12 ways we made neighborhoods great in 2012
As 2012 comes to a close, we look back on some of our accomplishments from this year.

Smart Growth America’s Top 12 of 2012: Building a movement


We’re doing a special blog series this month highlighting some of Smart Growth America’s favorite accomplishments from 2012. This is the last in our series of twelve. Check out the full list.

Perhaps our most important achievement from 2012 has been working with you! Our advocates, supporters, donors, fans and followers are what make our work possible. We are grateful for your support and excited to work alongside you. Thank you!

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Smart Growth America’s Top 12 of 2012: Connecting mayors and city leaders from across the country

The Local Leaders Council’s Advisory Board convened in Washington, D.C. in October.

We’re doing a special blog series this month highlighting some of Smart Growth America’s favorite accomplishments from 2012. This is the eleventh of twelve installments.

In October we proudly launched Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council, a nonpartisan group of local elected officals who share a passion for building great towns, cities and communities.

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Smart Growth America’s Top 12 of 2012: Telling the story of smart growth

The Cabinet Mountains in northern Montana. Photo by Daniel Liu via Flickr.

We’re doing a special blog series this month highlighting some of Smart Growth America’s favorite accomplishments from 2012. This is the tenth of twelve installments.

In 2012, we spoke with people across the country who are using better development strategies to create great places. We highlighted towns and cities that are seeing new residents and businesses after years of decline. And we shared plans about new projects yet to be built. Here are a few of these Smart Growth Stories from 2012.

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Smart Growth America’s Top 12 of 2012: Teaching communities how to use smart growth strategies


A Complete Streets workshop in Fairbanks, Alaska, in October.

We’re doing a special blog series highlighting some of Smart Growth America’s favorite accomplishments from 2012. This is the ninth of twelve installments.

In 2012, we helped communities across the country learn how to grow smarter through technical assistance workshops on a range of smart growth strategies.

In Eastport, ME, we provided a two day “Cool Planning” workshop in September that focused on helping the community find strategies for reducing its fossil fuel dependency to help Eastport create long-term strategies and bring down heating costs. Eastport’s City Council supports trying out new ideas, and new public-private partnerships are working to help make future development more sustainable. One of the newest partnerships has been with Thermal Efficiency: Eastport, a project focused on wintertime heating issues. Project staff worked with Smart Growth America during the workshop and is in the process of creating a report outlining recommendations for local development that will be submitted to the City.

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Smart Growth America’s Top 12 of 2012: Speaking nationally about smart growth


We’re doing a special blog series highlighting some of Smart Growth America’s favorite accomplishments from 2012. This is the eighth of twelve installments.

In 2012, we joined together with colleagues and allies to learn from one another and work together on our common goals.

At the New Partners for Smart Growth Conference, we talked about area-wide planning, the transportation debate in Congress, infill development in small cities, implementing Complete Streets, progressive trends in state transportation policy, how to turn transit-oriented development in to economic prosperity, and how to create political support for smart growth projects.

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Smart Growth America’s Top 12 of 2012: Visiting towns and cities across the country

We’re doing a special blog series highlighting some of Smart Growth America’s favorite accomplishments from 2012. This is the seventh of twelve installments.

In 2012 Smart Growth America went to, worked with and spoke in dozens of towns across the country. It was great to meet the people in those places, and to learn how they’re using smart growth strategies to make their hometown better.

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Smart Growth America’s Top 12 of 2012: Making news

CEO and President of Smart Growth America Geoff Anderson and Vice President & Director of Policy Development & Implementation Bill Fulton. Photo by the San Diego Union-Tribune.

We’re doing a special blog series highlighting some of Smart Growth America’s favorite accomplishments from 2012. This is the sixth of twelve installments.

In 2012, newspapers and media outlets from across the country reported on smart growth issues in ways they never had before. Here are some of the highlights:

Smart Growth’s Revival
San Diego Union-Tribune (CA) – February 13, 2012
‘Smart growth,” a planning concept popular since the 1990s, is gaining traction as the construction industry looks to a revival, say advocates of building housing, shops and workplaces near each other and transportation networks. But they acknowledge that neighborhoods still are leery of change.

Walkability increasingly drives developers and real estate market
Washington Post – November 16, 2012
“Walkable” is a feature sparking sales and energizing future development and redevelopment, according to a recent report by a George Washington University professor that calls the Washington area a national model for compact urban areas where residents can live and work without cars.

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Smart Growth America’s Top 12 of 2012: Growing our coalition

The Fairborn-CEMEX town plant redevelopment is one of hundreds of brownfield sites across the country. Photo by the Ohio Office of Redevelopment, via Flickr.

We’re doing a special blog series highlighting some of Smart Growth America’s favorite accomplishments from 2012. This is the fifth of twelve installments.

In 2012 Smart Growth America welcomed two major new programs to our advocacy work.

In February, we announced a new alliance with the National Brownfields Coalition. The National Brownfields Coalition, now a program of Smart Growth America, seeks to raise awareness about the economic benefits of transforming vacant brownfields into thriving neighborhoods. The Coalition brought with it expertise on federal policies that promote brownfield revitalization and sustainable development have helped us pursue public policies aimed at reinvigorating neighborhoods across the country.

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