The power of economic diversification in our communities

Beyond the devastating effects on a community, economic disasters can present an opportunity for change by highlighting a risky over-dependence on a single industry sector and motivating local leaders and planners to invest in the long-term resiliency of their community. Our work on the economic development team at Smart Growth America seeks to strengthen local economies through diversification—one of the most effective ways to increase long-term economic resilience.

Economic development Technical assistance

In the zone with form-based codes

The results are in: places that adopt form-based zoning codes generally perform better economically than places regulated by more conventional, Euclidean zoning—and there’s evidence that the former can also help foster more equitable development, according to new research released today by the Form- Based Codes Institute at Smart Growth America.

Economic development Form-Based Codes

Zoned In: Economic Benefits & Shared Prosperity with Form-Based Codes

Measuring the impact of form-based codes to encourage smart growth Form-based codes are widely recognized as tools to improve the character of a place, encourage physical activity, and strengthen resilience to climate change. While most people who are familiar with form-based codes believe that the places these codes regulate tend to perform better economically than … Continued

Economic development Form-Based Codes

Our economic development team at work in Douglas, Arizona

We’re spending the rest of this summer talking about our data-driven, equity-focused approach to economic development and producing prosperous, resilient places—from the team that makes it happen. Catch up with the full series of posts, essays, and reports on this page. The economic development team at SGA often works with communities to identify strategies for … Continued

Economic development

SGA partners with North End community members to create equitable development plan

At the beginning of 2021, Smart Growth America began working with residents in the North End neighborhood of Newport, Rhode Island to create an equitable development strategy for the community, which is in the path of significant new development. To mitigate displacement and ensure that residents benefit from major public and private investments, the Smart Growth America team is working with local leaders to define a community-based vision, build capacity, and create advocacy strategies.

Economic development

Smart Growth America’s economic development approach

Some may think of smart growth as a physical form of development, but in a simpler sense it’s deciding how to best use limited resources when it comes to choices about land use, housing, development, and infrastructure. Our economic development team is at the core of SGA’s work to move the needle on these questions across the country.

Economic development

How the Biden administration can make immediate strides on climate and racial equity

Smart Growth America, along with some of our programs, identified immediate executive actions and long-term policy changes that the incoming Biden administration can implement to eliminate structural inequities and address catastrophic global climate change.

Advocacy Climate Change Complete Streets Economic development LOCUS Transportation

Unrealized Gains: Opportunity Zones and Small Businesses

The Opportunity Zone tax incentive was conceived as a tool to promote economic development, job creation, poverty reduction, and support for new businesses in areas of concentrated poverty. After a couple of years of sizable investments flowing into these newly designated zones, we wanted to know: Are these investments supporting small business stability and growth, … Continued

Economic development

New report: Are Opportunity Zones boosting the prospects of small businesses?

The new Opportunity Zone tax incentive was conceived as a tool to promote economic development, job creation, poverty reduction, and support for new businesses in areas of concentrated poverty. A couple years in, is it having the desired effects for small business stability and growth, especially for minority-owned legacy businesses?

Economic development LOCUS