Category: Uncategorized

City of Portsmouth, NH hosts workshop on how to implement its Complete Streets policy

Picture for past workshops page- Portsmouth
View of downtown Portsmouth. Photo by nhlinux via Flickr

Portsmouth officials, regional transportation officials, and members of the public met with representatives from Smart Growth America on June 12 and 13, 2014 as part of a free, grant-funded technical assistance program. The technical assistance provided City decision makers and transportation officials with the tools to help develop an action plan for implementing the City’s Complete Streets policy, which was adopted by City Council last fall. Complete Streets are planned, designed, operated and maintained to be safe, comfortable and convenient for people of all ages and abilities, whether they are walking, bicycling, driving, or riding on public transportation.

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City of Memphis, TN hosts workshop on how to implement its Complete Streets policy

Picture for past workshops page post- Memphis
View of Memphis’ South Main Arts District. Photo by Henry Turley Company via henryturley.com 

In 2013, Memphis passed the nation’s 500th Complete Streets policy. To help move the policy to implementation, Memphis officials and residents met with representatives from Smart Growth America on June 18 and 19, 2014 as part of a free, grant-funded technical assistance program. The workshop aimed to provide the City with tools to not only address the various design elements of Complete Streets, but also to directly communicate the benefits of Complete Streets to the public. Complete Streets are planned, designed, operated and maintained to be safe, comfortable and convenient for people of all ages and abilities, whether they are walking, bicycling, driving, or hopping on public transportation.

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Local Leaders gather in Washington for first-ever national Policy Forum

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Local leaders gathered to connect and share innovations at the 2014 Local Leaders Policy Forum. See more photos from the event on Flickr.

Leaders from 60 cities and counties in 28 states attended the Local Leaders Council’s inaugural Policy Forum in Washington, DC. Over two dozen leaders and industry experts made presentations about cultivating local small businesses, fighting displacement of lower-income residents, creating more housing downtown, reinvigorating main streets and corridors, and many more topics.

The event kicked off on June 15th with a welcome reception where leaders, Smart Growth America staff, and project partners mingled and got to know one another better. The co-chairs of the Local Leaders Council Advisory Board, Mayor Mick Cornett (Oklahoma City, OK) and former Mayor Mark Mallory (Cincinnati, OH) welcomed the leaders and highlighted the positive energy and passion for community building that was present in the room. They emphasized the importance of building on shared goals and learning from each other’s experiences—a core principle of the Local Leaders Council.

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Smart Growth News — June 16, 2014

Obama transportation bill introduced in House
The Hill — June 12, 2014
President Obama’s proposed $302 billion transportation bill has been introduced in the House, though the chamber is unlikely to do much with the measure. The bill, which has been dubbed the Grow America Act, would extend federal transportation that is currently scheduled to expire at the end of September for four years.
 
Wanted for Innovation Districts: Transit and Broadband
Brookings — June 13, 2014
Whether it was the canals and railroads that linked our heartland to our industrial centers, the interstate highway system that ultimately connected all regions of the nation, or telecommunications infrastructure that allowed data and information to be shared instantly, transportation and telecommunications infrastructure has always played an important role in shaping the economic and physical landscape of this country.
 
Apartment rent hikes are slowing — finally
MarketWatch — June 16, 2014
A big reason for the slowdown is the increased supply of new apartment units on the market, said Hans Nordby, managing director of CoStar Group, a provider of information and analytic services for the commercial real-estate industry. “The first quarter of this year, 54,000 new apartment homes were delivered to the market [nationally] and demand was about 27,000 apartments,” Nordby said. “That causes vacancies to pick up a bit.”

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Maryland local leaders gather to discuss revitalization

MML panelistsMayor Tracy Gant, Mayor David Gysberts, Commissioner Susan Burdette and Council President Jake Day discuss their strategies for revitalization during a reception at the Maryland Municipal League Summer Convention.

Over 45 Maryland local leaders, including members of Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council, gathered on Sunday, June 8 to share their revitalization successes and challenges during a reception at the Maryland Municipal League Summer Convention in Ocean City, MD. Smart Growth America and 1000 Friends of Maryland cosponsored the event.

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Kenosha County, WI hosts workshop on developing a Complete Streets policy

IMG_20140507_174359_349The Kenosha streetcar crossing 6th Avenue. Photo by Colin Murphy

Officials and residents of Kenosha County, in partnership with Downtown Kenosha, met with representatives from Smart Growth America on May 6 and 7, 2014 as part of a free, grant-funded technical assistance program. The workshop provided the City with tools and strategies to develop a Complete Streets policy in line with the City’s Downtown Strategic Development Plan, which forms the basis of efforts to revitalize Kenosha’s downtown. A Complete Streets policy will help the City plan and design its streets to be safe, comfortable and convenient for people of all ages and abilities, whether they are walking, bicycling, driving, or hopping on public transportation.

“Development of a Complete Streets policy will strengthen our commitment to being a healthy and safe community with a strong quality of life, and to welcome people by all modes of travel,” said Kenosha County Executive Jim Kreuser. “Improving connectivity to Downtown Kenosha is an essential step toward implementation of the Downtown Strategic Development Plan. We are excited to partner with Smart Growth America and look forward to opportunities to make our downtown accessible to everyone.”

On the workshop’s first day, residents gathered for an introductory presentation that provided an overview of the benefits of Complete Streets and the policies that support them. The next day was an all-day workshop where key stakeholders met with instructors from the National Complete Streets Coalition to discuss the various types of Complete Streets policies, what the right approach could be for Kenosha, and how Kenosha can move forward with developing its own Complete Streets policy.

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Smart Growth News – April 14, 2014

Initiatives can help combat rising cost of medical care in the U.S.
Idaho Statesman – April 14, 2014
Solve for walkability, and you solve for many other issues. A walkable city is a resilient city.

7 Cities Where Poor Neighborhoods Bucked the Trend and Became Wealthier
Next City – April 14, 2014
Since 1980, the nation’s poorest neighborhoods have remained mostly unchanged while high-income areas have seen robust growth.

Developing the First Well-Being Index for Cities
Planetizen – April 14, 2014
Santa Monica, California is working to become the first city to develop a first well-being index for its residents. The index will help the city’s government measure and serve citizen happiness.

WisDOT, pleading poverty, is after more of our money
Journal Sentinel (WI) – April 14, 2014
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation has begun a series of statewide meetings to make the case for more tax revenue to fund more road projects, though the agency knows that motorists are driving fewer miles.

Kisco Senior Living Targets Mixed-Use Communities for $160M Pipeline
Senior Housing News – April 14, 2014
California-based senior living owner, operator, and developer is differentiating its $160 million new development pipeline by locating all the projects in mixed-use, master-planned communities.

Gore, experts to gather at UH-Manoa for sustainability conference
KHON (HI) – April 10, 2014
In addition to Gore, world-renowned experts from across the state and nation are expected to attend the invitation-only conference, including U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, chair of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works; Geoffrey Anderson, president of Smart Growth America.

Redevelop brownfields safely — new state rules will help
Boston Globe (MA) – April 14, 2014
Given its long industrial history and the intense demand for suitable locations for new homes and businesses, Massachusetts needs well-tuned policies that promote the safe redevelopment of polluted properties — and those policies should evolve as science advances.

Study: Atlanta sprawls while Hall County hangs tight
Gainesville Times (GA) – April 14, 2014
The Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta region — perhaps not surprisingly — is the most sprawling large metropolitan area in the country.

Louisville ranked poorly in sprawl study
Courier Journal (KY) – April 14, 2014
It will probably come as no surprise to residents and visitors of Kentuckiana that Louisville has ranked poorly in a new study of metropolitan areas looking at sprawl.

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Smart Growth News – February 19, 2014

The Best Complete Streets Policies of 2013
Streetsblog USA – February 18, 2014
A growing number places are adopting policies to create safe space on the streets no matter how you get around.

Customers venture out to walkable businesses
Roanoke Times (VA) – February 18, 2014
Who needs a four-wheel-drive vehicle to get around in the snow? In southwest Roanoke, all you needed Thursday was a good pair of snow boots.

Does Reducing Regulations Yield Expanded Housing Options?
Planetizen – February 19, 2014
Outdated and onerous regulations, particularly those found in zoning ordinances, are affecting the availability of housing choice. What can communities do to expand their hosing stock?

San Diego Is Pioneering ‘Lean Urbanism’
Voice of San Diego (CA) – February 19, 2014
Here’s a newish urban planning buzzword: lean urbanism.

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