Success stories from three of our Champions Institute alumni

Graduates of Smart Growth America’s inaugural Active People, Healthy Nation Champions Institute are using what they learned to advocate for Complete Streets and safer activity-friendly routes to everyday destinations across the country. After completing the institute in 2020, Councilmember Sallie Alcorn from Houston, TX, Mayor Robyn Tannehill from Oxford, MS, and Mayor Jerry Martin from Alma, … Continued

Complete Streets

Third session of Commonwealth Communities engages expert speakers and audience on planning for the future of transit and TOD in Commonwealth Communities

Throughout this session, speakers agreed that there needs to be a renewed focus on sustainability and resiliency in urban transportation systems in order to respond to the changing needs of riders and development as we approach a post-COVID world. In order to integrate all of these issues, there needs to be cooperation on all levels: federal, state, and local.

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Seen and heard at the 2019 LOCUS Leadership Summit

a view of downtown DC from across the river in Virginia
Last week the LOCUS Leadership Summit: Opportunity Rising brought forward-thinking real estate developers and investors who are creating sustainable communities together with local elected officials and transportation and land-use planners. Here’s a short look back at what was caught live on Twitter at #LOCUSSummit2019.

LOCUS

How one city is priming itself for Opportunity Zone investment


How does a city make sure it’s ready for investment? A question weighing on many municipal minds is how to organize planning, economic development strategies, and zoning regulations to make it clear to residents, developers, and investors that this is the right place to be. Further, how does a community encourage investment without sacrificing the characteristics that make it an attractive community to its residents?

LOCUS

What’s the value of a great downtown? Joe Minicozzi can tell you exactly, in dollars and cents.

minicozzi-joe-300x225One of the main reasons Smart Growth America advocates for compact, walkable urban development is because this approach can greatly benefit the finances of municipalities. Smart growth strategies can reduce infrastructure costs and ongoing expenses for cities while also boosting tax revenues. Smart Growth America’s own work has shown that, and we know this to be true too because of the outstanding work of others in the field like Joe Minicozzi, AICP and the principal at Urban3, LLC, a consultancy based out of Asheville, NC. We’re fans of their work and and cite it often as yet another illustration of how good smart growth can be for city finances. We want to take this opportunity to highlight some of the evidence Minicozzi has amassed over the years demonstrating smart growth’s fiscal benefits.

Urban3 has been hired by cities and towns across the United States and Canada to analyze the financial implications of their development strategies. Most city planners and elected officials understand that a city brings in more tax revenue when people shop and eat out, Minicozzi explained in 2012, but they often underestimate just how much more valuable this economic activity is when it happens downtown rather than on a city’s outskirts.

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The "Best Complete Streets Policies of 2015" comes out April 12

best-cs-policies-2015-blog-bannerGuadalupe Street in Austin, TX. Austin had one of the highest-scoring policies of 2014. Which communities will be on the 2015 list? Photo courtesy of the City of Austin.

More than 60 communities passed Complete Streets policies in 2015, and these policies are some of the strongest and most effective ever passed. Which policies stood out as the best? Find out on next month when Smart Growth America’s National Complete Streets Coalition unveils our annual ranking of the best Complete Streets policies in the nation.

Notably this year, one community has scored a perfect 100 on their Complete Streets policy. In the near decade that we have been tracking policies, this is the first time a community has achieved a perfect score. Which community passed the perfect policy? Join us for the launch of this year’s rankings to find out.

Complete Streets