Category: Technical assistance

With LEED-ND, Sanford, FL could be the next best example of green development

A rendering of Sanford’s historic downtown district. Photo courtesy of Littlejohn.

Sanford, FL wants to create better, more sustainable, well-connected neighborhoods—particularly around the recently opened SunRail commuter rail station and the city’s Lake Monroe waterfront property. To help achieve that goal, Sanford sought assistance from Smart Growth America with a technical assistance workshop, held on August 4 and 5, 2015.

Sanford leaders want to look beyond the development of individual buildings to a larger district. Smart Growth America’s workshop provided an overview of one such way to do that—the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND) standards. LEED-ND is about realizing how each piece of development plays a critical role in the performance of a community as a whole.

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Knoxville, TN welcomes Smart Growth America for workshop on transit-oriented development

knoxville-tnKnoxville wants to build on the success of places like Market Square (above). Photo via.

Downtown Knoxville, TN, is seeing a resurgence. New businesses and residents are moving to the area, and the City is working hard to bring similar success to neighborhoods throughout the city. Could investments in public transportation help?

To help answer that question, leaders in Knoxville welcomed Smart Growth America on July 15 and 16, 2015 for a technical assistance workshop on transit-oriented development. Chris Zimmerman, Smart Growth America’s Vice President of Economic Development, and Dena Belzer, President of Strategic Economics, spoke with elected leaders, municipal staff, representatives from regional and state agencies, and Knoxville residents about how investment in public transit could multiply the city’s economic development successes.

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Leveraging community history and scenic location for economic and fiscal resilience in Fort Pierre, SD

fort-pierreClockwise from left: Fireworks on Fort Pierre’s riverfront, a visiting pow wow, and homes on canals connected to the Missouri River. Photos via the South Dakota Department of Tourism.

Fort Pierre, SD – population 2,078 – is approaching its bicentennial in 2017 and it’s a place where locals say, “history here is close enough to touch.” With plans in the works to revitalize its downtown and riverfront, the City is working to make sure it’s well positioned for the next 200 years, too.

To aid in that effort Mayor Gloria Hanson and other city leaders welcomed Smart Growth America’s technical assistance team on July 22 and 23, 2015 for a two-day workshop on how smart growth development strategies can help Fort Pierre grow more financially stable and successful.

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Indianapolis works to implement its strong Complete Streets policy with Smart Growth America workshop

indy-workshop-borderChallenges and opportunities on the whiteboard at a Complete Streets workshop in Indianapolis last week. Photo by the Indiana Complete Streets Coalition, via Twitter.

In 2012 the Indianapolis-Marion County City-County Council unanimously passed the Indianapolis Complete Streets ordinance, a policy intended to ensure that streets are designed, built, operated, and maintained to be safe and accessible for everyone, regardless of whether they travel by bus, bike, foot or personal vehicle. Indianapolis’ Complete Streets policy was the best in the nation that year, and remains one of the strongest city ordinances adopted to date.

Since the policy’s passage, Indianapolis staff and Health by Design partners have been working to ensure successful implementation of the policy and to monitor and track related performance measures. To help accelerate the move from policy to implementation, Smart Growth America’s National Complete Streets Coalition held a Complete Streets implementation workshop on June 10 and 11, 2015, as part of a free, grant-funded technical assistance program. The workshop provided additional tools, resources and guidance for policy implementation. It also offered an opportunity to communicate the benefits of Complete Streets and local project examples to the public.

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Tucker County communities work toward creating a collaborative vision for economic growth

Downtown Parsons, WVDowntown Parsons in Tucker County, WV. Photo by Joe Flood via Flickr.

Tucker County, WV is a rural community known for its abundant natural beauty and historic downtowns. Now, staff from the county, townships, state agencies, and federal programs are working together to plan for Tucker County’s long-term economic growth.

To help begin to articulate a vision for county planning in a regional context, Smart Growth America held a Regional Planning for Small Communities workshop with the Tucker County Planning Commission on May 27 and 28, 2015 as part of a free, grant-funded technical assistance program.

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Since the workshop: Focus on sustainability and neighborhood development helps fuel economic revitalization in Tacoma, WA

tacoma-breweryThe former Heidelberg brewery in Tacoma’s Brewery District neighborhood. Smart Growth America’s 2012 workshop looked at ways to revitalize the neighborhood. Photo by Corey Knafelz via Flickr.

Tacoma, WA is growing fast. The area is projected to be one of the top 10 U.S. metro areas for job growth through 2020, and City leaders are working to support and sustain that economic growth with a smart growth approach to development.

Tacoma’s leaders were already thinking about these strategies back in April 2012, when Smart Growth America conducted a technical assistance workshop with the City. Staff from Smart Growth America and our partner Criterion Planners worked with Tacoma officials and local residents to understand how a smart growth approach could support revitalization in the Hilltop/ Martin Luther King Jr. neighborhood and Dome/Brewery District. The workshop focused on using the Leadership for Energy and Environmental Design for Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND) tool to help city officials establish a framework to set goals, measurements, and eventually brand these neighborhoods as center for green development.

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Changing zoning codes to make Charlottesville, VA more vibrant and sustainable

charlottesvilleDowntown Pedestrian Mall in Charlottesville, VA. Photo by Abi Bhattachan via Flickr.

Charlottesville, VA has ambitious plans to grow its economy while becoming a healthier, more sustainable place to live. In 1998, Charlottesville and surrounding Albemarle County adopted Sustainability Accords and in 2013 completed a regional livability plan. These plans have put forth an ambitious vision and to help achieve those goals, Charlottesville brought in some expert help.

On April 28 and 29, 2015, a technical assistance team from Smart Growth America visited Charlottesville to conduct a Sustainable Land Use Code Audit workshop. Our instructors met with community members to review key portions of the zoning code and to identify zoning changes that could help the city become more sustainable, healthy, and economically vibrant.

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Cheyenne Metropolitan Planning Organization focuses on long-term development goals during Smart Growth America workshop

cheyenne
Downtown Cheyenne, WY. Photo via Flickr.

Cheyenne, WY is working to grow in ways that support the community’s economy as well as the quality of life for residents, and as part of that work the Cheyenne Metropolitan Planning Organization welcomed experts from Smart Growth America on April 21 and 22, 2015 for a “Planning for Economic and Fiscal Health” technical assistance workshop.

Cheyenne-area residents joined the workshop’s first day for an introductory presentation that featured an overview of the relationship between how a community grows and the health of its economy and local finances.

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