Category: Blog

Farewell from a smart growth communications veteran

This post, crossposted from Transportation for America, is a personal farewell from our friend and colleague David Goldberg, who was the founding communications director for Smart Growth America in 2002 and helped get Transportation for America off the ground in 2008-2009 as communications director. Other than former Gov. Parris Glendening at SGA, David was the longest tenured SGA/T4A employee, helping to steer this small part of the larger movement for transportation reform and creating better places over the last thirteen years. We’ll miss him deeply, and wish him the best in his new endeavors. Here are few thoughts directly from David as he departs. –Ed.

David Goldberg

After 13 great years with Smart Growth America and Transportation for America, I am moving on to a new challenge. For two decades I worked on addressing the consequences of our 20th century efforts to re-engineer our human habitat. Now I’m joining a new group that is grappling with the after-effects of industrializing the American diet during that same period.

The change is bittersweet. We’ve had a great ride since starting SGA in the early 2000s, bringing attention to the problems associated with out-of-control development patterns and helping to reshape policies, practices and even consumer preferences toward more walkable — and workable — neighborhoods and transportation networks.

We’ve seen enormous change over the last 13 years, with the arc of planning, development and transportation trends bending ever more in the direction this movement has worked for. Smart Growth America can’t claim credit for all that of course, but the organization and its allies clearly had a hand in helping communities adjust to shifting patterns of growth. In many places across the country, “Sprawl is out, compact is in.”

I think it was fitting that on my last day in the office with my D.C. colleagues, we released Core Values: Why American Companies are Moving Downtown, shepherded into existence by the incomparable Alex Dodds, the communications director for Smart Growth America. After all, it was when executives started moving their companies and families to the outskirts in the late 20th century that the country launched into hyper-sprawl; a reversal of that trend is significant, indeed.

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Transit-oriented development financing included in senate transportation reauthorization bill

Today, the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee unanimously approved its six-year, $275 billion transportation reauthorization bill, the Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy (DRIVE) Act. LOCUS Director Christopher Coes made the following statement: “The Senate took …

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Coming soon: “The WalkUP Wake-Up Call: Michigan”

On June 23, LOCUS will unveil a new analysis of which walkable urban places—or “walkUPs”—are changing the real estate landscape in seven metropolitan areas in Michigan.

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Speakers Announced for the LOCUS Michigan Leadership Summit

The LOCUS Michigan Leadership Summit: Closing the Next [Smart Growth] Deal, occurring June 23 in Detroit, will host over 135 real estate developers and local elected officials to share and discuss new opportunities in smart growth development and advance walkable urban communities across Michigan. LOCUS is …

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The BUILD Act of 2015 can help communities revitalize

Harrison Commons in Harrison, NJ All across the country, in communities big and small, are remnants of an industrial past—underutilized land, often sitting vacant. When the Langdale and Riverdale textile mills closed in the 1990’s, Valley, Alabama not only lost …

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Are you looking for your next smart growth deal?

The fourth annual LOCUS National Leadership Summit is your opportunity to shake hands and rub elbows with the best, most influential smart growth real estate developers and investors who are creating great, walkable urban places.

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


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.

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Hear the recap: The Best Complete Streets Policies of 2014

On Tuesday we revealed The Best Complete Streets Policies of 2014, and to celebrate we hosted an online discussion with representatives from a few of this year’s top-scoring communities. If you missed the discussion, here’s a recap of the kickoff event.

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