On the left: A former car dealership in Clearwater, FL became a designated brownfield after the dealership closed. On the right: Today the site is home to the Harbor Oaks shopping center, complete with a new grocery store for the community.
You might be familiar with the concept of brownfields—vacant sites that are known or suspected to be contaminated and which must be remediated before they can be reused. A related, but less well-known concept is healthfields, which turn former brownfields into community health facilities. Healthfields are gaining wide support within regulatory and policy circles, and their popularity opens up new opportunities for real estate developers in these fields.
In many markets today brownfields are unfortunately common enough that land-use-related companies have evolved to specialize in brownfields redevelopment. These companies—including real estate developers, law firms and engineering firms, among others—have learned to navigate the complex regime of rules, procedures and standards that govern the redevelopment of brownfield sites. These companies have also become experts in the web of federal, state and local programs available for brownfields redevelopment, which are often what make brownfield site redevelopment financially feasible.
A crew from the Virginia Department of Transportation fills potholes. Photo by VDOT via Flickr.
How much would your state need to spend to repair its roads? Most likely the answer to that question is “a lot.” In some cases, state DOTs could spend their entire annual budget on repair and maintenance and still have work left to do. So why are many states making the problem even worse by continuing to spend scarce transportation dollars expanding their road networks?
In two weeks, Smart Growth America and Taxpayers for Common Sense will address this question with the release of the 2014 edition of Repair Priorities.
Smart Growth America seeks an Economic Analysis Fellow to assist with in-depth studies and technical assistance on local government fiscal and economic development issues related to smart growth and land use.
Position description and Responsibilities
The Fellow will work closely with Smart Growth America’s professional staff leads in the area of economic and fiscal analysis, performing technically-oriented public policy research. The primary responsibilities involve: Assembling data and preparing in form suitable for analysis; working with spreadsheets, GIS, statistical packages, or other modeling tools; and assisting in the drafting of reports, briefs, and memoranda related to the research program.
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Tagged Careers, Jobs
Livermore, CA is included among the top of The Best Complete Streets Policies of 2013.
A total of 83 communities adopted Complete Streets policies in the United States in 2013. These laws, resolutions and planning and design documents encourage and provide for the safe access to destinations for everyone, regardless of age, ability, income or ethnicity, and no matter how they travel.
The Best Complete Streets Policies of 2013, released today by Smart Growth America’s National Complete Streets Coalition examines and scores each Complete Streets policy enacted in 2013. The report outlines ten ideal elements of a Complete Streets policy and scores individual policies based on these ideals. Policy elements refine a community’s vision for transportation, provide for many types of users, complement community needs and establish a flexible approach necessary for an effective Complete Streets process and outcome.
Real estate developers and investors interested in building walkable neighborhoods are invited to participate in the 2014 LOCUS Leadership Summit: Closing the next [Smart Growth] deal.
The 2014 Summit will take place on June 17-18, 2014 in Washington, DC. Real estate developers, investors, members of Congress and Washington’s thought leaders will come together to discuss cutting edge design, planning, finance and management ideas you won’t find anywhere else.
Indianapolis, IN had the highest scoring Complete Streets policy of 2012. Photo by Ian Freimuth via Flickr.
More than 80 communities passed Complete Streets policies in 2013, and on February 18, Smart Growth America’s National Complete Streets Coalition will unveil which ones were the best.
Each year, the Coalition analyzes Complete Streets policies enacted in the past year. These laws, resolutions, executive orders, policies and planning and design documents encourage and provide safe access to destinations for everyone, regardless of age, ability, income, ethnicity or how they travel.
Join us for an online event to celebrate this year’s best policies and to hear how communities everywhere can create streets that are safer and more convenient for everyone who uses them.
Responding to President Obama’s call to keep “the dream of homeownership alive for future generations of Americans,” Smart Growth America President and CEO Geoff Anderson issued the following statement:
President Obama is doing the nation a great service by bringing attention to the urgent need to help American families invest in their first home. As he said last night, even in the midst of recovery, too many Americans are working hard just to get by—let alone get ahead.
Homeownership can help families build wealth and plays a significant role in the economic security of America’s middle class, but the federal government could do more to help families reach this goal.
Smart Growth America is hiring for a Communications Fellow to contribute to our website, online networks and press efforts. This opportunity features a great deal of responsibility, direct collaboration with thousands of supporters and valuable hands-on experience.
The ideal Communications Fellow is an excellent writer tapped in to news about national politics and smart growth development, who can create engaging content for our website, email lists and social media networks. Applicants should be dependable team players who can perform regular duties while also offering new ideas for how to make our work even better.
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Baltimore County became the sixth Maryland jurisdiction with a Complete Streets policy when its County Council adopted Resolution 126-13 just before Christmas. The detailed policy was crafted by the county’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee, which had been working toward a policy since 2011. Councilman David Marks lauded its passage, saying that despite the suburban county’s progress in constructing bicycle and trail infrastructure over the past several years, “we have very little land for new roads and need to use existing transportation capacity as wisely as possible.” Read more >>
State transportation officials across the country are facing the same challenges: Revenues are falling and budgets are shrinking but transportation demands are continuing to grow.
Innovative approaches can help transportation officials overcome both these sets of challenges, and an updated resource from Smart Growth America and the State Smart Transportation Initiative (SSTI) outlines how.
The second edition of The Innovative DOT, released today, provides 34 strategies transportation officials can use to position their agencies for success in a new era of constrained budgets. Originally released in 2012 and developed with input from top transportation professionals and agency staff from around the nation, the handbook documents many of the innovative approaches state leaders are using to make systems more efficient, government more effective and constituents better satisfied.
“America’s transportation system is vital for economic growth and to our everyday quality of life,” said Roger Millar, Vice President of Smart Growth America. “Faced with tight budgets, transportation agencies are taking new approaches to managing our nation’s transportation infrastructure. The resources in The Innovative DOT encourage smarter investments and a more strategic approach to help deliver the best possible performance given our current fiscal situation.”