Announcing the recipients of our Small-Scale Manufacturing And Place-Based Economic Development technical assistance


The Gates Art Gallery building in Lowell, MA’s Acre neighborhood. Lowell is hoping to support small-scale manufacturing in the neighborhood. Photo by Richard Howe via Flickr.

Four communities are using small-scale manufacturing for downtown revitalization to create economic opportunity, and will receive free technical assistance from Smart Growth America, made possible by the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA).

Small-scale manufacturing has emerged as an innovative strategy in today’s urban economic development toolbox. For many cities, this new industry can connect residents to good paying jobs and economic opportunity in the neighborhoods they call home. Smart Growth America’s newest technical assistance program helps cities integrate small-scale manufacturing spaces into their economic development work.

Economic development Technical assistance

Introducing "Amazing Place"

A new trend in local economic development is emerging. Talented workers—and the companies who want to employ them—are increasingly moving to walkable neighborhoods served by transit, with a vibrant mix of restaurants, cafes, shops, cultural attractions, and affordable housing options.

Economic development

Amazing Place

Many companies—from Fortune 500 titans to lean startups to independent manufacturers—are moving to places that offer great quality of life for their employees. As Smart Growth America detailed in our 2015 report Core Values: Why American Companies are Moving Downtown, these companies want vibrant neighborhoods with affordable housing options, restaurants, nightlife, and other amenities in … Continued

Economic development

Mayor Nancy Chaney on building a healthier, better connected community in Moscow, ID

Moscow IdahoFarmers’ market on Friendship Square in downtown Moscow, ID. Photo via the Moscow Chamber of Commerce.

Mayor Nancy Chaney of Moscow, ID, is working to help residents be healthier AND better connected to the broader region, and she sees smart growth strategies as a way to achieve both those goals at the same time.

“We pride ourselves on being a walkable, bikable community in the midst of rolling wheat fields, dried peas, and lentils,” Chaney says. “Smart growth means connecting people in the physical and social sense. It includes gathering places and public centers like Friendship Square in the heart of our downtown. And smart growth means providing for all residents regardless of their preferred mode of transportation—bicycles, strollers, wheelchairs. Smart growth gives Moscow’s residents this flexibility to choose whether to be in a motorized vehicle or to walk to a doctor’s appointment. Smart growth is about how people and place are interrelated.”

Local Leaders Council

What the BUILD Act could build: The Linen Building in Boise, Idaho


The Linen Building in Boise, ID. Photo by David Hale.

Later this month, the Treefort Music Festival will showcase hundreds of musicians in Boise, ID, and one of the festival’s central venues is a building that not long ago was a contaminated brownfield.

The Linen Building in downtown Boise was a vacant and blighted former laundry facility less than a decade ago, and posed a potential threat to the surrounding area due to environmental contamination. The building was a “brownfield”—a site formerly home to a factory, gas station or other industrial facility left polluted and hazardous, and requiring environmental remediation to be used again.

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Smart Growth Stories: Teton County Commissioner Kathy Rinaldi on development strategies for long term prosperity

In the 1990s and 2000s, Teton County, ID was exploding. Its population growth was the 12th fastest in the entire country, and new home growth was the 6th fastest.

“We saw a palatable change in 10 years,” said Teton County Commissioner Kathy Rinaldi, a member of Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council. “At one point we had 89 subdivisions in the approval process. It was complete insanity. And it was very quick, it was very slipshod. [Only] half the subdivisions were built out, some were never even started.”

Then, in the late 2000s, the national real estate bust brought development in Teton County to a grinding halt. Almost 7,000 subdivision lots were left vacant, and the construction industry – once the leading job sector in the county – was crippled. Runaway real estate speculation and a lack of development strategy both contributed to the bust.

Local Leaders Council

Governor Glendening to be keynote speaker at APA Idaho Annual Conference

On October 10-12, the Idaho chapter of the American Planning Association will host its 2012 Annual Conference in Boise, ID. Parris Glendening, President of Smart Growth America’s Leadership Institute and of the Governors’ Institute on Community Design will provide the keynote address. As President of the Governors’ Institute, Glendening works with state leaders across the … Continued

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Kim Billimoria on preserving business and beauty in Yellowstone

The greater Yellowstone region stretches across Idaho, Montana and Wyoming, encompassing dozens of counties and mile after mile of unparalleled natural resources. Its stunning beauty attracts thousands of visitors every year and is the primary basis for economic development in the area. As a result, residents and tourists alike see significant value in preserving the environment and ensuring its existence for future generations.

That concern for the Yellowstone ecosystem as a vital community asset is the underlying principle of the Yellowstone Business Partnership.

“The Yellowstone business partnership is a non-profit organization that works at an eco-system level,” says the organization’s communications specialist Kim Billimoria. “It was founded by a group of business people that recognized that if we’re going to preserve the greater Yellowstone ecosystem – which is one of the largest last intact ecosystems in the entire world – we have to harness the power of business.”

Local Leaders Council Uncategorized

Councilmember Elaine Clegg on Boise, Idaho's blueprint for success

City Councilmember Elaine Clegg is using her experience with smart growth development to create great neighborhoods in Boise, Idaho.

First elected to the City Council in 2003, Clegg believes Boise’s wealth of natural assets and existing infrastructure can be utilized to attract the kind of young, educated workers many leading companies demand. To accomplish those goals, however, the city must invest in the things that make a difference, creating places where people want to live and where they can walk or bike to shops, restaurants, schools and other amenities.

Local Leaders Council Uncategorized