Commercial to Residential? White House Highlights Programs that Could Help Vacancies in Downtowns

In the face of the well-documented housing crisis, and amidst a changing landscape for office and commercial buildings due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the White House released a guidebook of programs that would assist commercial to residential conversions. As local government leaders, developers, policymakers, and other stakeholders debate strategies to revitalize their downtowns, this guidebook … Continued

Land Use and Development LOCUS

Three bills that would advance equitable, sustainable development

LOCUS, a coalition of triple-bottom-line real estate developers convened by Smart Growth America, made significant advocacy efforts this summer. The coalition’s work aims to advance legislation that could lead to more equitable, sustainable development and better connectivity between land use and transportation policy. A core focus of this advocacy work has been establishing strategies to deliver more mixed-income and mixed-use development near transit. Below are three important bills that would advance these goals.

LOCUS

New White House actions on equitable community development

Building on its earlier series of executive orders on advancing racial equity and supporting underserved communities (EO 13985 and 14091), the Biden administration has announced a series of interagency actions and principles to strengthen equitable urban development. The proposed actions address federal infrastructure investment, land use, housing, and regional planning policies.

LOCUS

New Report: Foot Traffic Ahead 2023

SGA’s new report, Foot Traffic Ahead, finds that walkable urban areas in U.S. grew despite disruptions from the pandemic. The report also ranks the top 35 US metropolitan areas on their walkable urbanism, demonstrating continued market demand and consumer preference for walkable urban places and provides policymakers with recommendations on how to increase both the … Continued

Land Use and Development LOCUS

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

LOCUS Member Spotlight: David Grannis

Latin for “place,” LOCUS is a national network of real estate developers, investors, and professionals, united to advance equitable, walkable urban development in communities across the country. Together LOCUS members work to increase funding and financing for smart growth development; improve regulations at all levels of government to support smart growth; and change federal programs … Continued

LOCUS

LOCUS Member Spotlight: Cathy Sloss Jones

Latin for “place,” LOCUS is a national network of real estate developers, investors, and professionals, united to advance equitable, walkable urban development in communities across the country. Together LOCUS members work to increase funding and financing for smart growth development; improve regulations at all levels of government to support smart growth; and change federal programs … Continued

LOCUS

Biden Equity Action Plan impacts on housing and land use

The Biden Administration showcased its intentions to embed equity throughout the federal government with the recent release of the first-ever Equity Actions Plans for over 90 federal agencies. The plans detail department-specific goals and operational priorities to improve the delivery of equitable outcomes for all Americans through systemic reforms and investments in historically underserved communities. … Continued

LOCUS

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