Pullman Square in downtown Huntington, WV. Photo by Nicholas Eckhart via Flickr.
On August 5 and 6, 2014, Huntington, WV officials and local residents met with representatives from Smart Growth America as part of a free, grant-funded technical assistance program. The city recently updated its comprehensive plan, Plan 2025, and this workshop aimed to provide Huntington with tools and techniques to implement Plan 2025’s vision of reinvestment in local infrastructure, housing and businesses. The workshop focused on how shifting development patterns towards more compact, transit-oriented development could benefit the local economy and local government finances.
“The City of Huntington is committed to seeking the tools and training to help develop strategies that reduce negative outcomes from a combined stormwater and sanitary system and encourage quality housing, and business development,” Mayor Steve Williams said. “We’re excited to work with Smart Growth America to find solutions to these and other local issues that will make our city even more attractive in the future.”
Huntington residents joined the workshop’s first day for an introductory presentation that featured an overview of the fiscal and economic benefits associated with smart growth practices. The second day of the workshop brought together a wide range of professional staff and elected officials, private sector representatives including the real estate community, local residents and the non-profit community to further discuss the ways in which smart growth approaches can make the municipality more competitive and reduce taxpayer burdens. The participants left the workshop having brainstormed how to address development opportunities and challenges for targeted areas of the city, including the Old Main corridor, Hal Greer Boulevard and 14th Street West.
In January 2014, the City of Huntington was one of 18 applicants selected by Smart Growth America to participate in the free technical assistance program. Stretching from New Hampshire to California, these communities represent major cities, suburban centers, and rural towns alike.
The program, made possible through a five-year Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Sustainable Communities, seeks to develop local planning solutions that help communities grow in ways that benefit families and businesses, while protecting the environment and preserving a sense of place. Three other nonprofit organizations—Forterra, Global Green USA and Project for Public Spaces—also received competitively awarded grants under this program to help communities get the kind of development they want.
- Planning for Economic and Fiscal Health Tool Description (PDF)
- Evening Presentation (PDF)
- Huntington: Next Steps Memo (PDF)
- Huntington: Progress Report – 1 month (PDF)
- Huntington: Progress Report – 6 month (PDF)
- Huntington: Progress Report – 12 month (PDF)