Smart Growth America’s Top 12 of 2012: Telling the story of smart growth

The Cabinet Mountains in northern Montana. Photo by Daniel Liu via Flickr.

We’re doing a special blog series this month highlighting some of Smart Growth America’s favorite accomplishments from 2012. This is the tenth of twelve installments.

In 2012, we spoke with people across the country who are using better development strategies to create great places. We highlighted towns and cities that are seeing new residents and businesses after years of decline. And we shared plans about new projects yet to be built. Here are a few of these Smart Growth Stories from 2012:

We introduced you to projects like Vibrant Futures Montana, which is coordinating development across several counties with the help of a Regional Planning grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. “We are getting the counties to work together,” said Interim Regional Coordinator Deborah Kottel. “They never thought about cooperating at this level, so we’re challenging them to go beyond traditional government structure and plan regionally.”

You met people like Jim Brainard, Mayor of Carmel, IN who are striving to create a great city through better development strategies. “We realized that if we wanted to succeed, we had to make Carmel a place that the best and brightest – from around the country and around the world – would want to live in,” Brainard said in September. “And we had to do it through the built environment.”

And we visited places like Roanoke, VA, where a commitment to downtown development is revitalizing the entire city. “Ten years ago, 11 people lived in downtown Roanoke,” said City Manager Chris Morrill. “Now 1,200 do…There’s a definite sense of optimism, that we’re going in the right direction and creating the type of place where people want to live.”

Our Smart Growth Stories video series profiled smart growth leaders and real estate developers. And stories on our Partnership blog profiled places growing stronger with the help of the federal Partnership for Sustainable Communities.

We are excited to have been able to share stories about the great work going on across the country and we hope you enjoyed reading about the ways in which smart growth is happening on the ground in a variety of regions, cities, and towns.

We look forward to continuing to tell these great stories in 2013 – but we need your help. Help make it possible by donating to Smart Growth America today.

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