USDA And EPA To Help Communities Use Internet to ‘Improve Walkability’

By Eric Scheiner | May 5, 2016 | 3:18pm EDT
Image from "Cool & Connected" USDA webinar presentation.

( - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have announced five communities that will participate in their Cool And Connected broadband internet program to "revitalize downtowns, diversify local economies, and improve walkability."

On Thursday, the USDA issued a press release annoucing the partner communities will receive, “an innovative initiative to help people use broadband service for downtown revitalization and economic development.”

“By combining broadband service with other local assets, such as cultural and recreational amenities, this assistance can help communities attract and retain investment and people, revitalize downtowns, diversify local economies, and improve walkability,” the release says.

“Partner communities will receive direct technical assistance from a team of experts to develop strategies and an action plan for using planned or existing broadband service to create connected, economically vibrant main streets and small-town neighborhoods.”

The five communities taking part in the program are Georgetown, Del., Leon, Iowa, Montrose, Colo., Toledo, Wash., and Tullahoma, Tenn.

According to the EPA, $350,000 will be invested by the two agencies along with staff and time dedicated to assisting the communities.

“Cool & Connected is one of the Obama Administration's community-based initiatives,” the release states. “In these places federal experts are working side by side with residents and local leaders to create customized solutions; bolstering coordination across agencies and improving how we interact with communities as a 'one Government' partner.”


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