“Your order is out of stock”

We sent the following email to our subscribers earlier today, and we’re sorry for any confusion it caused! It was meant to be a parody: we do not sell Christmas Village sets, and no order of any kind was processed. If you have any concerns, please feel free to contact us. — Alex Dodds, Communications Director

out-of-stock

Thank you so much for your recent order of a “Subdivision Christmas Village.” Unfortunately, this item is no longer in stock.

We simply were not getting enough orders of this model to continue producing them. Most of our customers seem to prefer the “Walkable Downtown Christmas Village” collection.

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Your questions answered from “(Re)Building Downtown”

Thanks to everyone who joined us on Monday for the kickoff panel discussion of (Re)Building Downtown: A Guidebook for Revitalization. We had a fantastic conversation with our five panelists, and got to answer several questions from listeners during the Q+A session. We had so many questions remaining at the end that we decided to follow up on them in a blog post. Chris Zimmerman, Smart Growth America’s Vice President for Economic Development, gave some more insight into the questions listeners had. Here are the answers.

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SeaTac, WA looks to make the most of three light rail stations with an “Implementing TOD” workshop

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The Angle Lake light rail station under construction in SeaTac, WA. A Smart Growth America workshop looked at the potential for new development around the station. Photo by SounderBruce via Flickr.

In early October, Smart Growth America traveled to SeaTac, WA to help the city figure out how to make the most of three light rail stations with an Implementing transit-oriented development 101 workshop.

The City of SeaTac has already adopted area plans for each of its SeaTac Airport, Tukwila International Boulevard, and soon-to-open Angle Lake light rail stations. “In 2016, with the opening of the Angle Lake Station, the City will have three light rail station areas, each with its own distinct attributes, opportunities and challenges,” said Todd Cutts, SeaTac City Manager. “The expert assistance from Smart Growth America will help guide the transformation of these areas and support the community in shaping them into active, interesting, and healthy places.”

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Bolstering economic development in Spokane, WA’s East Sprague District

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A portion of East Sprague Avenue in Spokane, WA. Photo via the City of Spokane.

On September 15 and 16, Smart Growth America traveled to the City of Spokane, WA for a two-day technical assistance workshop on Planning for Fiscal and Economic Health. The workshop helped inform and focus efforts for sustainable economic growth in the East Sprague Corridor, in coordination with the Sprague Targeted Investment Pilot (Sprague TIP) project.

On the first day of the workshop, Spokane-area residents joined an open public forum on the fundamentals of planning for economic and fiscal health. Roger Millar, former Smart Growth America Vice President for Technical Assistance, and Christopher Zimmerman, Smart Growth America’s Vice President for Economic Development, described the changing economic and demographic dynamics that are driving change throughout the United States, and gave an introductory level discussion of planning for economic health in Spokane.

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FAST Act contains new ways to finance transit-oriented development

Developers have two new ways to finance transit-oriented development, like the buildings in this rendering for Triangle Transit in North Carolina. Image via Our Transit Future. On December 4, President Obama signed into law the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) …

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Complete Streets News — December 2015

Safe streets included in FAST Act — This month, Congress passed a five-year, $305 billion transportation bill—the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. Notably, the bill requires all design for National Highway System roadways to take into account access for all modes of transportation. It also makes NACTO’s Urban Design Guide one of the standards for when the U.S. Department of Transportation designs roads, and it permits local governments to use their own adopted design guides if they are the lead project sponsor, even if it differs from state guidelines. Emiko Atherton, Director of the National Complete Streets Coalition, issued a statement in response.

Tickets on sale: Complete Streets Dinner — Join the National Complete Streets Coalition and celebrate this year’s successes at our sixth annual dinner, featuring speaker Mayor Ballard of Indiananapolis, IN. The dinner is an intimate event that brings together advocates from across the country for food, fun, conversation, and cocktails, and will be held this year on the evening of Tuesday, January 12, 2016 in Washington, DC during the Transportation Research Board meeting. Tickets are selling quickly: get your seat today.

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Recorded webinar: Learn more about the new Ladders of Opportunity technical assistance workshops

Transportation plays a critical role in connecting Americans and communities to economic opportunity. The National Public Transportation/Transit-Oriented Development Technical Assistance Ladders of Opportunity Initiative, a project of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) in partnership with Smart Growth America, will provide state and local leaders with new ideas, resources, and capacity for building transit-oriented development.

Requests for technical assistance workshops are now open and on December 10, FTA and Smart Growth America hosted an informational webinar to discuss in detail the technical assistance workshops and the application process. A recording of the webinar is now available.

Watch the archived webinar

Click here to view the archived webinar
Click here to download the presentation (PDF)

Speaking on the webinar were Kimberly Gayle, Director of the Office of Policy Review and Development at the Federal Transit Administration; Chris Zimmerman, Vice President of Economic Development at Smart Growth America; and Beth Osborne, Senior Policy Advisor at Smart Growth America.

Community leaders who have received FTA-funded transit projects grants and are considering TOD, or need ideas and assistance with TOD, are invited to request assistance. Requests are due by 5:00 p.m. EST Tuesday, January 19, 2016. Visit TODresources.org to learn more and apply.

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Recorded webinar: “(Re)Building Downtown: A Guidebook for Revitalization”

rebuilding6Are you interested in helping your community revitalize its downtown, but don’t know where to start?

Yesterday, Smart Growth America released (Re)Building Downtown: A Guidebook for Revitalization, a new resource for local leaders who want to re-invigorate and strengthen neighborhood centers of economy, culture, and history through a smart growth approach to development. The guide lays out in straightforward language seven main steps to help (re)build downtowns and Main Streets, and is designed to be used by any community, no matter where they are in the revitalization process.

As part of yesterday’s kickoff, we hosted an online conversation all about downtown revitalization. Participants heard an overview of the new guidebook, and discussed revitalization efforts in three different communities. A recorded version of the webinar is now available.

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Introducing “(Re)Building Downtown: A Guidebook for Revitalization”

Downtowns, Main Streets, and city centers across the country are witnessing a renaissance. As more Americans chose the convenience and connectivity of walkable neighborhoods, communities are seeing new businesses, restaurants, and shops open in areas that were formerly vacant or economically distressed.

This movement is an exciting opportunity for communities. But for many places, the work needed to create a vibrant downtown can seem daunting. A new guidebook is designed to help.

(Re)Building Downtown: A Guidebook for Revitalization, released today, is a new guide for local elected officials who want to re-invigorate and strengthen neighborhood centers of economy, culture, and history through a smart growth approach to development. The guide lays out in straightforward language seven main steps to take, and it’s designed to be used by any community, no matter where you are in the revitalization process.

We’ll be talking all about this guide during a kickoff panel discussion today at 1:00 pm EST. Register to join us for this free online event.

Joining the conversation will be Alex Morrison, Executive Director at Macon-Bibb County, GA Urban Development Authority; Mayor John Engen of Missoula, MT; and Will Schroeer, Executive Director, East Metro Strong of Saint Paul, MN. We welcome your questions and ideas for our panelists or about the new guidebook. Join the conversation on Twitter at the hashtag #RebuildingDowntown.

Today’s new guide is a fantastic resource for any community interested in a stronger, more vibrant downtown. Check out the new guidebook to learn more.

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LOCUS calls provisions in transportation bill a major step forward for walkable urban development

Today, as the President is expected to sign into law the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, the long-awaited five-year federal transportation bill, Christopher Coes, Managing Director of LOCUS, a program of Smart Growth America, issued the following statement.

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