As we travel the country, there are few things better than witnessing an elected official have an “a-ha” moment and realize that the conventional wisdom they’ve been handed down about growth and development perhaps wasn’t actually the best wisdom after all.
Building Blocks: Planning for Economic and Fiscal Health
Sitka, Alaska has struggled with housing affordability and a zoning code which no longer reflects the reality it faces. With help from Smart Growth America, it has identified changes to its zoning code and adopted a comprehensive plan that will help change its course.
Tulsa, Oklahoma worked with Smart Growth America to implement parts of the city’s comprehensive plan and better understand how development decisions made today will impact its budget decades into the future.
A workshop and analysis of future development from Smart Growth America helped Chattanooga, TN see how it can best direct its resources to have the greatest benefits for the city and its residents.
Quitman, MS (population 2,209) is a cozy town in eastern Mississippi that prides itself on its locally owned Main Street businesses, banking and health care industries, commitment to green practices, and fiber optic internet access.
Quitman wants to build on these assets, and leaders are looking for ways to grow the town’s economy and revitalize the town center. To help do that, Quitman leaders applied for an won a Foundations of Smart Growth technical assistance workshop as part of our program in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. After talking with the town about their ideas and plans, we also awarded Quitman a Fiscal Impact Analysis at no cost, as part of our Rural Development program in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Our Fiscal Impact Analysis is a data-intensive model designed to show how different development scenarios could impact future public finances.
After their local economy took a hard hit from the drop in oil prices, the City of Anchorage, AK reached out to Smart Growth America for help. In May 2016, SGA traveled to Anchorage to deliver a Planning for Economic and Fiscal Health Workshop. Over the course of the two-day visit, SGA met with the … Continued
Downtown Huntington, WV. Photo via UrbanUp.
Back in 2014, Huntington, WV won a free technical assistance workshop from Smart Growth America to help the city achieve its goals for housing, businesses, and its downtown. What has the city been up to in the two years since? The answer is: a lot.
“Smart Growth America’s technical assistance has provided the City of Huntington with valuable tools that have helped propel efforts within our targeted neighborhoods,” said Mayor Steve Williams when we asked what the city has been doing. “We’re excited about the progress that we have been able to achieve and the plans that we continue to develop to create a financial and sustainable city based on smart growth principles.”
Downtown Longwood, FL is already home to a SunRail station and new development. How can the city make the most of future growth? Photo via.
Downtown Longwood, FL is already home to a SunRail station, and new residential and retail development projects are in the works. Now the city is thinking strategically about how to make the most of all this growth, and they asked Smart Growth America for help.
A portion of East Sprague Avenue in Spokane, WA. Photo via the City of Spokane.
On September 15 and 16, Smart Growth America traveled to the City of Spokane, WA for a two-day technical assistance workshop on Planning for Fiscal and Economic Health. The workshop helped inform and focus efforts for sustainable economic growth in the East Sprague Corridor, in coordination with the Sprague Targeted Investment Pilot (Sprague TIP) project.
On the first day of the workshop, Spokane-area residents joined an open public forum on the fundamentals of planning for economic and fiscal health. Roger Millar, former Smart Growth America Vice President for Technical Assistance, and Christopher Zimmerman, Smart Growth America’s Vice President for Economic Development, described the changing economic and demographic dynamics that are driving change throughout the United States, and gave an introductory level discussion of planning for economic health in Spokane.
Clockwise from left: Fireworks on Fort Pierre’s riverfront, a visiting pow wow, and homes on canals connected to the Missouri River. Photos via the South Dakota Department of Tourism.
Fort Pierre, SD – population 2,078 – is approaching its bicentennial in 2017 and it’s a place where locals say, “history here is close enough to touch.” With plans in the works to revitalize its downtown and riverfront, the City is working to make sure it’s well positioned for the next 200 years, too.
To aid in that effort Mayor Gloria Hanson and other city leaders welcomed Smart Growth America’s technical assistance team on July 22 and 23, 2015 for a two-day workshop on how smart growth development strategies can help Fort Pierre grow more financially stable and successful.