SGA statement on the nomination of Gina McCarthy for EPA Administrator

Smart Growth America President and CEO Geoffrey Anderson released the following statement after President Obama’s nomination of Gina McCarthy to fill the role of Environmental Protection Agency administrator: “Gina McCarthy’s nomination comes at a time when the country is looking for ways to address key environmental issues while also not impeding a still-rebounding economy. If … Continued


Fiscal cliff resolution also extends transit benefits, housing tax credits

Fiscal cliff negotiations went down to the wire, but the final deal brokered between Democrats and Republicans included extensions to several transit and housing tax programs. Late on January 1, Congress agreed on a tax package, the American Taxpayer Relief Act, which includes a few provisions critical to helping communities implement smart growth solutions. First, … Continued


Leveraging transit-oriented development for economic growth, better living in Hawaii

[caption id="attachment_23906" align="alignleft" width="640"] An artist’s rendering of a potential transit-oriented development in Waipahu, Hawaii. According to a new report from Smart Growth America and the state’s planning office, such developments could boost economic development and quality of life on the island.[/caption]Hawaii state agencies can leverage transit-oriented development to help deliver on many of Governor Abercrombie’s economic development, quality of life and environmental protection goals, according to a new analysis from the state’s Office of Planning and Smart Growth America’s Leadership Institute.

The report’s recommendations come after a series of meetings between state government officials, private sector leaders and non-profit representatives. The group of more than 40 participants, convened by Governor Abercrombie, identified the importance of transit-oriented development to Hawaii.

“The people of Hawaii now have an unprecedented opportunity to leverage transit-oriented development throughout the islands, including but not limited to The Bus and rail transit on Oahu, but also the Hele-On Bus on the Big Island and the Maui Bus and Kauai Bus,” said Governor Abercrombie. “By planning ahead, we can use TOD as a positive tool to proactively direct growth away from agricultural and conservation lands and lay the groundwork necessary to encourage development where it is most needed and welcome for the next generation.”

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Statement on EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson's Resignation

Smart Growth America President and CEO Geoffrey Anderson released the following statement after the announcement of Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson’s resignation yesterday: “Under Administrator Jackson’s leadership, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has embraced a more inclusive and comprehensive set of measures to address the interconnected environmental, social and economic issues affecting our nation’s … Continued


Walkability increasingly drives developers and real estate market

What makes a town or city desirable? What makes a neighborhood a great place to raise a family or start a new job? And what characteristics drive local economic growth and drive the real estate market? It all starts with walkability, according to a recent Washington Post story. A Texas native, Rogers put a premium … Continued

LOCUS Uncategorized

Voters say ‘yes’ to great neighborhoods, transportation choices via Tuesday ballot initiatives

Voters decided more than a president last night, with dozens of local decisions across the country to fund or approve important transportation and land-use ballot initiatives.

“With transportation choices and smart growth decision-making being so closely linked to economic development and long-term cost-savings, the public’s say on these measures plays a critical role in determining which communities will have an opportunity to leap forward,” Smart Growth America President and CEO Geoffrey Anderson said in a statement. “You’re voting on the future of your hometown, what you want your neighborhood to look like, and whether you want to see economic growth happen there.”

“The good news is that across the nation last night, we saw widespread support for investing in our existing communities. When voters see the real benefits of putting their tax dollars into a project, they’re very much inclined to support it, no matter what kind of town they’re from.”

Some of the most important ballot initiatives passed last night include:


The Neighborhood of the Future

According to renowned architect and city planner Andres Duany, that future will look a lot like smart growth. In an interview with USA Today, Duany — who designed the now famous Seaside community in Florida as a kind of walkable paradise — tells national correspondent Rick Hampson that in only a few decades, based on current market trends, demographic changes and economic realities, the town of the future will be a place where people “will walk and ride more and drive less. And they will like it.”

In the next American metropolis, people will live in smaller homes, relax in smaller yards, park their smaller cars in smaller spots. They will be closer to work, to play and, above all, to one another.

That doesn’t mean “conventional suburbia” will disappear. If anything, far from it. Duany estimates that at least 40 percent of homebuyers will still favor big houses on big lots with room for a few cars. But as the millennial generation comes of age and demographic changes continue across the country, the market demand for walkable communities will only continue to escalate. And with that rise in demand, Duany notes, a wide range of housing choices will emerge. America 30 years from now will be a place with a diversity of housing and building types.


Governing Magazine: Stretching Limited State Budgets With The Innovative DOT

Here’s what Governing magazine has to say about “The Innovative DOT: A Handbook of Policy and Practice,” released today by Smart Growth America and the Smart State Transportation Initiative:

A group of state Department of Transportation directors has teamed up with the smart growth movement to release a new best-practices report that offers recommendations and case studies on how to stretch limited transportation dollars.

The partnership might seem to be something of an unusual relationship. Historically, the smart growth movement has made close inroads with city transportation planners and the transit community, who line up closely with the movement’s goals of encouraging transit-oriented development, finding alternatives to driving and designing walkable communities while combating sprawl.

State departments of transportation, meanwhile, spend the bulk of their time on highways.

But Smart Growth America CEO Geoff Anderson says his organization’s mission is broader than just encouraging transit and is more about moving people most efficiently. At a time when state transportation departments are strapped for cash, that’s a message that could resonate. The report’s goal is to highlight ways that transportation departments can get the most bang for their buck, and it highlights innovative techniques across the country.

“If you start to put them all together, it’s a pretty interesting package of stuff that includes smarter, cheaper ways to get at the same, better outcomes,” says Anderson.

The Innovative DOT includes 31 recommendations transportation officials can use as they position their agencies for success in the new economy. The handbook documents many of the innovative approaches state leaders are using to make systems more efficient, government more effective and constituents better satisfied.


Report: Real estate markets favor smart growth locations

A forthcoming report from LOCUS President and real estate professor Chris Leinberger offers evidence for what many have known intuitively for the past several years: Smart growth areas in more walkable, transit-oriented neighborhoods are the main drivers of real estate market growth right now. Specifically in the Washington D.C. area — which is at the … Continued