Category: States

Helping a North Little Rock neighborhood find a prosperous path forward

The Baring Cross neighborhood of North Little Rock, Arkansas grew in tandem with an enormous rail yard to its east, with many of the yard’s employees finding homes in the adjacent neighborhood. Today, some residents and local leaders in North Little Rock …

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Anchorage, AK looks to revitalize its downtown with Smart Growth America

After their local economy took a hard hit from the drop in oil prices, the City of Anchorage, AK reached out to Smart Growth America for help. In May 2016, SGA traveled to Anchorage to deliver a Planning for Economic …

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Since the workshop: Huntington, WV and a place-based approach to economic development

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Downtown Huntington, WV. Photo via UrbanUp.

Back in 2014, Huntington, WV won a free technical assistance workshop from Smart Growth America to help the city achieve its goals for housing, businesses, and its downtown. What has the city been up to in the two years since? The answer is: a lot.

“Smart Growth America’s technical assistance has provided the City of Huntington with valuable tools that have helped propel efforts within our targeted neighborhoods,” said Mayor Steve Williams when we asked what the city has been doing. “We’re excited about the progress that we have been able to achieve and the plans that we continue to develop to create a financial and sustainable city based on smart growth principles.”

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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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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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Recorded webinar: “Amazing Place” kickoff discussion

amazing-place-webinar-iconBoise, Denver, Greenville, Minneapolis, Nashville, and Pittsburgh are six of the many cities using a new strategy for economic development. Rather than offering tax breaks to lure companies, these cities are creating walkable, vibrant, inclusive neighborhoods that are attracting residents and employers, supporting existing businesses, and fostering entrepreneurs.

We talk about this new approach in our most recent report, Amazing Place: Six Cities Using the New Recipe for Economic Development. The report takes an in-depth look at the development strategies at work in these six cities, and is designed to show communities everywhere how to create diverse and durable local economies that last beyond the lifecycle of any one employer.

As part of Tuesday’s kickoff for the new report, we hosted an online conversation about creating these amazing places. Participants heard an overview of the guide as well as a detailed discussion about development in Denver, Greenville, and Pittsburgh. A recorded version of the webinar is now available.

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Jersey City, Birmingham, and Raleigh win new workshops for revitalization without displacement

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Birmingham, AL’s Woodlawn neighborhood will be the focus of Smart Growth America’s new partnership with that city. Photo via.

Communities large and small are looking for ways to create prosperity that everyone can participate in. Smart Growth America’s new Planning for Successful and Equitable Revitalization program is designed to help.

In partnership with PNC, this new addition to our technical assistance offerings will help communities revitalize successfully and capture benefits from the revitalization process for families of all income levels.

Posted in Alabama, New Jersey, North Carolina, Rebuilding Downtown, Technical assistance | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Mayor Paul Soglin works to make sure Madison, WI’s independent businesses serve visitors AND residents

Many cities envy Madison, WI’s thriving State Street retail corridor. After being converted from a four-lane road to a pedestrian-focused thoroughfare in 1974, State Street has become synonymous with funky retail stores and welcoming locals. It’s a draw for University of Wisconsin students, residents, and visitors alike, and an important economic and cultural asset for the city. According to Downtown Madison Inc.’s latest State of Downtown report, Madison’s Central Business Improvement District (BID), which contains State Street, saw vacancy rates decline from 7.5 percent in 2012 to just 4.6 percent in 2014.

In recent years, however, the mix of retail on State Street has trended toward businesses focused more on food and drink and less on goods and services. According to Downtown Madison, Inc., 40 percent of businesses in the Central BID are food and drink businesses—but only 25 percent are other types of retail. Local leaders are concerned that if this shift continues, the area will fail to meet the everyday needs of local residents.

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