In July 2012, the Governors’ Institute on Community Design met with Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and his Administration to identify policies and tool to meet the State’s housing needs. Last week, Governor Patrick announced an ambitious housing policy initiative that builds on those strategies.
Nominations are now being accepted for Smart Growth America’s Leadership Institute second annual Leadership Award. This is a great opportunity to recognize elected officials in your area who have championed smart growth and sustainable development policies.
Smart Growth America’s Leadership Institute’s Award for Outstanding Leadership is bestowed annually on an elected official that has shown exceptional leadership in smart growth policy development or implementation. Last year, North Carolina State Senator Floyd B. McKissick and Representative Jennifer Weiss received the award for their outstanding leadership in smart growth policy making that will make North Carolina neighborhoods even greater places to live. Their efforts helped create the innovative Sustainable Communities Task Force, which created $250,000 in task force grants for regional sustainable development partnerships.
The Leadership Institute will be accepting nominations from Smart Growth America coalition members until September 1, 2011. Please contact Shelly Hazle, Program Manager, Smart Growth America for further details at 202-207-3355 x120 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cities and towns across the country face a number of complex problems associated with vacant and abandoned properties, including public health concerns, environmental hazards and reduced property values. Solving these problems is a formidable challenge for any city, but solutions too often lack the long-term vision and planning necessary to rejuvenate a disintegrated community.
In Philadelphia, a city with more than 40,000 vacant properties, one nonprofit organization took an innovative approach to addressing the problem. Philadelphia’s City Parks Association (CPA), a non-profit land use organization, has played a catalytic role in establishing and maintaining public parks and open space in urban areas of Philadelphia. With a mission “to stimulate visionary thinking about natural resources and open space in the urban community” and experience in city planning, CPA recognizes that Philadelphia’s ecology and community engagement are essential parts for finding solutions to the city’s vacant property issues.