Tag: tools

Announcing new resources for communities implementing Complete Streets policies


A bicyclist in California, from the cover of the California Department of Transportation’s Complete Streets Implementation Action Plan, one of the resources included in the new overview.

New resources are now available to help communities successfully implement Complete Streets policies.

The National Complete Streets Coalition’s Implementation tools include general guidance and specific strategies to help leaders and advocates address design standards, concerns about funding costs and measuring outcomes.

These resources are designed to be used by local leaders working to put Complete Streets policies into action. Throughout those pages you can find best practices, suggested activities, and resources to help guide your community through Complete Streets implementation. We provide examples of materials that are used by communities of all sizes from across the country at all stages of policy implementation.

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Hershey, PA updates its comprehensive plan


The Hershey Theater in Derry Township, Hershey, Pennsylvania. Photo by Mr. T in DC.

Hershey is a rural town of 25,000 residents in the center of Pennsylvania, best known for being home to The Hershey Company and Hershey Park. Now, Hershey’s Derry Township is working to make sure new development benefits residents and visitors alike.

In 2010, the city’s Board of Supervisors passed a resolution to update Hershey’s 1991 Comprehensive Plan and zoning ordinances to include smart growth policies. To help achieve this goal, Hershey applied for and received a free technical assistance workshop from Smart Growth America and Clarion Associates, on Smart Growth Zoning Codes for Small Cities.

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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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A Citizen’s Guide for land use and transportation planning from Idaho Smart Growth

Over the past two years, Smart Growth America’s coalition partner Idaho Smart Growth has helped more than 20 communities around Idaho advocate for and implement healthy living policies. To help community members better engage in local planning decisions, Idaho Smart Growth recently published a new free and easy tool to help you. Idaho Smart Growth’s Citizen’s Guide can help advocates create vibrant, healthier communities that include parks, stores, restaurants, schools, and businesses all within a walkable neighborhood.

With funding and support from the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, Idaho Smart Growth developed this guide as a resource for citizens who are interested in helping shape the future of their community and for people who are concerned about a specific land use or transportation proposal. The goal of the guide is to help citizen advocates get started by sharing background information on land use and transportation planning in Idaho, suggesting some steps you can take to get more involved, and defining the basics of smart growth.

The guide contains information specific to Idaho, as well as information that’s helpful to anyone interested in community planning, including tips for effective input on local comprehensive plans, steps for addressing development issues, and an overview of the benefits smart growth strategies can bring to a municipality. The guide also includes resource links and information about partner organizations.

Visit Idaho Smart Growth’s website to download the Citizen’s Guide >>

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NTHP releases best practices manual for historic sites

From Barbara Campagna at the National Trust for Historic Preservation:

Finally – the National Trust’s Best Practices Manual, complete with over 50 pages on Sustainable Practices at existing and historic buildings – is online and downloadable!

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HUD’s Regulatory Barriers Clearinghouse adds “sustainable communities” features

HUD’s Regulatory Barriers Clearinghouse (RBC) offers solutions to state and local regulatory barriers to affordable housing. Their website has now been updated to include information on sustainable communities.

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Center for Transit-Oriented Development releases tool to evaluate the performance of transit zones

From CTOD: Whether working locally or regionally, the guidebook provides easy to understand information to help guide efforts to create high-quality TOD that reduces vehicle miles traveled (VMT), a significant generator of our national greenhouse gas emissions, as well as …

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National Green Infrastructure Conference (Feb. 23-25, 2011)

The Inaugural 2011 National Green Infrastructure Conference is a gathering of policy-makers, practitioners, and on-the-ground implementers of green infrastructure practices and design from around the country. This is the first official conference of the National Green Infrastructure Community of Practice. …

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Transportation for America releases interactive map of TIGER and TIGER II projects

Transportation for America has compiled a Google map that shows every transportation project funded through TIGER and TIGER II — check out the fully interactive version on their website, where you can click on any place marker for detailed information …

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New GIS tool models housing density growth to reflect climate and land use

Tapping into the power of GIS to model housing density growth scenarios just got a little easier. EPA just released ICLUS, which stands for Integrated Climate and Land Use Scenarios. According to EPA, this new tool enables you to: customize …

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