Foot Traffic Ahead 2023

Foot Traffic Ahead 2023 ranks the top 35 metro areas by their walkable urbanism using an index that considers premiums in commercial rents, multifamily rental rates, and for-sale home prices. Co-authored by Michael Rodriguez, AICP, and Christopher B. Leinberger, and using data from Yardi Matrix and Rocktop Partners, the report finds that the demand for … Continued

Economic development LOCUS

In the Wake of Operational Uncertainty, Nuclear Host Communities are Planning for a Resilient Future

For many nuclear host communities, a nuclear power plant is the foundation of their economy, with a significant portion of local tax revenue, high-wage employees, and population linked to the plant’s operation. When these plants close, host communities are often left socioeconomically stranded. In November, Smart Growth America’s Nuclear Communities Team hosted a conference to … Continued

Economic development Technical assistance

The Mountains Are Calling: Placemaking and Redevelopment in Elkins, West Virginia

  Elkins, West Virginia has been working to revitalize their downtown, a challenge in any circumstance, but especially in a rural Appalachian town. The workshop with Smart Growth America shared expertise and provided site-specific advice to aid local officials and community members in placemaking. The SGA team visited Elkins for two days where they participated … Continued

Creative Placemaking Economic development Resilience Rural Development Technical assistance

Growing a Clean Economy: An Analysis of Equitable Employment Opportunities in Atlanta, GA

Smart Growth America has partnered with Partnership for Southern Equity (PSE) on a collaborative project—part of the Kresge Foundation’s Climate Change, Health, and Equity (CCHE) initiative—to advance energy equity and economic inclusion in six southwest Atlanta zip codes by providing both quantitative and policy analysis focused on the emerging clean jobs sector and other climate … Continued

Climate Change Economic development Resilience

Using smart growth to make fiscally healthy places

Leaders of every community—big metropolis and small town alike—strive to foster economic growth and prosperity. Regardless of party or ideology, every elected official prefers the choice of lowering taxes or increasing services compared to the reverse. A growing economy and tax base make that easier to achieve, and so most local policies are intended to … Continued

Economic development

Rationale for Smart Growth Fiscal Impact Analysis and Model Fiscal Impact Assessment Ordinance

Fiscal impact analysis is a tool that is already in the playbook for many planners, politicians, and developers. It arises out of the straightforward need to understand how much new development will cost. A typical fiscal analysis uses the average cost method, which assumes that each new resident or employee associated with new development generates … Continued

Economic development

Smart Growth Fiscal Impact Analysis (short paper)

Introduction Leaders of every community, big city, or small municipality, whether they’re in a major metropolitan area or a rural area, strive to foster economic growth and prosperity. They want good jobs, successful local businesses, and ideally, for municipal resources to grow faster than the costs of existing programs. Regardless of party or ideology, every … Continued

Economic development

SGA’s take on introduced opportunity zone reform bill

Last week, a bipartisan group of senators introduced a bicameral bill aiming to reform opportunity zones, the Opportunity Zones Transparency, Extension, and Improvement Act. Smart Growth America (SGA) views the opportunity zone reform bill as a necessary step to advance more equitable outcomes through opportunity zones, which have not benefited the historically underserved communities, nor the small, minority-owned and legacy businesses, as intended.  Additionally, SGA notes that opportunity zones are not sufficient in advancing our goal of delivering more attainable housing near transit, a key tool for smart growth.

Economic development LOCUS

Here’s what we heard at the Nuclear Communities Forum

On April 1, the Nuclear Communities team virtually hosted the first Nuclear Communities Forum which sought to amplify knowledge-sharing between nuclear host communities on a national level and set a guiding footprint for those experiencing the impacts of decommissioning across the country. Read on for insights from communities who were able to plan early—and those who weren’t. 

Economic development Rural Development

The lay of the land: what makes nuclear power plant closure unique?

A program of Smart Growth America (SGA), the Nuclear Communities team supports nuclear host communities through building capacity and developing transition plans, gathering a wealth of information and perspectives along the way. While each host community has its own unique set of circumstances, they all have one thing in common: preparation is needed to be … Continued

Economic development