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.

Mayor Joy Cooper uses holistic planning for quality of life in Hallandale Beach, FL

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Hallandale Beach Photo by Hugh Millward via Flickr.

Located on the east coast of Florida between Fort Lauderdale and Miami, Hallandale Beach, FL is using holistic planning to create a more livable community for all its residents. Hallandale Beach comprises only 4.4 square miles of land but boasts a population of around 8,000 people per square foot—making it one of the densest cities in Broward County and east Florida.

Mayor Joy Cooper, a member of Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council, is the first elected mayor of Hallandale Beach. During her ten years in office she has worked tirelessly to create the livable and walkable community that her residents desire. Today, three major projects are continuing that legacy: implementation of a form-based code, a major redevelopment of the parks system, and a Complete Streets inventory.

East Central Florida hosts workshop on planning for regional resilience

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Downtown Orlando, FL. Photo by Mandi Roberts of Otak, Inc.

Last month, a coalition of local leaders in Florida met with smart growth experts to confront an unusually global concern: climate change.

On September 10, thanks to a grant-funded technical assistance workshop, East Central Florida officials and residents sat down with representatives from Smart Growth America and Otak, Inc. on to focus on the topic of “cool planning.” The workshop complemented the East Central Florida Regional Planning Council’s efforts to develop and implement a Regional Resiliency Initiative (RRI) by providing the community with tools and techniques to achieve the RRI’s vision of resilient communities and economies.

In particular, the workshop examined the environmental footprint of various land-use and building practices to help Brevard, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Volusia counties find ways to engage in development without accelerating climate change.

Voters strongly support smart growth measures on Election Day 2014

bar-harbor-meMaine’s small businesses, like these in Bar Harbor, will get new help thanks to yesterday’s passage of Question 3. Photo by Duluoz via Flickr.

On Tuesday, voters across America passed statewide, county-wide, and citywide measures in support of smart growth and better development strategies. Here’s a short roundup of what passed, what failed, and what it means for community development.