Category: Technical assistance

Since the workshop: Region-wide prosperity is collaborative effort in Graham County, NC

graham-county-ncA new regional vision will help Graham County, NC and its neighbors work together to achieve shared goals.

In April 2013, Smart Growth America traveled to Graham County, NC to hold a “Smart Growth 101″ workshop for county staff. The workshop was designed to provide an introduction to smart growth development strategies, including ideas about how the county could work with other jurisdictions in the region to achieve its long-term goals.

This past January that work took a big step forward with the release of Opt-In SWNC: The Regional Vision. The report was authored by the Southwestern North Carolina Planning and Economic Development Commission, which represents a seven-county region in southwest North Carolina that includes Graham County.

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Bentonville, AR workshop will inform the city’s comprehensive plan update

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Smart Growth America staff lead a technical assistance workshop in Bentonville, AR. Photo courtesy of the City of Bentonville.

Smart Growth America traveled to Bentonville, AR on April 1 and 2, 2015, to hold a workshop for city staff on “Planning for Economic and Fiscal Health.” The workshop, which was part of our 2015 free technical assistance program, was designed to help Bentonville plan for development in ways that support long term prosperity.

Bentonville is just beginning the process of updating the city’s comprehensive plan, which will guide development in the city for years to come. City officials will use what they learned in this month’s workshop to inform their work on the comprehensive plan moving forward. Bentonville was one of just 14 communities nationwide awarded a free workshop as part of this competitive program.

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Vermont Agency of Transportation sets new standards for excellence

vermont-state-standardsThe Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) is working to create a safe, efficient, multimodal transportation system that supports the state’s growing economy. A new report released today will help VTrans do this even better in coming years.

VTrans, in partnership with Smart Growth America, has unveiled a work program for revising the Vermont State Standards, which provide VTrans staff and other partners with direction in designing roadway transportation projects.

The new report, Revising the Vermont State Standards; M2D2: Multimodal Development and Delivery, identifies specific modifications to the Vermont State Standards, recommends changes to other related VTrans guidelines and policies, and presents an implementation plan and schedule for conducting the revisions. The new revisions will help VTrans keep pace with the state of the practice in highway engineering and better meet and balance the diverse needs of Vermont residents and communities.

“An enormous amount of our work is influenced by the Vermont State Standards,” said Vermont Transportation Secretary Sue Minter. “Updating these standards will help the work of the entire Agency be more efficient and more effective. The recommended revisions were informed by some of the most innovative transportation agencies in the country. This work program will help guide our design decisions as we face new challenges in the coming decades.”

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Franklin, TN hosts workshop to consider development strategies for economic growth

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Downtown Franklin, TN. Photo by Wayne Hsieh via Flickr.

Smart Growth America staff met with officials from the City of Franklin, TN, on March 3 and 4, 2015, to discuss a range of strategies to position Franklin for long-term economic growth in the context of new development pressures and rapid population growth. Franklin was awarded the two-day workshop as part of Smart Growth America’s annual free technical assistance competition.

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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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