Suburban business parks are dead, and six other things we learned at the LOCUS Leadership Summit

Opportunity Rising, last week’s LOCUS National Leadership Summit in Arlington, VA, was a vital gathering, uniting responsible real estate developers and investors with local elected officials and transportation and land-use planners. During the wide range of workshops, panels and sessions, Smart Growth America staff absorbed a few important themes and ideas. Here are seven.

Economic development LOCUS

A decade of lessons on good zoning


Looking back at 100-plus submissions for the Driehaus Form-Based Codes Award over the years reveals how the practice of form-based coding has matured and evolved. The quality of submissions has improved since the early years and municipal planning staff are increasingly engaged in drafting codes for their communities. It’s clear that form-based codes are growing in popularity and in many contexts they are being paired with policies to achieve more equitable development.

Form-Based Codes

Getting intentional about equitable TOD in Chicago


This month on Building Better Communities with Transit we talk with Kendra Freeman, the director of community engagement for the regional Metropolitan Planning Council, about TOD in Chicago. A recent update to the city’s TOD policy puts a new focus on equitable development in a city that has seen stark differences in outcomes based on zip code.

Technical assistance Transportation

A conversation with Tamika Butler


On January 15th, the National Complete Streets Coalition is hosting the Ninth Annual Complete Streets Dinner with special guest Tamika L. Butler. We had an opportunity to speak with Tamika about how she got involved with transportation work, her take on the future of transit equity, and why she enjoys working with the National Complete Streets Coalition.

Complete Streets

What did we learn at Intersections last week? Personal reflections from our staff

Intersection Registration table at Music City Center in Nashville
Before the Intersections conference in Nashville last week, some people might have been scratching their heads at the idea of a conference bringing together artists with transportation experts. But once the conference started, everyone keyed in on how much they could learn from one another and what they could accomplish together. Here are a few personal reflections from our staff about Intersections: Creating Culturally Complete Streets.

Complete Streets Transportation

Best Complete Streets Initiatives: VELO Bloomfield


Based in Bloomfield, NJ (18 miles from New York City), VELO is a media and advocacy organization that informs and educates the public and policymakers on how to make the streets of Northern New Jersey safer for people, regardless of gender, age, race, disability, and/or socioeconomic status. VELO approach to equity includes raising the profile of transportation issues to policy and decision makers in working class, Latinx, and African-American communities. VELO excels in their community engagement efforts by not requiring people to alter their daily routines to participate. Since their launch, they have championed Complete Streets implementation, particularly in the immediate Bloomfield area, and amplified the voices of community members around transportation policies.

Complete Streets

Announcing a new resource on health equity and Complete Streets

The City of New Orleans and Jefferson Parish have made great strides in building out their bicycle networks and encouraging more people to bike, but much more work needs to be done to prioritize low-income areas, communities of color, and places with high rates of crashes and chronic diseases. To help achieve this goal, the National Complete Streets Coalition is pleased to release our latest report, Complete Streets for Health Equity: An Evaluation of New Orleans and Jefferson Parish.

Complete Streets