Longwood, FL works to support long-term growth with a workshop from Smart Growth America

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Downtown Longwood, FL is already home to a SunRail station and new development. How can the city make the most of future growth? Photo via.

Downtown Longwood, FL is already home to a SunRail station, and new residential and retail development projects are in the works. Now the city is thinking strategically about how to make the most of all this growth, and they asked Smart Growth America for help.

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Place-based economic development in Pelahatchie, MS, Urbana, IL, and Stamford, CT at Policy Forum 2016

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Libby Tyler speaks about place-based economic development in Urbana, IL as part of Policy Forum 2016.

Pelahatchie, MS, Urbana, IL, and Stamford, CT, are three very different communities with different economies and demographics. However, all of them are using a place-based approach to their economic development, and they have lessons to share with other communities interested in doing the same.

Local leaders from across the country came together in July for the Local Leaders Council Policy Forum 2016, a day-long summit in Washington, DC on revitalizing communities, placemaking, and preventing displacement. Place-based Economic Development was one of three tracks discussed at the conference. Revitalization without Displacement and Jumpstarting Revitalization were the other two.

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Why Huntsville, AL wants to build more Complete Streets

If your city could be more convenient, more attractive, and get more out of its past investments, wouldn’t you want it to? That’s what Huntsville, AL was thinking about when they first became interested in a Complete Streets approach to street design.

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Announcing the full agenda for Street Lights

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Interested in attending our Street Lights: Illuminating Implementation and Equity in Complete Streets conference? The National Complete Streets Coalition has just released our full agenda.

Taking place on November 15, 2016 in Sacramento, CA, Street Lights 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, we will be focusing on implementation of and equity in Complete Streets.

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USDOT wants to make it easier to find funding for innovative transportation projects

build-america-bureauTransportation Secretary Anthony Foxx at the launch of the Build America Bureau last month. Photo via USDOT.

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) offers a number of different grant and loan programs for innovative transportation projects. But navigating the application process for these programs—or even knowing exactly what types of projects are eligible under each one—can be complicated.

To help cities and state navigate and better utilize all these programs, last month USDOT launched the the Build America Bureau, a one-stop shop for information about how to apply for federal transportation grants and loans. As Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx explained at the launch, the Bureau will “streamline credit opportunities and grants more quickly and transparently, while providing technical assistance and encouraging innovative best practices in project planning, financing, delivery, and monitoring.”

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Smart Growth America welcomes Rick Chellman as new director of design

chellman-headshotSmart Growth America is pleased to announce today the hiring of Rick Chellman, P.E., L.L.S., as director of design.

Chellman has over 30 years experience in civil engineering, engineering consulting, traffic engineering and land surveying, land use regulations, and development planning. As an independent consultant he has also worked extensively on the engineering and traffic engineering aspects of neighborhood development and street design. Chellman has written several land use regulations and zoning ordinances, authored and co-authored numerous works related to transportation and neighborhood design, and helped lead neighborhood design charettes across the country.

“Engineering at its best is about solving problems and making people’s lives easier,” said Geoff Anderson, President and CEO of Smart Growth America. “Rick absolutely understands that. He has helped communities across the country and the world get a clear picture of their goals, and then figure out how to achieve them in cost-effective ways. We are thrilled to have him bring that expertise to the communities we work with.”

In his new role, Chellman will work on Smart Growth America’s technical assistance workshops, particularly for departments of transportation. Learn more about his new work in our short Q+A below.

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Revitalization without Displacement in Washington, DC and Detroit, MI at Policy Forum 2016

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Courtney Snowden, Deputy Mayor of Economic Opportunity for Washington, DC speaks as part of a panel at the third annual Local Leaders Council Policy Forum in Washington, DC. Photo by Ted Eytan on Flickr.

Development can do great things for a city—as long as neighborhoods can keep their communities and their culture intact. That’s the philosophy guiding the work of Courtney Snowden, Washington DC Deputy Mayor of Greater Economic Opportunity, and Conan Smith, Commissioner of Washtenaw County, MI, who spoke about “Revitalization without Displacement” at the 2016 Local Leaders Council Policy Forum on July 19, 2016 in Washington, DC.

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10 reasons to become a LOCUS member today

The 2016-2017 LOCUS membership season is right around the corner, but we’re still missing one thing — your voice! With great opportunities to connect, advocate, showcase your work, and learn new ideas, there’s no better time to join LOCUS. Here are …

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Complete Streets News — July 2016

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Register 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!

A proposed rule at USDOT could support safer streets. Will it? — This 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. Not every street should be designed for fast-moving cars. Sign the petition to tell USDOT to change their proposed rule.

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A full list of the walkable neighborhoods included in “Foot Traffic Ahead”

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Last month we released Foot Traffic Ahead 2016, new research from our LOCUS program in conjunction with the Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis at The George Washington University’s School of Business that looks at walkable urban development in the nation’s largest metro areas.

The report examined 619 regionally significant walkable urban places—or WalkUPs—in the country’s 30 largest metro areas, and ranked which metros are making the most of their current development, which are positioned to be most walkable in the future, and which rank best for social equity.

Since the release we’ve received many requests for the full list of WalkUP neighborhoods. Today, we’re pleased to release the full list of WalkUPs analyzed in the report.

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