Complete Streets lessons in Central Florida can apply to any community

Ever since the first edition of Dangerous by Design came out in 2009, Florida has had the dubious distinction of having the highest rate of people being struck and killed by cars while walking of any state in the nation.

In light of that problem, municipalities and public agencies across Florida have been working to make streets safer. Now, communities in Central Florida specifically are coming together to make progress on those goals.

Over the past nine months, Smart Growth America, in partnership with the Winter Park Health Foundation, has worked with municipalities and agencies in Central Florida on a series of workshops to implement Complete Streets—streets that are safe and comfortable for everyone, no matter their age, ability, race, income, or how they chose to travel. Changing the way streets are designed, particularly in places with chronic collisions like Florida, is one of the most important steps public agencies can take to prevent people from being struck and killed while walking.

Complete Streets in Central Florida

The Winter Park Health Foundation engaged Smart Growth America to help the Central Florida region identify and address specific barriers hindering local decision-makers’ ability to build Complete Streets: roadways that are safe and comfortable for all users – people walking, bicycling, and taking transit, people driving and truck drivers making deliveries. This project includes representation … Continued

Five things we learned at South Florida’s Safe Streets Summit

Last month, the National Complete Streets Coalition joined the South Florida Safe Streets Summit, an annual conference co-hosted by the metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) of Broward, Palm Beach, and Miami-Dade counties. The day was jam-packed with informative and inspirational presentations by local elected officials, planners, authors, professors, and transportation advocates, and Emiko Atherton, Director of the National Complete Streets Coalition, delivered the keynote address. Here are five things we learned during the event.

City by city, side by side: A look back at 2016’s free technical assistance

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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.

Longwood, FL works to support long-term growth with a workshop from Smart Growth America

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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.

Case Studies in Smart Growth Implementation: Orange County, Florida

These case studies present Smart Growth America’s key findings and the lessons we’ve learned about smart growth implementation from a four-year technical assistance program funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The cases are meant to help communities that are committed to (or are exploring) smart growth but struggle with implementation. The cases highlight successful … Continued

Announcing the recipients of Smart Growth America's 2016 free technical assistance

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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.

With LEED-ND, Sanford, FL could be the next best example of green development

A rendering of Sanford’s historic downtown district. Photo courtesy of Littlejohn.

Sanford, FL wants to create better, more sustainable, well-connected neighborhoods—particularly around the recently opened SunRail commuter rail station and the city’s Lake Monroe waterfront property. To help achieve that goal, Sanford sought assistance from Smart Growth America with a technical assistance workshop, held on August 4 and 5, 2015.

Sanford leaders want to look beyond the development of individual buildings to a larger district. Smart Growth America’s workshop provided an overview of one such way to do that—the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND) standards. LEED-ND is about realizing how each piece of development plays a critical role in the performance of a community as a whole.