Recorded webinar: “Amazing Place” kickoff discussion

amazing-place-webinar-iconBoise, 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.

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How Massachusetts is encouraging communities to take action on Complete Streets

webinar-massachusetts-complete-streetsStates and local governments have eagerly adopted new policies for Complete Streets, a design approach to make streets safe and convenient for all users. However, some states and municipalities have been slow to put these policies into practice.

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is taking action to encourage more Complete Streets projects across the state through its Complete Streets Funding Program. Local municipalities that attend trainings and adopt Complete Street policy best practices become eligible for state funding to plan and rebuild local streets.

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Get the recap: Speaker presentations from the 2016 LOCUS Leadership Summit

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The 2016 LOCUS Leadership Summit featured an exceptional lineup of real estate developers, investors, local elected officials, and transportation professionals, who came together to discuss a range of topics affecting walkable, urban communities.

The Summit’s speakers talked about cutting-edge ideas for the next American century, the future of investing, 21st century mobility opportunities, and more. If you are interested in a recap of what got discussed, all of this year’s presentations are below.

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Introducing “Amazing Place”

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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.

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Should every street be designed for fast-moving cars?

complete-streetHelping cars drive fast isn’t always the most important thing. Photo by Derek Severson via Streetsblog.

Back in April, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) proposed new requirements for how states and metro areas will have to measure traffic congestion — the first time the agency has ever proposed such a requirement.

Measuring what America’s transportation dollars actually buy us is a great move. But the rule as it’s currently written would measure success in outdated ways, prioritizing fast driving speeds over all other modes of transportation and their associated benefits.

Posted in Complete Streets, Complete Streets Federal, Complete Streets Policy, DOT, Federal | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

A recap of the 2016 LOCUS National Leadership Summit

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The 2016 LOCUS National Leadership Summit took place last week at the Algonquin Club of Boston, MA, bringing together the nation’s leading real estate developers, investors, and local elected officials from around the country. Participants shared ideas, created new business deals, discussed smart growth issues, and prepared themselves for the future of smart growth development.

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Complete Streets News — June 2016

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Registration is now open for Street Lights — Join the National Complete Streets Coalition at Street Lights: Illuminating Implementation and Equity in Complete Streets, our first-ever Complete Streets conference, taking place on November 15, 2016 in Sacramento, CA. This day-long conference will be a chance for transportation planners and engineers, community, equity, and health advocates, local officials, and Complete Streets practitioners to share ideas, brainstorm solutions, and celebrate the success of the Complete Streets movement nationwide together. Conference registration is $150 for National Complete Streets Coalition Partners and $195 for non-Partners. Become a Partner today and one complimentary registration is included!

Tell USDOT: Build inclusive and safe transportation options for all users — For the first time ever, the U.S. Department of Transportation has proposed requirements for how states and metro areas will have to measure traffic congestion. These new requirements will help us all understand what federal transportation dollars actually accomplish—an absolutely worthwhile goal.  However, as it’s currently written the proposal would measure success in outdated ways, prioritizing fast driving speeds over the needs of other transportation users, including bicyclists and pedestrians. Tell USDOT to improve its proposed rule. Add your name to our petition and we’ll hand deliver it straight to the desk of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.

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Jersey City, Birmingham, and Raleigh win new workshops for revitalization without displacement

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Birmingham, AL’s Woodlawn neighborhood will be the focus of Smart Growth America’s new partnership with that city. Photo via.

Communities large and small are looking for ways to create prosperity that everyone can participate in. Smart Growth America’s new Planning for Successful and Equitable Revitalization program is designed to help.

In partnership with PNC, this new addition to our technical assistance offerings will help communities revitalize successfully and capture benefits from the revitalization process for families of all income levels.

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Now Hiring: Technical Assistance Intern

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.

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Join us for the launch of “Amazing Place”

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For decades, if a community wanted to increase jobs, the go-to approach was to offer companies tax breaks and subsidies to relocate there.

This approach has lots of downsides. But perhaps the biggest problem for economic development officials now is that too often, this strategy simply doesn’t work.

Companies today are less interested in tax breaks and more interested in vibrant neighborhoods with affordable housing options, restaurants, nightlife, and other amenities in walking distance, and a range of transportation options for their employees.

If tax breaks were the old way to do economic development, creating great places is the new way.

On Tuesday, June 28, we’ll release Amazing Place, which details how six cities are using a place-based approach to economic development.

Posted in Events, Rebuilding Downtown, Reports | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments