Category: States

Building great places in the Los Angeles area? Join our LOCUS LinkUP on March 26

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Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade isn’t the only walkable neighborhood in the Southern California anymore. Photo by LandAinLA.

Southern California is going through an urban transformation that’s making the region more walkable, one city block at a time—and we are bringing together the people making it happen.

Developers and investors working on walkable real estate projects are invited to join us on Thursday, March 26, 2015 for the LOCUS LinkUp: Building the Next Walkable Places in Southern California.

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

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Walkable real estate development projects and places are on the rise nationwide. Over the past year, LOCUS has looked at how these trends are playing out in Atlanta and Washington, DC.

On March 11, we’ll reveal new analysis of which walkable urban places—or “walkUPs”—are changing the real estate landscape in another major American city: Boston

The WalkUP Wake-Up Call: Boston will, for the first time ever, analyze the different forms and economic use of all land use across metro Boston and rank Boston-area communities based on economic and social equity metrics. 

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Town Supervisor David Tennent on connecting communities in rural Campbell, NY


Town of Campbell, NY. Photo via Town of Campbell website.

Residents of Campbell, NY, want a vibrant main street while maintaining their rural atmosphere. David Tennent, Town Supervisor and member of Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council, is using smart growth strategies to improve walkability, foster local business, and enhance natural resources to provide the Campbell that the residents desire.

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Since the workshop: Boulder, CO continues to develop new transportation strategies for sustainable development

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Bike lanes at the intersection of Broadway and University. Photo by City of Boulder via Flickr

Boulder, CO has ambitious goals to reduce carbon emissions and improve transportation in the city. A newly adopted transportation plan—informed by Smart Growth America’s work with the city—is the most recent step toward achieving these goals.

In August 2014, the Boulder City Council accepted an update to the city’s Transportation Master Plan (TMP). The updated TMP addresses bikeways, pedestrian infrastructure, and regional transit, acknowledging that each has an important role in supporting the sustainability and quality of life goals set by the local community.

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New program will help Vermont communities coordinate land use decisions and transportation investments

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A street sign in Vergennes, VT, one of the first participants in VTrans and ACCD’s Strong Communities, Better Connections program. Photo by The Selby.

In a new collaboration to support vibrant community centers and increase in town and regional transportation options, the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) and the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development are pleased to announce the Strong Communities, Better Connections Pilot Grant Program has funded three projects that help align land use planning and community revitalization efforts with transportation investments.

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Since the workshop: Charlotte moves forward planning $120 million neighborhood investment

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Charlotte, NC skyline via Flickr.

The last time we checked in with Charlotte, we learned that the City Council had approved a Capital Investment Plan for $120 million for catalytic economic development and community reinvestment projects.

Now, the public has given their go-ahead. This November, voters approved the first two-year, $20 million investment in the program.

These funds will go to high-impact projects in five targeted areas of the city, namely Whitehall/Ayrsley, Prosperity Village, West Trade/Rozelles Ferry, Sunset/Beattie’s Ford and Central/Abermarle/Shamrock. The goal? To strengthen these neighborhood by making them more desirable for commercial and retail development and mixed-income housing.

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Councilmember Ali Saleh uses smart growth to build economic resilience in Bell, California


City of Bell, California. Photo via Joshua Orizaga on Google.

The City of Bell is a small two-square-mile suburb on the outskirts of Los Angeles, CA. Following a political scandal in the early 2000s that left the city almost bankrupt, Bell has made a remarkable recovery. With their finances back on track, it is more important than ever for the city to make fiscally responsible decisions and improve the lives of residents. The city is using smart growth to make that happen.

Councilmember Ali Saleh, a member of Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council, has been instrumental to the City of Bell’s fiscal stability. Elected in 2011, Saleh first served as mayor and now sits on the City Council. Saleh has supported several smart growth strategies that will improve the economy and the day-to-day lives of residents.

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Person County, NC plans for residential and economic growth

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Uptown Roxboro, NC. Picture via Roxboro Development Group.

Person County, NC’s community’s workshop goal: “To help local leaders and community members identify how Person County can manage growth and economic development in such a way that our strategies for these two issues complement one another and both contribute to the vision set forth for Person County in the Person Futures Strategic Plan.”

On December 2 and 3, representatives from Smart Growth America (SGA) met with county and municipal leaders and residents to provide assistance under the Planning for Fiscal and Economic Health tool, supported by a grant from the U.S. EPA’s Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities program.

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