The Hershey Theater in Derry Township, Hershey, Pennsylvania. Photo by Mr. T in DC.
Hershey is a rural town of 25,000 residents in the center of Pennsylvania, best known for being home to The Hershey Company and Hershey Park. Now, Hershey’s Derry Township is working to make sure new development benefits residents and visitors alike.
In 2010, the city’s Board of Supervisors passed a resolution to update Hershey’s 1991 Comprehensive Plan and zoning ordinances to include smart growth policies. To help achieve this goal, Hershey applied for and received a free technical assistance workshop from Smart Growth America and Clarion Associates, on Smart Growth Zoning Codes for Small Cities.
Posted in Pennsylvania, Smart growth zoning codes for small cities, Technical assistance, Workshops
Tagged Derry Township, Free technical assistance, Hershey, Pennsylvania, Smart Growth Zoning for Small Cities, technical assistance, tools, Workshops
A view of downtown Eastport, ME. Photo by The Indestructible Enforcer via Flickr.
Eastport, Maine is a charming rural community vying for its survival.
An island off Maine’s northern coast, Eastport is actively working to reduce the town’s increasingly substantial winter heating costs. To help in this effort, the community applied for and received a 2012 free technical assistance workshop from Smart Growth America and Otak, made possible by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities program.
Eastport depends almost entirely on fossil fuels for winter heating, and pays more for them as compared to the rest of the country. And while all of Maine has severe winters and high heating costs, Eastport is a rural community that serves a primarily low-income and older population, making these obstacles even more challenging. The cost of heating has implications for Eastport residents’ disposable income, the region’s economy, and even home foreclosure trends. The city recognized that it needed to find a more sustainable, efficient, and affordable way to heat buildings.
Smart Growth America’s 2012 free technical assistance workshops are a great opportunity for communities interested in smarter growth – but the application window is closing soon!
Communities interested in applying for one of our 12 workshops types have a few more days to submit an application. The deadline to apply is this Thursday, October 25, 2012 at 5:00 PM EDT.
Applications will be accepted online or by email (PDF). Any questions may be directed to assistance [at] smartgrowthamerica [dot] org.
Smart Growth America recently hosted an informational webinar about this year’s round of free technical assistance workshops. Potential applicants will find in this webinar a summary of the application process, including important deadlines, eligibility requirements and where to direct further inquiries. …
A land bank can make reusing vacant buand put them back into usefficient. Image from Take Back Vacant Land.
Members of the Pennsylvania State Senate will vote this week on proposed legislation that would make it easier to buy and redevelop blighted properties in the state.
HB 1682 would enable local leaders in Pennsylvania to establish land banks, entities that can hold and manage vacant properties to help get properties into the hands of responsible new owners more quickly. The bill passed the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in February and now awaits consideration by the Pennsylvania State Senate.
Smart Growth America is currently accepting applications for our 2012 free technical assistance. Two webinars will help communities interested in applying for this free resource.
On Friday, Smart Growth America, Project for Public Spaces, Forterra, and Global Green participated in a webinar to discuss free technical assistance currently being offered by each organization. Hosted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities program, the webinar gave a brief overview of the workshops offered, application process and timeline for each organization’s program.
A rendering of the long-term vision community planners have for 25th and Pacific Ave (Dome/Brewery District). Photo from the Brewery District Development Concept Study.
The City of Tacoma currently has its sights on two major smart growth initiatives that will aide in the economic revitalization of two inner city neighborhoods: the Dome/Brewery District and the Martin Luther King Jr. neighborhood.
Due to the recession and budget constraints, however, the city currently lacks the tools needed to effectively set goals and benchmark, evaluate and recognize progress for the projects. Tacoma is therefore looking to leverage existing efforts and resources to successfully revitalize these two neighborhoods. In this vein, Tacoma applied for and received a free technical assistance workshop from Smart Growth America funded by EPA’s Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities program. The two day workshop focused on using LEED-ND to accelerate the development of sustainable communities.
Pittsburgh, PA skyline. Photo taken by Flickr user wallyg.
In the 20th century, as the result of its booming steel industry, Pittsburgh was thriving as one of the largest cities in the country. But, during the 1970s and 80s, Pittsburgh lost a lot of the success that it once held, due to the collapse of that same industry. The population was cut in half and there was a long period of economic stagnation.
Today, though, Pittsburgh’s economy is on the mend. If there was a golden lining to that period of economic stagnation, it was that the city avoided excess sprawl and financially insolvent development patterns.
Community officials want to use to their advantage as they prime for a new era of prosperity in Pittsburgh. City leaders and residents are gradually reshaping the way Pittsburgh thinks about planning and design, with the goal of transforming the city into a model of sustainable development.
A detail from Pima County’s Cultural Resources map. Image from the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan.
Pima County, Arizona, has made a concerted effort in recent years to improve how it uses land and maintains its infrastructure.
The County already is already working to improve the area’s zoning codes, and the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan, which works to balance development with preserving open space, has been touted as “one of the best and most comprehensive habitat conservation plans in the country.”
Posted in Arizona, Sustainable land use code audit, Technical assistance, Workshops
Tagged Arizona, Free technical assistance, land use, Pima County, Smart growth zoning, sustainable land use code audit, technical assistance, Workshops, zoning
Interested in applying for Smart Growth America’s free technical assistance, but not sure where to start? If so, join Smart Growth America and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s Office of Sustainable Communities for an informational webinar on Friday, September 21, 2012 from 1:00-2:30 PM EDT.
The webinar will provide a comprehensive look at the free technical assistance available to communities, including the programs, processes, and application timelines that each grant recipient offers.
Also included on the webinar will be technical assistance from three other nonprofits – Forterra, Project for Public Spaces, and Global Green. All four organizations are gearing up for the second of five free annual technical assistance awards, made possible by the EPA’s Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Program.