Webinar recap: Zoning for the maker economy


This past July, we hosted “Form-Based Codes and Small-Scale Manufacturing,” a joint webinar between Smart Growth America’s Economic Development team and the Form-Based Codes Institute. Speakers discussed how different communities are using form-based codes to support small-scale manufacturing businesses. A recording of the webinar is now available and you can also read a short recap below.

Economic development Form-Based Codes

Suburban business parks are dead, and six other things we learned at the LOCUS Leadership Summit

Opportunity Rising, last week’s LOCUS National Leadership Summit in Arlington, VA, was a vital gathering, uniting responsible real estate developers and investors with local elected officials and transportation and land-use planners. During the wide range of workshops, panels and sessions, Smart Growth America staff absorbed a few important themes and ideas. Here are seven.

Economic development LOCUS

A Mississippi community plugs into internet to power up downtown


Natchez, Mississippi has never been connected to the interstate highway system. But today, with help from Smart Growth America, the city is revitalizing its historic downtown and also working to connect to the rest of the world through a newer medium: high-speed, broadband internet. 

Economic development Rural Development Technical assistance

Small-scale manufacturing hits its stride in Knoxville and Youngstown


This year’s small-scale manufacturing technical assistance funded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is well underway with a pair of successful visits completed. We recently caught up with two communities we helped in 2016—Knoxville, TN and Youngstown, OH—to learn about their achievements with local makers. Their progress illustrates the potential for high-quality jobs and placemaking opportunities tied to this emerging sector.

Economic development

Smart Growth America tapped to help determine the future of the Buffalo Skyway


Like a number of other 1950’s-era, aging elevated highways that are (or have already) reached the end of their designed lifespans, the elevated Buffalo Skyway bridge in New York could be the latest to be replaced with a more people-centric design that better connects the city to its waterfront. Smart Growth America’s CEO Calvin Gladney has been selected to join a panel of other notable experts to judge a state-chartered design competition about its future.

Complete Streets Economic development Resilience Transportation

An Alabama city grapples with its development decisions


Atmore—a rural city in southern Alabama—is poised to make some key land use decisions that will have a great impact on both its long-term economic prosperity and its fiscal health. To grapple with these choices, the city partnered with Smart Growth America to gain a better understand their impact.

Economic development Rural Development Technical assistance

Blind Spots: New research on dangerous, unhealthy corridors


Designing the commercial corridors where we live, work, and shop to move high volumes of cars as quickly as possible isn’t just dangerous. It also has severe consequences for health, economic viability, and equity along these corridors. We collaborated with the Urban Land Institute on a new research report that measures the impact of unsafe, unhealthy corridor conditions; examines how common these conditions are across the country; and digs into what can be done to change this trend.

Complete Streets Economic development Transportation

Tapping local partnerships for small-scale manufacturing success


As we prepare for site visits in six new communities to develop strategies for local small-scale manufacturing this month, we’re taking a look back at the places we helped in 2016. Two communities—Lowell, MA and Twin Falls, ID—have made some impressive progress to support their budding maker businesses; their work shows how promising this emerging sector can be for building livable communities and healthy economies.

Economic development Uncategorized