Workshop targets future growth
South Padre Parade – May 16, 2013
The City of Port Isabel is one of 22 cities to be awarded Smart Growth America’s 2013 free technical assistance.
Nonmetro Areas as a Whole Experience First Period of Population Loss
USDA Blog – May 16, 2013
Population growth rates in nonmetro areas have been lower than those in metro areas since the mid-1990s, and the gap widened considerably in recent years.
Are streetcars the future of public transportation?
Salon – May 17, 2013
When President Obama nominated Charlotte, North Carolina, Mayor Anthony Foxx to head the U.S. Department of Transportation last month, he cited among Foxx’s other relevant accomplishments “a new streetcar project that’s going to bring modern electric tram service to [Charlotte’s] downtown area.”
Gas tax alternative drive takes wrong turn: Our view
USA Today – May 16, 2013
As revenue falls, states turn to punitive, complex or intrusive alternatives.
City of Port Isabel officials and local residents will meet with representatives from Smart Growth America on May 21 and 22, 2013 as part of a free, grant-funded technical assistance program. The workshop will aim to give Port Isabel the tools it needs to leverage community assets and create a sustainable growth plan for the city.
“Port Isabel’s history and character set us apart, and the City works hard to maintain those assets,” said Mayor Joe E. Vega. “We want to make sure Port Isabel stays a great place to live and visit for generations to come and we want to do that in the best way possible. That’s what next week’s workshop is about.”
City of Port Isabel residents are invited to join the workshop’s first day for an introductory presentation that will feature a broad overview of strategies for implementing smart growth strategies. The event will be held Tuesday, May 21, 2013 from 6:30–8:00 PM at the Port Isabel City Hall, 305 East Maxan Street, Port Isabel 78578.
“Smart Growth America is committed to providing training to help community leaders keep cities and towns livable, sustainable and vital places,” said Roger Millar, Director of Smart Growth America’s Leadership Institute. “Port Isabel has the potential to create and implement great sustainable plans for the future of their city. This workshop will give city officials the tools needed to start a conversation about smart growth strategies and the value it can bring to their community.”
NoMa, one of DC’s newest walkable neighborhoods, and site of the 2013 Leadership Summit walking tour. Photo by Noma BID, via Flickr.
The second annual LOCUS Leadership Summit is less than three weeks away and we are pleased to announce the additional of several exciting speakers to the Summit’s agenda.
Straughter Body Shop prior to demolition and remediation (left) and after (right). The project was made possible by SEP funding. Photos via Meredith Gramelspacher.
The following is a guest post from Meredith Gramelspacher, Director and General Counsel of the
Indiana Brownfields Program
Indiana’s toolbox for creative brownfields financing includes one source that is seldom used outside of Indiana: Supplemental Environmental Projects.
Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs) are used by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) Office of Enforcement in negotiating settlements of enforcement cases. These environmentally-beneficial project improve, protect, or reduce risks to public health or the environment. A regulated entity agrees to undertake the project in further settlement of an enforcement action, but which the regulated entity is not otherwise legally required to perform. In certain cases, IDEM agrees to allow a respondent to make a cash payment of an agreed-upon dollar amount directly to the Indiana Finance Authority in lieu of an assessed civil penalty for use on a brownfield project in the city, town or county in which the violation underlying the enforcement action occurred. The Indiana Brownfields Program then coordinates with the beneficiary community to select a brownfield property at which to utilize the SEP Funds consistent with Brownfield SEP guidelines.
711 Canal Street in Stamford, CT. Image courtesy of Pullman & Comley Attorneys Thank you to everyone who attending SGA’s National Brownfields Coalition’s webinar What the BUILD Act Could Build on Wednesday, May 8th, 2013. On the webinar, we discussed the …
Announcing the 2013 Vanguard Class
Next City – May 16, 2013
we’ve selected 40 people whose bright ideas for cities, experience in the field and ambition for the future all show great promise. (Congratulations, Alex Dodds!)
It’s Time For City Planners To Adapt A New Model
Forbes – May 15, 2013
Mayors and city councils are somehow more informed as to how to meet the future with ten and twenty year plans in file drawers.
Where Americans Want To Live: New ULI Report, America In 2013, Explores Housing, Transportation, Community Preferences Survey Suggests Strong Demand for Compact Development
ULI Blog – May 16, 2013
A new report from the Urban Land Institute (ULI) underscores the influence that growing demographic groups in the U.S. – in particular Generation Y, African Americans, and Latinos – will have on reshaping urban growth patterns by spurring more development of compact, mixed-use communities with reliable, convenient transit service.
Bike Lane Battles Heat Up
Governing – May 16, 2013
The share of Americans commuting by bike has grown by 47 percent since 2000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2010 American Community Survey.
Do you know the ten smart growth principles by heart? Me neither, but there’s one I never forget: Encourage Community and Stakeholder Collaboration in Development Decisions.
Engaging community members in decisions about where, what, when and how to invest, build, and preserve is what makes smart growth smart. As basic as this principle is, though, it is not always easy to do. There is a learning curve for everyone involved in the development process and this is particularly true for brownfield sites—properties that are or are suspected to be contaminated by hazardous materials. Brownfields are some of the most complicated redevelopment projects and the more people and official processes that are involved in the process, the steeper the learning curve.
That’s why Smart Growth America is happy to release a new tool designed to help communities organize for effective public outreach. The Organizing to Promote Targeted Improvements in Our Neighborhoods (OPTIONs) Community Engagement Workbook is a series of seven worksheets with instructions designed to help community groups think about how to organize, what they need, and how to build a strategy to participate in the redevelopment process. Community groups can use these tools on their own, but they can be just as useful for local governments seeking working with partners in federally- and state-mandated community engagement programs.
Do American Households Really Prefer “Sprawl” Development?
Bacon’s Rebellion (VA) – May 15, 2013
As Smart Growth America has documented, 84% of the $2.2 trillion in loans, loan guarantees, tax benefits and direct subsidies that the federal government directed to the real estate sector between Fiscal 2007 and 2011 went to single family housing.
Despite Driving Decline, U.S. Builds for Far More Cars
Streetsblog – May 14, 2013
A new study from U.S. PIRG and the Frontier Group projects three scenarios for Americans’ future driving patterns that all fall short of current government projections.
Officials Hold Meeting On Brownfields In Atlanta
41 NBC (GA) – May 15, 2013
Environmental and government officials are planning to hold a conference on brownfields in Atlanta.
Secretary of Transportation: Who Is Anthony Foxx?
AllGov.com – May 15, 2013
Winning election for mayor in 2009, Foxx focused on helping small businesses, improving government efficiency and public safety, and implementating a 10-Year-Plan to End Homelessness.
Smart Growth America is preparing to launch a new venture and we are looking for an experienced entrepreneur to join us in co-founding a startup opportunity. The new venture will create a social community for those living an urban, car-lite lifestyle by providing news, events, and local resources, an easy connection to urban goods & services and bring people together on and offline.
Candidates must have previous experience running or playing a senior role in a startup as well as have an understanding of and passion for the urban lifestyle. Experience in a startup with a significant web/mobile presence and successfully promoting brand affinity preferred. Experience with market segmentation, customer discovery and validation, taking a product through launch, and scaling to multiple cities are all core to the position. We are looking for someone to work with us to take our concept, develop a business plan, test the offerings, and help us bring it to fruition.
Local leaders across the country have already built their way to better budgets.
Dozens of municipalities have compared development scenarios and the impact they would have on public finances. Nearly as many places have found that they could save money—and increase revenue—by using smarter development strategies.
How much can other communities expect to save with these strategies? And how much revenue, on average, does smart growth development generate compared to the alternatives?
Next week Smart Growth America will release new research that answers these questions. The new report collects local studies from across the country and will unveil new analysis on how smart growth strategies would impact an average municipality’s budget.