by The Hon. John Robert Smith
Many rural communities have seen farmland eroded by encroaching development, or are losing young residents to places with more amenities and greater opportunities. Whether drained by sprawl or struggling to compete, how can rural communities address these challenges while remaining true to their unique character?
Smart Growth America’s new Rural Development program, launching today, is designed to help local leaders strengthen rural economies through a smart growth approach to development. The new program will give rural residents and leaders better information about the financial and economic impacts of development choices.
There’s lots of talk these days about how new technology can help cities meet their pressing transportation challenges. Where should cities start on this? And how can city leaders ever get up to speed on this quickly changing industry?
In December, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced a new initiative to help communities across the country advance transit-oriented development (TOD) projects to grow their economies, achieve their social equity goals, and improve quality of life for everyone.
Boise, Denver, Greenville, Minneapolis, Nashville, and Pittsburgh are six of the many cities using a new strategy for economic development. Rather than offering tax breaks to lure companies, these cities are creating walkable, vibrant, inclusive neighborhoods that are attracting residents and employers, supporting existing businesses, and fostering entrepreneurs.
We talk about this new approach in our most recent report, Amazing Place: Six Cities Using the New Recipe for Economic Development. The report takes an in-depth look at the development strategies at work in these six cities, and is designed to show communities everywhere how to create diverse and durable local economies that last beyond the lifecycle of any one employer.
As part of Tuesday’s kickoff for the new report, we hosted an online conversation about creating these amazing places. Participants heard an overview of the guide as well as a detailed discussion about development in Denver, Greenville, and Pittsburgh. A recorded version of the webinar is now available.
Posted in Colorado, Pennsylvania, Rebuilding Downtown, South Carolina, Webinars
Tagged Allegheny Conference on Community Development, Amazing Place, Denver, Downtown Denver Partnership, Greenville, Pittsburgh, Rebuilding Downtown
For decades, local economic development has revolved around enticing companies to relocate with tax breaks and subsidies. There are a lot of problems with this approach, but perhaps the biggest is that today, it’s a strategy that often simply doesn’t work.
A new trend in local economic development is emerging. Talented workers—and the companies who want to employ them—are increasingly moving to walkable neighborhoods served by transit, with a vibrant mix of restaurants, cafes, shops, cultural attractions, and affordable housing options.
Posted in Rebuilding Downtown, Reports
Tagged Amazing Place, Boise, Colorado, Denver, Greenville, Guides, Idaho, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Nashville, Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh, Reports, south carolina, Tennessee
Smart Growth America is seeking a paid intern to support our technical assistance program and our workshops for state and local governments’ across the country.
The Intern will be an integral part of the team and will play a vital role in managing the day-to-day operations of our workshops for local communities around the country. The Intern will assist with our work in major urban areas as well as our growing presence in rural communities. Core responsibilities include: logistical and research support for workshops and policy summits, coordinating with workshop instructors and communities receiving workshops, authoring blogs, promoting our technical assistance through social networking, and providing administrative support to the team.
There are 619 regionally significant, walkable urban places (or “WalkUPs”) in the nation’s 30 largest metro areas.
Foot Traffic Ahead 2016, released today by LOCUS in conjunction with the Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis at the George Washington University School of Business, looked at all of them.
The new report ranks the country’s 30 largest metropolitan areas based on the amount of commercial and multi-family rental development in WalkUPs, and uses a series of forward-looking metrics to predict how walkable their future development might be. The research also uses social equity metrics like housing costs, transportation costs, and access to jobs to understand the relationship between walkability and social equity.
The research found that walkable urban market share growth in office and multi-family rental increased in all 30 metro areas between 2010-2015, while drivable sub-urban locations have lost market share.
Not surprisingly, New York City, Washington DC, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, and Seattle ranked at the top of current areas for walkable urbanism. But the research points to other cities including Phoenix, Los Angeles, and metro Detroit as best-positioned for future growth of walkability given current efforts in those the communities.
Download the full report to see the full rankings, including which metros are getting the most out of their current development, which have the greatest momentum, and which rank the highest for social equity.
Our Transportation for America program works with cities across the country to create transportation networks that support economic prosperity.
New technologies play an increasingly important role in this field and today we’re excited to announce a new partnership between Transportation for America and Sidewalk Labs to support cities in this important work.
Smart Growth America seeks a Communications Associate to assist in the development, writing, design and layout of its numerous publications and reports, particularly on subjects related to transportation and transit-oriented development.
One of the main reasons Smart Growth America advocates for compact, walkable urban development is because this approach can greatly benefit the finances of municipalities. Smart growth strategies can reduce infrastructure costs and ongoing expenses for cities while also boosting tax revenues. Smart Growth America’s own work has shown that, and we know this to be true too because of the outstanding work of others in the field like Joe Minicozzi, AICP and the principal at Urban3, LLC, a consultancy based out of Asheville, NC. We’re fans of their work and and cite it often as yet another illustration of how good smart growth can be for city finances. We want to take this opportunity to highlight some of the evidence Minicozzi has amassed over the years demonstrating smart growth’s fiscal benefits.
Urban3 has been hired by cities and towns across the United States and Canada to analyze the financial implications of their development strategies. Most city planners and elected officials understand that a city brings in more tax revenue when people shop and eat out, Minicozzi explained in 2012, but they often underestimate just how much more valuable this economic activity is when it happens downtown rather than on a city’s outskirts.