Category: Video

Laura Jackson of Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield on creating healthier communities

Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council recently spoke with Laura Jackson, an Executive Vice President of Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, to get her perspective on why smart growth strategies should be a priority for the health care industry and how the way we build communities can help abate rising health care costs and improve public health.

“Smart growth practices are a way to help people understand that there are certain things you can do, either low cost or no cost in many cases in communities, to live a longer healthier life,” says Jackson.

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Vice-Mayor Anu Natarajan on building better in Fremont, CA

Vice-Mayor Anu Natarajan believes her city of Fremont, CA, can be an economic leader in the region and the country. Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council sat down with Vice-Mayor Natarajan to learn more about her ideas for building on the city’s existing diversity to make Fremont more vibrant and economically competitive.

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T4America kicks off a new alliance of #CanDoLeaders

Today is the start of a brand new focus for Transportation for America.

Since 2008, T4America has been a leading advocate in Washington for a national investment plan for transportation that matches today’s challenges and opportunities. Smart Growth America is proud to call T4America one of our programs.

Today, T4America is launching the next phase: A new alliance of business, elected, and civic leaders from cities, towns and suburbs across the nation. They know how valuable a robust transportation network is for local economies, and that stronger local economies build a stronger America. They will be there to stand up for local communities as Congress in 2014 addresses the growing hole in the transportation fund and the expiration of last year’s MAP-21 law.

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Mayor Madeline Rogero on brownfields redevelopment in Knoxville, TN

Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council recently interviewed Madeline Rogero, mayor of Knoxville, Tennessee, to ask her how local governments can catalyze brownfields redevelopment and jumpstart revitalization. In the video above, Rogero discusses how strategic investments by local government have made brownfield sites in Knoxville more attractive to potential developers.

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Carlos Gallinar on building a stronger El Paso, TX with Plan El Paso

Last year, El Paso, TX’s comprehensive plan Plan El Paso was named the Best Smart Growth Plan by the Atlantic Cities and honored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for achievement in smart growth. Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council sat down with Carlos Gallinar, El Paso’s Deputy Director for City Development and Planning, to learn what El Paso is doing to become one of the premier cities of the Southwest.

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Jim Bacon explains the fiscal and economic benefits of smart growth

Jim Bacon is creator and publisher of Bacon’s Rebellion, a Virginia-based blog that covers a range of infrastructure, growth and policy issues. In an interview with Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council, Bacon discusses how he came to see smart growth strategies as a fiscally responsible approach to development.

A former editor of Virginia Business Magazine, Bacon has been following community development and transportation issues since the 1980s when northern Virginia was experiencing a building boom. “I was really concerned about costs of growth at the time,” says Bacon. “When you smear out growth over a large, huge land mass, it’s going to be far more expensive to build the roads, extend water and sewer, cable lines, and electricity.”

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Peter Harnik on creating great urban parks for cities

Urban parks can increase property values, enhance neighborhood identity and provide access to open space within a neighborhood. More and more communities are finding creative ways to integrate parks into urban environments, and Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council recently caught up with expert Peter Harnik to learn more about this smart growth strategy.

“We look at parks not just from the perspective of a great park, but how the park can interact with the city and make it great,” says Harnik, who is the Director of the Trust for Public Land’s Center for City Park Excellence and member of Smart Growth America Board of Directors. The video interview is part of our Local Leaders Council’s “Meet the Experts” video series, which provides information for local leaders interested in learning more about smart growth strategies.

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Video: Dan Burden on creating walkable communities

Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council sat down with Dan Burden, Co-founder and Executive Director of the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute to learn about what makes for a “walkable” neighborhood and what communities can do to become more walkable.

“A walkable neighborhood is a right-scale neighborhood where you can walk, you have good street connectivity…streets that are reasonably quiet and peaceful, that relate to the people living there, shopping there, and enjoying their neighborhood,” says Burden.

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