Passenger rail along the Gulf Coast has been absent since 2005 when Hurricane Katrina wiped out much of the infrastructure. But Smart Growth America, through our Transportation for America (T4America) program, has been coordinating a monumental effort to restore service along the Gulf Coast and that work is paying off.
Transportation for America is pleased to announce the selection of three communities to receive $50,000 creative placemaking grants through our Cultural Corridor Consortium program.
Of all the places I traveled to this year, Huntsville, AL might have impressed me the most.
Participants at our 2016 workshop in Chattanooga, TN.
Last week we announced the six new communities that will receive one of our free standard technical assistance workshops in 2017. This program, now in its sixth year and funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Sustainable Communities’ Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Program, has helped more than 70 communities across the country use development strategies to meet their goals.
As we look forward to working with next year’s communities, we wanted to take a moment to look back on the diversity of faces and places we’ve visited this year.
If your city could be more convenient, more attractive, and get more out of its past investments, wouldn’t you want it to? That’s what Huntsville, AL was thinking about when they first became interested in a Complete Streets approach to street design.
Birmingham, AL’s Woodlawn neighborhood will be the focus of Smart Growth America’s new partnership with that city. Photo via.
Communities large and small are looking for ways to create prosperity that everyone can participate in. Smart Growth America’s new Planning for Successful and Equitable Revitalization program is designed to help.
In partnership with PNC, this new addition to our technical assistance offerings will help communities revitalize successfully and capture benefits from the revitalization process for families of all income levels.
Kansas City, MO is one of the communities that will receive a 2016 free technical assistance workshop.
Smart Growth America is pleased to announce seven communities that have been selected to receive our free technical assistance workshops in 2016.
Each year, Smart Growth America makes a limited number of technical assistance workshops available to interested communities at zero cost. This competitive award gives communities a chance to understand the technical aspects of smart growth development and build a strategy to achieve their goals through a one- or two-day workshop on a subject of their choosing.
Midfield, AL’s Splash Pad. Photo by City of Midfield via Facebook.
In the increasingly technologically connected, fast-paced, global economy-driven world of today, it can be hard for even the small towns of America to retain their ‘small town’ feel. And yet, that’s exactly what Midfield, AL is striving to maintain and preserve.
Located just outside of Birmingham, AL, Midfield, with a population just over 5,000, is known as “the Convenient City”. It’s a place where residents make it a point to “eat, shop, and do all of their business right in the city,” says Councilmember Velma Johnson, a member of Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council.
Those who live in Midfield say they have a sense of belonging—of knowing and being known by so many others in the community. “As humans we want to connect to one another,” says Johnson. “In Midfield, we’re fortunate to live in the type of community where police officers know children by name.”
When the Langdale and Riverdale textile mills closed in the 1990’s, the residents of Valley, Alabama, not only lost a major employer. They lost part of their heritage.
For years the mills have stood as a reminder of what the town lost. Residents, however, saw potential for transforming the historic buildings into a vibrant, walkable neighborhood. The City agreed—but industrial contamination stood in their way.
Now, a federal brownfields grant is helping Valley clean up the land and achieve their vision, and a bill in Congress could help towns like Valley achieve similar goals.
The Langdale Mill in Valley, AL. Photo via The City of Valley, AL.
After operating for more than a hundred years, the Langdale and Riverdale textile mills were a central part of Valley, AL’s heritage and economy. With the help of a Brownfields grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Valley is working to make the former mills part of life in Valley once again.
The Langdale and Riverdale Mills were built in 1866 along the Chattahoochee River on the eastern edge of Alabama. The city that is now Valley, AL was built up around the mills, and they served as the economic heart of the area for over a century.