Category: Featured Content

Watch the recorded webcast of “The Fiscal Implications of Development Patterns”

To what degree does the choice of development pattern impact costs for a local government? How do these decisions affect a municipality’s budget and tax revenues, and the cost of infrastructure and services it must provide?

The Fiscal Impact of Development Patterns, a new model from Smart Growth America and real estate advisors RCLCO, is designed to help municipalities answer these questions.

The new model was unveiled yesterday morning, and as part of the kickoff Chris Zimmerman, Smart Growth America’s Vice President for Economic Development, and Patrick Lynch, Smart Growth America’s Research Director, presented an overview of the new resource at an event in Madison, WI. The presentation was webcast live yesterday afternoon and a recorded version of their discussion is now available above or on YouTube.

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“Evaluating Complete Streets Projects: A guide for practitioners” now available

ecsp-coverCommunities have seen amazing results from their Complete Streets projects. These projects have made streets safer, increased the number of people biking, walking, and taking transit, and have been related to broader economic gains. But too few communities measure these results.

Our newest guide is designed to make it easier for transportation professionals to understand and use new measures of success. Evaluating Complete Streets Projects: A guide for practitioners is a beginners guide to performance measures for Complete Streets projects published today by the National Complete Streets Coalition.

Meant for agencies interested in but just beginning their project evaluation efforts, this resource provides general first steps to take in evaluating projects, useful measures and metrics for common Complete Streets goals, tips for sharing successes, and further resources for those ready to dive deeper into the why and how of performance measurement for Complete Streets.

Measuring project performance can help transportation agencies understand what’s working and what’s not. It’s a crucial way for agencies to align project decisions with established goals, and can clearly demonstrate a project’s success. All of this can help transportation agencies build public support for their work and get the most out of their investments. Our new guide is a great first step in achieving these goals.

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A new model for analyzing city development

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Madison, WI, is the first city to use a forthcoming analysis model from Smart Growth America and RCLCO.

Every town and city makes decisions about how to grow and what kind of development to build. These decisions shape entire neighborhoods, and form the foundation of American communities as we know them.

These decisions also impact a city’s finances. Some development patterns generate net revenue, others run a deficit. A smart growth approach can help cities build in ways that support long term fiscal health, and a new tool will help local leaders understand specific ways this approach can help their community.

Next week Smart Growth America and RCLCO will unveil a new model for analyzing the fiscal performance of urban development. This new model will be applicable in every town or city across the country, and is designed to help cities understand what financial returns their development currently generates—and what strategies could generate better returns in the future.

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Tell Congress to support transit oriented development

Communities across the country are eager to build more homes and offices near transit stations. These projects can create walkable neighborhoods, and great returns on public investment, but are often complicated and difficult to finance. 

A new bill in Congress could make financing these projects easier. The Transit Oriented Development Infrastructure Financing Act would add new provision to the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) to include financing for transit oriented development projects. 

TIFIA already provides loans, not subsidies, to eligible transportation projects. The new provision would go a step further to make loans available for transit oriented development infrastructure projects as well. 

The Senate needs to hear your support for this program. In the coming weeks, Congress will consider whether or not this provision should be included in the next federal transportation bill.

Send a letter to your Senators now >>

Transit oriented development is a fiscally sound way to leverage private sector dollars and create new homes and office space near transit. These projects can revitalize neighborhoods and support broader economic growth, but we need innovative programs like this to make it happen.

As Congress prepares to consider the next federal transportation bill, now is the time to voice your support for development near transit. Send a letter to your Senators today.

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A new bill in Congress would create new financing option for transit-oriented development

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Transit-oriented development (TOD) can make it easier for people to live and work near public transportation. These places are in high demand and real estate developers are eager to build them, but because they’re often complicated TOD projects can be difficult to secure financing for.

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National Complete Streets Coalition to unveil top Complete Streets policies of 2014


Livermore, CA passed one of the best Complete Streets policies of 2013. Which communities will be on the 2014 list?

Over 70 communities passed Complete Streets policies in 2014 and on February 10, Smart Growth America’s National Complete Streets Coalition will unveil which ones were the best.

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Third edition of “The Innovative DOT” provides new tools for states looking to improve transportation while reducing costs

innovative-dot3-cover-thumbState transportation officials across the country are facing the same challenges: Revenues are falling and budgets are shrinking but transportation demands are continuing to grow.

Innovative approaches can help transportation officials succeed in the face of these challenges, and an updated resource from Smart Growth America and the State Smart Transportation Initiative (SSTI) outlines how.

The third edition of The Innovative DOT, released today, provides 34 strategies that transportation officials can use to position their agencies for success in a new era of constrained budgets. Originally released in 2012 and developed with input from top transportation professionals and agency staff from around the nation, the handbook documents many of the innovative approaches state leaders are using to make systems more efficient, government more effective and constituents better satisfied. The second edition was released in January 2014, and provided three additional tools and 20 new case studies.

“State DOTs across the country are using the tools in this guidebook with great success,” said Roger Millar, Vice President of Smart Growth America. “The third edition contains even more ideas for how DOT staff can lead and improve their agencies’ work.”

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Announcing the recipients of Smart Growth America’s 2015 free technical assistance


The City of Franklin, TN is one of 14 communities that will receive a free technical assistance workshop from Smart Growth America in 2015.

Smart Growth America is pleased to announce the 14 communities selected to receive free workshops in 2015 as part of our free technical assistance program.

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