Announcing the winners of Smart Growth America's 2013 Leadership Awards

Two mayors and one company are being honored this week with national awards for their leadership on better development strategies.

Mayor Randy Rhoads of Lee’s Summit, MO and Mayor Laura McConwell of Mission, KS have been selected to receive Smart Growth America’s 2013 Leadership Awards. They are joined by Progressive Insurance, for its Snapshot pay-as-you-drive auto insurance.

“This year’s award winners are doing remarkable work,” said Geoff Anderson, President and CEO of Smart Growth America. “Lee’s Summit and Mission are creating vibrant neighborhoods through strategic policy and investment decisions. Progressive Insurance is an industry leader in recognizing new trends among American drivers. Smart Growth America is proud to honor them with this year’s Leadership Awards.”

In Lee’s Summit, Mayor Randy Rhoads has built on a recent history of rapid growth, implementing the region’s first Complete Streets policy and embarking on an ambitious restoration and redevelopment strategy downtown. Though the area’s influx of residents means the city must wrestle with how to adequately plan for its future in a fiscally sustainable way, it’s also a leader in waste management practices and home to the region’s best example of a smart growth mixed-use development, New Longview.

In Mission, Mayor Laura McConwell is tackling community development issues through the use of form-based codes, including the replacement of parking minimums with parking maximums. Green infrastructure and transit-oriented investments; streetscaping along Johnson Drive; and an emphasis on existing neighborhoods are also moving Mission in the right direction as a place to live, work and play.

Progressive Insurance is being recognized for the company’s Snapshot revolutionary usage-based insurance program. Snapshot is a unique example of a company incentivizing smart growth development for consumers by offering discounts to people driving less often, during safer times of day and less aggressively.

“Many Americans are already choosing to drive less,” Anderson added. “Progressive has recognized this and adapted its business model to incorporate the trend. It’s an example of innovation that’s changing the industry and helping customers save money in the process.”

The 2013 Leadership Awards will be presented at a ceremony on Friday, February 8, 2013 in Kansas City, MO. The ceremony takes place during the annual New Partners for Smart Growth conference.