Category: Blog

State and local partnerships prove essential at State Resilience Summit

080609-F-6967G-196Flooding in places like Lake Delton, WI prompted the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation to focus on local disaster recovery strategies. Photo by Paul Gormond, via Wikimedia Commons.

How can states partner with local authorities to improve disaster resilience, while also addressing local economic, environmental and equity concerns?

An expert panel tackled this question earlier this week at the Governors’ Institute on Community Design State Resilience and Economic Growth Summit in Washington, DC. The two-day event brought together experts on disaster recovery and long-term resilience to discuss best practices and new strategies with state and federal leaders. The Governors’ Institute on Community Design is an initiative of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Transportation administered by Smart Growth America.

In a day two breakout session on “The Role of State and Local Partnerships”, participants heard from leaders on the challenges of building strong state-local partnerships for resilience implementation.

Posted in Blog, Events, GICD, Resilience | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Bring in the experts with a free smart growth workshop—applications are due October 23!

A scene from our walkability audit workshop in Salisbury, MD—one of 18 communities to receive free technical assistance from Smart Growth America in 2014. Photo by Neha Bhatt.

Thinking about applying for one of our 2015 free technical assistance workshops? Don’t wait! There are only two weeks left to apply.

Each year, Smart Growth America offers a limited number of community workshops at no charge. Our experts work with your community to understand your goals, show how smart growth development strategies can help achieve them, and develop a plan to make it happen. Now in its fourth year, our free technical assistance program has helped over 50 communities grow in ways that benefit both residents and businesses while protecting the environment and preserving a sense of place.

Posted in Blog, Technical assistance | Leave a comment

Our technical assistance workshops have helped 50+ communities. Apply today!

Indianapolis 1
The Culture Trail of Indianapolis, IN—one of 19 communities to receive technical assistance from Smart Growth America in 2014. Photo via

As we announced earlier this month, Smart Growth America is accepting applications for our 2015 free technical assistance workshops now through October 23. You’ve already seen how our 12 ready-to-go workshops are designed to help communities tackle local development challenges. But have you visited our Past Workshops page recently?

Our chronicle of past workshops is a great resource to see how local leaders and residents across the country have worked with Smart Growth America to develop the knowledge, tools, and strategies to make their communities more livable, sustainable and vibrant places through both our free technical assistance program and our fee-for-service workshops.

To date, our technical assistance program has provided workshops to over 50 urban, suburban, and rural communities in 34 states from Hawaii to Maine.Want to see how Tacoma, WA’s experience might help your community? How about Salisbury, MD or Des Moines, IA? You can find information about the context, content, and outcomes of each of our past workshops on the past workshops page.

Posted in Blog, Technical assistance, Tools | Leave a comment

Webinar Recap: Investing in Healthy Communities

Walkable real estate is a priority in downtown Indianapolis, IN. Photo via Flickr.

Across the country, public- and private-sector investment in walkability is on the rise. Join LOCUS: Responsible Real Estate Developers and Investors on October 8, 2014 for an online presentation to discuss new and innovative models for building walkable development projects that generate health and economic benefits for the entire community.

During the webinar, expert panelists Colleen Carey, president of the Cornerstone Group and Elizabeth Schilling, Senior Policy Manager at Smart Growth America will discuss every facet of the development process including:

Posted in Blog, LOCUS | 2 Comments

LOCUS announces place-based social equity and affordable housing initiative

LOCUS President Chris Leinberger introduces Place-Based Model for Social Equity
LOCUS President Chris Leinberger introduces Place-Based Model for Social Equity

This week, LOCUS: Responsible Real Estate Developers and Investors, a program of Smart Growth America, announced a three-part national strategy to address housing and social equity calling upon developers to join them in the cause. The proposed initiative would be centered around new conscious place-based social equity metrics.

The announcement came Tuesday during the third annual Walkable Urban Places Conference, co-hosted by Urban Land Institute Washington and the George Washington University Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis. LOCUS sponsored the event along with Venable LLP.

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

Applications now being accepted for Smart Growth America’s 2015 free technical assistance workshops

ta-workshops-2015Participants break into small groups to discuss local development issues at one of our past workshops. 

Is your city interested in smart growth, but not sure how to make it happen? Bring in the development experts with one of Smart Growth America’s 2015 free technical assistance workshops.

Posted in Blog, Complete Streets, Technical assistance | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Now Hiring: Economic Analysis Fellow

Smart Growth America seeks an Economic Analysis Fellow to assist with in-depth studies and technical assistance on local government fiscal and economic development issues related to smart growth and land use. The Fellow will also work with the GW Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis on a variety of projects relating to a better understanding of walkable urbanism.

Posted in Blog, Careers | Leave a comment

Councilmember Velma Johnson on the importance of community in Midfield, AL

Midfield, AL’s Splash Pad. Photo by City of Midfield via Facebook.

In the increasingly technologically connected, fast-paced, global economy-driven world of today, it can be hard for even the small towns of America to retain their ‘small town’ feel. And yet, that’s exactly what Midfield, AL is striving to maintain and preserve.

Located just outside of Birmingham, AL, Midfield, with a population just over 5,000, is known as “the Convenient City”. It’s a place where residents make it a point to “eat, shop, and do all of their business right in the city,” says Councilmember Velma Johnson, a member of Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council.

Those who live in Midfield say they have a sense of belonging—of knowing and being known by so many others in the community. “As humans we want to connect to one another,” says Johnson. “In Midfield, we’re fortunate to live in the type of community where police officers know children by name.”

Posted in Alabama, Blog, Local, Local Leaders Council | 1 Comment