Category: Leadership Institute

Leveraging transit-oriented development for economic growth, better living in Hawaii

[caption id="attachment_23906" align="alignleft" width="640"] An artist’s rendering of a potential transit-oriented development in Waipahu, Hawaii. According to a new report from Smart Growth America and the state’s planning office, such developments could boost economic development and quality of life on the island.[/caption]Hawaii state agencies can leverage transit-oriented development to help deliver on many of Governor Abercrombie’s economic development, quality of life and environmental protection goals, according to a new analysis from the state’s Office of Planning and Smart Growth America’s Leadership Institute.

The report’s recommendations come after a series of meetings between state government officials, private sector leaders and non-profit representatives. The group of more than 40 participants, convened by Governor Abercrombie, identified the importance of transit-oriented development to Hawaii.

“The people of Hawaii now have an unprecedented opportunity to leverage transit-oriented development throughout the islands, including but not limited to The Bus and rail transit on Oahu, but also the Hele-On Bus on the Big Island and the Maui Bus and Kauai Bus,” said Governor Abercrombie. “By planning ahead, we can use TOD as a positive tool to proactively direct growth away from agricultural and conservation lands and lay the groundwork necessary to encourage development where it is most needed and welcome for the next generation.”

Posted in Hawaii, Leadership Institute, Technical assistance | 3 Comments

Webinar highlights new guide for state transportation officials

On Friday, Smart Growth America participated in a webinar to highlight our new resource for state transportation officials, released recently in partnership with the State Smart Transportation Initiative.

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Public support spurs progress at complete streets workshop in New Orleans


Holiday Drive in New Orleans is an recent example of complete streets work in action.

In December 2011, the City Council of New Orleans, LA, unanimously passed the city’s first complete streets ordinance. The ordinance, which encourages designers and engineers to build streets that accommodate everyone, has already gained widespread support. Now, it’s up to New Orleans leaders to actually make these changes happen.

Last month, Smart Growth America and complete streets experts Michael Moule and Michael Ronkin held a workshop for City officials in New Orleans to help make their complete streets plans a reality. Joining the officials were representatives from 12 local, regional, and state agencies as well as non-profit partners who also participated in the event.

Posted in Complete Streets: Policy Implementation, Leadership Institute, Louisiana, Technical assistance, Workshops | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Planning for the future in Kimberly, ID

Smart Growth America visited Kimberly, Idaho earlier this week to help the city implement a cool planning program. Channel KMTV from Twin Falls covered the event:

The city of Kimberly is just one of 15 small towns from across the country to receive a special grant that will help make some much needed improvements.

Recently, Kimberly became the recipient of a Smart Growth America Technical Assistance Grant that is completely funded by the E.P.A.

And tonight representatives from Smart Growth America grant were at the rock creek fire station to help provide residents with tools and strategies for managing the future growth in Kimberly.

And its not only future growth, the grant sets out to preserve the character of the small town while enhancing economic competitiveness and quality of life.

“Were looking at all different kinds of things,” said City Administrator Polly Hulsey. “How we can better utilize out downtown area, planning for smart growth as far as our different mixed planning and zoning uses. Pedestrian walking friendly, all sorts of things. And then we will take those into the planning stages and hopefully be able to utilize those for future plans.”

Watch the video: Planning For The Future In Kimberly [KMVT, March 12, 2012]

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Community involvement, local leadership lead Notasulga, Alabama’s comeback

“I’ve been in this town 10 years, and I love this little town,” said Juanita Syljuberget, a resident of Notasulga, Alabama, who works as a contract and grant specialist at nearby Auburn University. “There’s nothing fancy about it, but it’s a quiet little place, and everyone is very nice.”

“But it’s going to dry up and go away unless we do something.”

The plight of Notasulga and its 850-some residents in rural Macon County is not unlike hundreds of other small communities across the country. Years of changing economic and development patterns limited growth opportunities, and the very nature of remote towns left local businesses and municipal services more vulnerable than their counterparts in busy urban centers.

But while the story of a “Small Town USA” grappling with tough financial decisions has been played out countless times nationwide and even in emotional books and films, there is something that sets Notasulga apart: strong local leadership.

Posted in Alabama, Featured Content, Leadership Institute, Technical assistance, Workshops | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Deerfield Beach aims to implement ‘complete streets’ with help from Smart Growth America

Residents of Deerfield Beach, FL are invited to meet with representatives from Smart Growth America later this week as part of a free program aimed at helping the City of Deerfield Beach develop a “complete streets” policy.

On Wednesday, February 15, from 6:30-8:30 PM, the public is invited and encouraged to attend a reception and presentation to learn more about smart growth and complete streets principles. The reception will be held at the Wyndham Deerfield Beach Resort, at 2096 NE 2nd Street, and is sponsored by the Deerfield Beach Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA). Complimentary parking will be available in the Wyndham’s parking lot, located just south of the hotel, at the corner of NE 20th Terrace and NE 1st Street.

Complete Streets are designed to allow safe access for all users. Complete streets are easy to cross, enjoyable to walk along and safe to bicycle on. They allow buses to run on time, allow drivers to move through easily and make it safer for everyone, regardless of age, ability, or mode of transportation.

“The City of Deerfield Beach is in undergoing a revitalization in terms of infrastructure projects,” said Mayor Peggy Noland. “A complete streets policy will assure that the city’s roadway objectives are kept in the forefront with every new project, making Deerfield Beach a better place to live.”

Posted in Florida, Leadership Institute | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Smart Growth America honors California Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg with 2012 Leadership Award


When the State of California passed a mandate to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, lawmakers quickly realized that better transportation and land use policies were a necessary part of achieving their goals.

The resulting legislation, SB375, focuses on one particular part of greenhouse gas emissions: reducing how far people need to drive each day between work, school, errands and home. Enacted in 2008, SB375 integrates greenhouse gas reduction goals into California’s existing regional transportation planning process, and encourages planners to locate homes near jobs and create more transportation options. The result is a bill that not only fights climate change, but also gives towns across the state the power to make land use and transportation decisions that strengthen local economies, reduce sprawl, preserve farmland and spur business development.

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California Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg to be honored with the 2012 Smart Growth America Leadership Award

California Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, a long-time smart growth and community development advocate, will accept Smart Growth America’s 2012 Smart Growth Leadership award during a Friday ceremony at the Joe & Vi Jacobs Center in San Diego.

The honor coincides with the 11th annual New Partners for Smart Growth conference, a national event hosted by the Local Government Commission. It is expected to draw more than 1,500 attendees, including policy experts, business leaders, representatives from state and federal agencies and high-ranking elected officials.

“Perhaps no lawmaker has done more for smart growth in California in recent years than Sen. Steinberg,” says Smart Growth America President and CEO Geoffrey Anderson. “SB375 was groundbreaking in that it provided a model for how regions can save on municipal service and infrastructure costs, increase development certainty, and become more resilient to changes in energy prices.”

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