2007 Accomplishments

With the Urban Land Institute, we released Growing Cooler: The Evidence on Urban Development and Climate Change, which shows how meeting the demand for conveniently located housing with transportation choices will be key to addressing climate change.

The National Vacant Properties Campaign held its first national conference: Reclaiming Vacant Properties was an overwhelming success. Nearly 700 people rallied together in Pittsburgh to share wisdom and learn how to help their own communities hit hard by vacancy and abandonment.

Along with the Brookings Institution and other partners, we launched the Restoring Prosperity Initiative to bring hope and investment to our older industrial and weak market cities.

Based on the valuable knowledge gained from many years of providing technical assistance to communities around the country, the Smart Growth Leadership Institute has developed a powerful set of smart growth tools to be released in early 2008. These tools help communities untangle the thicket of policies and procedures that get in the way of implementing smart growth strategies.

The Governors’ Institute on Community Design continued its work with governors on growth issues. The Institute has now worked in Rhode Island, Virginia, Arizona, Maryland, Delaware and Wyoming.

“Complete Streets” continued its rise as the buzzword of the day, with a front-page story in USA Today and a two-page spread in the AARP Bulletin. More than twenty jurisdictions across the country have adopted complete streets policies since 2006, including a new statewide complete streets law in Illinois in 2007.

Once more, SGA fought “regulatory takings” measures advocated by anti-government activists. 2007’s lone ballot measure (in Alaska) was crushed. Oregonians restored sanity to the mess created three years ago, passing a fix known as Measure 49. It passed by a larger margin than Measure 37 in 2004 — the original “takings” initiative that spawned so many copycats.