Tag: Cool planning

East Central Florida hosts workshop on planning for regional resilience

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Downtown Orlando, FL. Photo by Mandi Roberts of Otak, Inc.

Last month, a coalition of local leaders in Florida met with smart growth experts to confront an unusually global concern: climate change.

On September 10, thanks to a grant-funded technical assistance workshop, East Central Florida officials and residents sat down with representatives from Smart Growth America and Otak, Inc. on to focus on the topic of “cool planning.” The workshop complemented the East Central Florida Regional Planning Council’s efforts to develop and implement a Regional Resiliency Initiative (RRI) by providing the community with tools and techniques to achieve the RRI’s vision of resilient communities and economies.

In particular, the workshop examined the environmental footprint of various land-use and building practices to help Brevard, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Volusia counties find ways to engage in development without accelerating climate change.

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Applications close Friday for Smart Growth America’s 2014 free technical assistance workshops

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The City of Boulder, CO created this poster following their February workshop on cool planning.

The application window for Smart Growth America’s 2014 free technical assistance workshops is closing soon! If your community is considering applying for one or more of these workshops, applications are due by this Friday, December 6, 2013 at 5:00 PM EST.

In 2013, 22 communities were awarded these free workshops, including small towns like Blue Springs, MO and Campbell, NY and major cities like Houston, TX. These communities have used what they learned at our workshops to inform new projects, new plans—and even posters!

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A workshop helps Eastport, Maine find ways to reduce heating costs

A view of downtown Eastport, ME. Photo by The Indestructible Enforcer via Flickr.

Eastport, Maine is a charming rural community vying for its survival.

An island off Maine’s northern coast, Eastport is actively working to reduce the town’s increasingly substantial winter heating costs. To help in this effort, the community applied for and received a 2012 free technical assistance workshop from Smart Growth America and Otak, made possible by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities program.

Eastport depends almost entirely on fossil fuels for winter heating, and pays more for them as compared to the rest of the country. And while all of Maine has severe winters and high heating costs, Eastport is a rural community that serves a primarily low-income and older population, making these obstacles even more challenging. The cost of heating has implications for Eastport residents’ disposable income, the region’s economy, and even home foreclosure trends. The city recognized that it needed to find a more sustainable, efficient, and affordable way to heat buildings.

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Kimberly, Idaho aims to implement cool planning program with aid from Smart Growth America’s technical assistance

Next week, Smart Growth America will meet with staff from the City of Kimberly, ID as part of a free, grant-funded technical assistance program aimed at assisting the City of Kimberly implement a cool planning program.

Residents are invited to attend the meeting, which will take place on Monday, March 12, 2012 from 6–8 p.m. at the new Rock Creek Fire Station.

The presentation and discussion will highlight how Kimberly can best plan for growth while enhancing community livability and economic sustainability. Staff will discuss how Kimberly can: Get Centered (creating a vibrant and attractive town center), Grow Compact (avoiding sprawl and minimizing vehicle miles traveled) and Make Streets Complete (making city roads safe for pedestrians and cyclists).

“We are very excited to have been selected for this incredible opportunity,” said Kimberly City Administrator, Polly Hulsey. “This assistance will allow professionals from around the country to converge on Kimberly and to meet with City leaders, business owners, builders, realtors and our citizens to help us maximize our resources, while helping guide us in the right direction for our future. We invite anyone interested to attend the program to provide input and join us in planning Kimberly’s future.”

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