Tag: California

Anderson, CA works build a resilient economic identity

lake shasta
Impressive natural features such as Lake Shasta surround Anderson, CA. Photo by U.S. Forest Service via Flickr.

Like many small cities in America, Anderson, CA is proud of its unique and welcoming character. Also like many cities, however, the commuter town of 9,900 residents is reliant on local revenue—and needs to ensure dependable revenue growth without sacrificing that character. A former hub of mining and timber activity, Anderson now largely functions as a bedroom community for nearby Redding. But local officials and community members alike aspire to carve out a more coherent and resilient niche in the regional economy. That’s where Smart Growth America came in.

To begin articulating a vision for the city’s long-term economic development, Anderson officials and residents welcomed experts from Smart Growth America on October 14 and 15, 2014. Over the course of a two-day technical assistance workshop, Smart Growth America provided local stakeholders with the tools to begin thinking through scenarios for Anderson’s future economic identity.

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Since the workshop: Chula Vista, CA strives for energy efficiency and sustainable development

chula vistaThe farmers market at the Otay Ranch Town Center in Chula Vista, CA. Photo by Kurt Bunch

Last fall, Smart Growth America visited the City of Chula Vista, the second-largest city in San Diego County, CA, to deliver technical assistance on using the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND) rating system as a framework for pursuing sustainable development at the neighborhood scale. The workshop helped inform Chula Vista staff, developers and the community on the energy saving benefits of smart growth site design.

Since the early 1990s, Chula Vista has been working to address climate change and reduce Green House Gas (GHG) emissions through a number of programs and policies. Its Climate Action Plan (CAP) was one of the first of its kind in the State of California. The City has partnered with its local utility for the past five years to explore ways to reduce GHGs and improve energy efficiency in new development. Smart Growth America’s technical assistance workshop gave the City the opportunity to explore LEED-ND as an approach, in terms of energy efficiency and green site design, to achieving the sustainability goals outlined in its CAP.

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LOCUS Applauds Inclusion of TOD Financing in Draft Senate Transportation Bill

Yesterday, Senate EPW Chairman Barbara Boxer (CA) and Ranking Member David Vitter (LA) released a draft bipartisan six-year, transportation reauthorization.

For the first time, the bill includes a transit-oriented development (TOD) financing provision that LOCUS has strongly supported. As proposed, the TOD financing provisions provide local communities the tools needed to leverage greater private sector investment and economic development around public transportation through the highly successful TIFIA program.

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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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Partnership in the News: Bike advocates win big in Bay Area

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In 2010 the East Bay Regional Park District received a $10.2 million TIGER II grant to fill the gaps in bike and pedestrian trails in Northern California and connect more than 200 miles of existing trial.

Greater San Francisco has some of the most congested roads and highways in the country and the population is expected to grow significantly over the next few decades – only adding to the problem. Providing residents  safe, alternative modes of transportation will be critical to reduce future traffic congestion.

Existing trails in the district often parallel major roads and are used extensively by commuters seeking alternatives to congested freeways. One section of the new trails will run adjacent to the region’s metro system, Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), and will connect some economically distressed neighborhoods. Often times these neighborhoods lack access to safe and affordable transportation. Protected bike lanes and sidewalks will provide residents in these areas with safe routes to get around town.

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Chula Vista, CA hosts Smart Growth America workshop on sustainable building practices through LEED ND

Chula Vista, CA
Third Avenue in Chula Vista, CA. Photo by the City of Chula Vista via Facebook.

Smart Growth America visited Chula Vista, CA this week to meet with residents and local officials, and to explore together the city’s options for incorporating sustainable practices in the community, through the lens of the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Neighborhood Development (LEED ND) program.

The City of Chula Vista is working toward its sustainability goals with its Climate Action Plan and other initiatives. This week’s workshop was designed to help City officials understand how neighborhood development can contribute to that vision.

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Southeastern San Diego to replace brownfields area with community’s smart growth vision

Community members help plan the Village at Market Creek development. Image courtesy of the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation.
Community members plan the Village at Market Creek development. Image courtesy of the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation.

After extensive planning and dozens of community meetings, the Village at Market Creek in San Diego, CA, is ready to break ground on the next phase of a visionary smart growth project.

For two decades, San Diego has been working to remediate and redevelop the former home of aerospace manufacturer Langley Corp. The company left San Diego in the 1990s, but leaking underground storage tanks and other potentially hazardous materials on the numerous factory sites remained. That meant the 60 acres were not only blighted, but potentially dangerous to redevelop.

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A regional effort in southern California helps three cities pass top-scoring Complete Streets policies

Downtown Hermosa Beach, CA
Downtown Hermosa Beach, CA, home to one of the top 10 best Complete Streets policies of 2012. Photo via Wikimedia.

On Monday, the National Complete Streets Coalition released its annual analysis of the best Complete Streets policies of the past year. The 10 diverse communities with the best policies of the year include three California cities in the Los Angeles metro area: Hermosa Beach, Huntington Park, and Rancho Cucamonga. Hermosa Beach and Huntington Park tied for second place on our list of top policies, and Rancho Cucamonga came in at number 10.

Part of their success stems from an initiative to improve public health through better street design across the entire Los Angeles region. With the help of federal funds, the Los Angeles Department of Public Health launched its RENEW Los Angeles County initiative, which significantly supported communities that wanted to focus on multimodal, sustainable, equitable transportation. Other public health funds including through the Healthy Kids Healthy Communities program run by Active Living by Design, provided support to other communities in the region.

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What the BUILD Act could build: Tassafaronga Village in Oakland, CA

Image: Matthew Millman

Tassafaronga Village has brought affordable and accessible housing to east Oakland, California, and created bright public space and environmentally innovative design on land that was once contaminated.

In 1945 the U.S. government developed the land and built temporary housing for wartime workers in Oakland’s shipyards. In 1964, the Oakland Housing Authority (OHA) acquired the property and replaced the original structures with 87 public housing units: grim low-rise concrete buildings in a barren hardscape.

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Complete Streets winners, big and small

Downtown Lancaster, California. Photo courtesy of the City of Lancaster.

A Complete Streets approach helped Lancaster, California revitalize its commercial core and win the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2012 National Award for Smart Growth Achievement for Overall Excellence.

After decades of decline, the city’s downtown, centered on Lancaster Boulevard, had become home to rising crime and unemployment rates. Automobiles regularly travelled at speeds of 40 to 50 miles per hour, and many of the intersections were controlled by traffic signals. Residents believed that the street was dangerous to cross and unpleasant to walk and shop along.

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