Building great places through small-scale manufacturing


Smart Growth America is once again soliciting applications for a new round of free technical assistance for communities interested in using small-scale manufacturing as a strategy to create economic opportunity, boost the prospects of Main Street, and build great places.

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KC Streetcar: A demonstration of the possible


This month on Building Better Communities with Transit we’re joined by the Executive Director of the KC Streetcar Authority, Tom Gerend. In 2016, Kansas City, MO opened the first streetcar the city has seen in almost 60 years and transformed the city’s downtown. Former skeptics of the line are now some of the KC Streetcar’s biggest proponents as businesses have boomed and more people are moving to—and spending in—the center city. The 2.2 mile KC Streetcar, akin to a downtown circulator, is “a demonstration of the possible.”

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Cool & Connected: Action steps for broadband investment & downtown revitalization


Expanding broadband access can help communities revitalize their downtowns and attract and retain a new generation of works. But beginning the process can be daunting, particularly for smaller communities with limited resources. This webinar will cover action steps for broadband investment, informed by our work with communities across the country.

Economic development Rural Development

Cool & Connected: How rural towns can revitalize their downtowns with broadband access


With the right investments in reliable broadband, communities can revitalize their downtowns and attract younger Americans that can bring their existing businesses and remote jobs with them. Listen to this webinar to hear about how Zanesville, OH and Eastport, ME are retooling their towns for a 21st century economy.

Economic development Rural Development

Albuquerque investing in place


In this month’s episode of Building Better Communities with Transit, we connect with a planner who helped bring high-quality bus rapid transit to Albuquerque. ART, as the new line is called, is just one project but it forms a frequent and reliable backbone for Albuquerque’s entire transportation system.

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(Re)Building Downtown

Downtowns, Main Streets, and city centers across the country are witnessing a renaissance. As more Americans chose the convenience and connectivity of walkable neighborhoods, communities are seeing new businesses, restaurants, and shops open in areas that were formerly vacant or economically distressed. This movement presents an economic opportunity for communities. Creating a vibrant, walkable neighborhood … Continued

Economic development

Your questions answered from "(Re)Building Downtown"

Thanks to everyone who joined us on Monday for the kickoff panel discussion of (Re)Building Downtown: A Guidebook for Revitalization. We had a fantastic conversation with our five panelists, and got to answer several questions from listeners during the Q+A session. We had so many questions remaining at the end that we decided to follow up on them in a blog post. Chris Zimmerman, Smart Growth America’s Vice President for Economic Development, gave some more insight into the questions listeners had. Here are the answers.

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Recorded webinar: "(Re)Building Downtown: A Guidebook for Revitalization"

rebuilding6Are you interested in helping your community revitalize its downtown, but don’t know where to start?

Yesterday, Smart Growth America released (Re)Building Downtown: A Guidebook for Revitalization, a new resource for local leaders who want to re-invigorate and strengthen neighborhood centers of economy, culture, and history through a smart growth approach to development. The guide lays out in straightforward language seven main steps to help (re)build downtowns and Main Streets, and is designed to be used by any community, no matter where they are in the revitalization process.

As part of yesterday’s kickoff, we hosted an online conversation all about downtown revitalization. Participants heard an overview of the new guidebook, and discussed revitalization efforts in three different communities. A recorded version of the webinar is now available.

Local Leaders Council

Introducing "(Re)Building Downtown: A Guidebook for Revitalization"

Downtowns, Main Streets, and city centers across the country are witnessing a renaissance. As more Americans chose the convenience and connectivity of walkable neighborhoods, communities are seeing new businesses, restaurants, and shops open in areas that were formerly vacant or economically distressed.

This movement is an exciting opportunity for communities. But for many places, the work needed to create a vibrant downtown can seem daunting. A new guidebook is designed to help.

(Re)Building Downtown: A Guidebook for Revitalization, released today, is a new guide for local elected officials who want to re-invigorate and strengthen neighborhood centers of economy, culture, and history through a smart growth approach to development. The guide lays out in straightforward language seven main steps to take, and it’s designed to be used by any community, no matter where you are in the revitalization process.

We’ll be talking all about this guide during a kickoff panel discussion today at 1:00 pm EST. Register to join us for this free online event.

Joining the conversation will be Alex Morrison, Executive Director at Macon-Bibb County, GA Urban Development Authority; Mayor John Engen of Missoula, MT; and Will Schroeer, Executive Director, East Metro Strong of Saint Paul, MN. We welcome your questions and ideas for our panelists or about the new guidebook. Join the conversation on Twitter at the hashtag #RebuildingDowntown.

Today’s new guide is a fantastic resource for any community interested in a stronger, more vibrant downtown. Check out the new guidebook to learn more.

Local Leaders Council