA livability principles. (The HUD-DOT-EPA Interagency Partnership for Sustainability Communities is a partnership between the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), and EPA.) The selection criteria include adjustments for urban, suburban, and rural locations and are tied to the Statewide Land Use 2025 Plan and local plans. The criteria focus on evaluation of project-level proposals but are adaptable to evaluation of broader state investments and programs. The KeepSpace Partners are testing the tool in project selection review for competitive funding program applications and discussing appropriate agencies and processes to fully incorporate a project selection framework into state agency competitive funding decisions.
Jeff Davis of Rhode Island Department of Planning was a guest speaker.
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