Empowering Communities, Growing a Better Future

Did you know? Smart Growth America is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and your contribution is fully deductible to the extent allowed by law? Your support helps advance our mission to create sustainable, equitable, and vibrant communities.

Hi everyone,

I’m Katharine Burgess, Vice President of the Land Use and Development team at SGA. Our goal is to support neighborhoods to be more vibrant, resilient and connected while maintaining affordability—working toward liveable communities where everyone can thrive. Given today’s housing access crisis, and the rising costs of household energy and transportation, this work is more urgent than ever.

Support our work to address critical challenges related to the built environment

From reforming zoning codes that separate people and destinations, to measuring equitable access to walkable neighborhoods in America’s largest metropolitan areas, to advocating for funding to restore polluted land, our team focuses on the economic health of downtowns, creating mixed-used, well-connected spaces where people don’t have to rely on car ownership to get around. This year we have also focused on land use and climate adaptation, and how to support communities to plan for future development to be more prepared for devastating climate impacts.

A cornerstone of our work is to support community-based organizations to advance their goals for equitable, well-connected development in the face of the current housing crisis. One project that touches on our team’s priorities was our Massachusetts Technical Assistance program. Here we worked with two Massachusetts organizations—Westside Legends in Pittsfield and CultureHouse in Somerville—to address roadblocks such as zoning, housing affordability, and transportation access in their communities. But we know those challenges aren’t unique to Massachusetts. 

Donate and help us advance equitable development in communities across the country 

As we enter the new year, we look forward to further supporting community organizations and local governments by tailoring recommendations and strategies to their specific needs, furthering efforts toward mitigating the longstanding effects of exclusionary zoning, and creating more affordable, resilient housing opportunities in Massachusetts and beyond.  

Your support will help us reach our goals for more mixed-use, adapted, and equitable communities.

Thank you,

Katharine Burgess

Land Use and Development