Macon-Bibb County, GA is making its revitalization vision a reality with help from Smart Growth America

macon-ga
Downtown Macon, GA. Photo via NewTown Macon.

Macon-Bibb County, GA has big plans and a grand vision for how they want to revitalize their downtown. A workshop with Smart Growth America will help turn those plans into reality.

Smart Growth America traveled to Macon-Bibb on April 15 and 16, 2015 to conduct a workshop on Implementing Smart Growth 101. The workshop will help local leaders translate the plans for downtown revitalization into actionable next steps.

Posted in Georgia, Smart Growth 101, Technical assistance | Leave a comment

Green Carts are tackling New York City’s food deserts

Green Carts in New York City, NY. Photo via the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. How difficult is it for you to pick up a tomato for tonight’s dinner or some apples for the week? Unfortunately, for over 23 million people in …

Posted in Local Leaders Council, New York | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Since the workshop: Region-wide prosperity is collaborative effort in Graham County, NC

graham-county-ncA new regional vision will help Graham County, NC and its neighbors work together to achieve shared goals.

In April 2013, Smart Growth America traveled to Graham County, NC to hold a “Smart Growth 101″ workshop for county staff. The workshop was designed to provide an introduction to smart growth development strategies, including ideas about how the county could work with other jurisdictions in the region to achieve its long-term goals.

This past January that work took a big step forward with the release of Opt-In SWNC: The Regional Vision. The report was authored by the Southwestern North Carolina Planning and Economic Development Commission, which represents a seven-county region in southwest North Carolina that includes Graham County.

Posted in North Carolina, Technical assistance | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Bentonville, AR workshop will inform the city’s comprehensive plan update

bentonville-workshop
Smart Growth America staff lead a technical assistance workshop in Bentonville, AR. Photo courtesy of the City of Bentonville.

Smart Growth America traveled to Bentonville, AR on April 1 and 2, 2015, to hold a workshop for city staff on “Planning for Economic and Fiscal Health.” The workshop, which was part of our 2015 free technical assistance program, was designed to help Bentonville plan for development in ways that support long term prosperity.

Bentonville is just beginning the process of updating the city’s comprehensive plan, which will guide development in the city for years to come. City officials will use what they learned in this month’s workshop to inform their work on the comprehensive plan moving forward. Bentonville was one of just 14 communities nationwide awarded a free workshop as part of this competitive program.

Posted in Arkansas, Planning for Economic and Fiscal Health, Technical assistance | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Join us for a live Twitter chat on the future of equitable, walkable development

locus-twitter-chat-700px

Can real estate developers prevent displacement and gentrification? Are there ways to pay for critical infrastructure without burdening taxpayers? How can the public and private sectors better work together to create equitable, walkable development?

We’re currently putting together the agenda for the 2015 LOCUS National Leadership Summit, and we want to hear from you about the topics you are most interested in.

Join us for a live Twitter chat on Thursday, April 16 from 1–2 PM EDT to discuss what should be on the agenda of the 2015 LOCUS Leadership Summit. Tweet your questions at @LOCUSdevelopers, or join the conversation at hashtag #LOCUSsummit.

Posted in Blog, LOCUS | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Complete Streets News — April 2015


Photo by Oregon Department of Transportation

Complete Streets benefit communities — In our new report, Safer Streets, Stronger Economies, we examined the economic, safety, and multimodal travel benefits of 37 Complete Streets projects from across the country. We found that most projects improved safety, encouraged more multimodal trips, were cost-effective, and helped to support local economic development. Leaders and transportation professionals involved in projects in North Carolina, Florida, Illinois, and Seattle joined us for a lively discussion of the challenges and successes of a Complete Streets approach on our launch-day webinar. Watch the recording >>

One traffic engineer’s Complete Streets journey  In case you missed it, our follow-up Safer Streets, Stronger Economies interview with North Carolina’s Dean Ledbetter is a compelling read. Ledbetter, a traffic engineer who led the transformation of West Jefferson, NC’s main street, shares his initial skepticism of pedestrian safety improvements and how his thinking shifted over time. Read more >>


Posted in Complete Streets, Complete Streets News | Leave a comment

Are you having trouble with the new Fannie Mae appraisal process?

LOCUS is calling on developers across the county to be apart of this discussion to share their experience with the Fannie Mae’s secondary market appraisal guidelines for small multi-family properties. With enough responses, LOCUS will convene a working group charged to develop a list of recommendations to improve Fannie Mae’s appraisal guidelines.

Posted in LOCUS | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Councilmember Michael Wojcik on creating a community that works for all

10422376_10152106270662231_7285526951837721291_n
Summer Market in Rochester, MN. Photo by Rochester, MN via Facebook.

Driving home from work one day in Rochester, MN, Michael Wojcik came across an accident where a 6-year-old girl riding her bicycle with her family had been struck and killed by a vehicle. The family lived in a subdivision, and had to cross two major county roads to get anywhere. That is what they were doing that day, when three lanes of traffic had stopped—but the fourth did not.

Posted in Local Leaders Council, Minnesota | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

See who will be speaking at the 2015 LOCUS Leadership Summit

We’re excited to introduce the some of the leading real estate executives who will be featured speakers at the 2015 LOCUS National Leadership Summit: Private Sector Solutions to the Affordability and Social Equity Crisis.

Posted in Events, LOCUS | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Watch the recorded webcast of “The Fiscal Implications of Development Patterns”

To what degree does the choice of development pattern impact costs for a local government? How do these decisions affect a municipality’s budget and tax revenues, and the cost of infrastructure and services it must provide?

The Fiscal Impact of Development Patterns, a new model from Smart Growth America and real estate advisors RCLCO, is designed to help municipalities answer these questions.

The new model was unveiled yesterday morning, and as part of the kickoff Chris Zimmerman, Smart Growth America’s Vice President for Economic Development, and Patrick Lynch, Smart Growth America’s Research Director, presented an overview of the new resource at an event in Madison, WI. The presentation was webcast live yesterday afternoon and a recorded version of their discussion is now available above or on YouTube.

Posted in Events, Featured Content, Video | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment