Aaron Naparstek, Streetsblog.org founder, on how a blog can elevate transportation and urban planning policies in the civic agenda and make real change in cities across the country. Naparstek makes the case for blogs as a extremely effective tool for elected officials who know how to engage them and do so smartly. See more interviews … Continued
David Warm, Executive Director of the Mid-America Regional Council in Kansas City, Missouri, talks about smart growth in the midwest and working to create healthy, vibrant places that people want to live and work in. See more interviews with issue experts here >>
Dani Simons, of Sustainable Streets Marketing, talks about starting the annual Summer Streets event in 2008 during her time with the New York City Department of Transportation. See more interviews with issue experts here >>
Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council recently spoke with Laura Jackson, an Executive Vice President of Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, to get her perspective on why smart growth strategies should be a priority for the health care industry and how the way we build communities can help abate rising health care costs and improve public health.
“Smart growth practices are a way to help people understand that there are certain things you can do, either low cost or no cost in many cases in communities, to live a longer healthier life,” says Jackson.
Jeremy Madsen, Executive Director of Greenbelt Alliance, California’s San Francisco Bay Area land conservation and urban planning organization, talks about urban growth boundaries. By adopting a line beyond municipal services cannot extend, cities and counties can protect open space and agricultural lands and promote growth where they want it to occur. See more interviews with … Continued
Karl Dinkelspiel, Senior Project Manager at the Portland, Oregon Housing Bureau, talks about the importance of incentivizing growth around transit and the steps the city has taken to encourage the development of affordable housing. See more interviews with issue experts here >>
Last year, El Paso, TX’s comprehensive plan Plan El Paso was named the Best Smart Growth Plan by the Atlantic Cities and honored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for achievement in smart growth. Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council sat down with Carlos Gallinar, El Paso’s Deputy Director for City Development and Planning, to learn what El Paso is doing to become one of the premier cities of the Southwest.
Jim Bacon is creator and publisher of Bacon’s Rebellion, a Virginia-based blog that covers a range of infrastructure, growth and policy issues. In an interview with Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council, Bacon discusses how he came to see smart growth strategies as a fiscally responsible approach to development.
A former editor of Virginia Business Magazine, Bacon has been following community development and transportation issues since the 1980s when northern Virginia was experiencing a building boom. “I was really concerned about costs of growth at the time,” says Bacon. “When you smear out growth over a large, huge land mass, it’s going to be far more expensive to build the roads, extend water and sewer, cable lines, and electricity.”
Urban parks can increase property values, enhance neighborhood identity and provide access to open space within a neighborhood. More and more communities are finding creative ways to integrate parks into urban environments, and Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council recently caught up with expert Peter Harnik to learn more about this smart growth strategy.
“We look at parks not just from the perspective of a great park, but how the park can interact with the city and make it great,” says Harnik, who is the Director of the Trust for Public Land’s Center for City Park Excellence and member of Smart Growth America Board of Directors. The video interview is part of our Local Leaders Council’s “Meet the Experts” video series, which provides information for local leaders interested in learning more about smart growth strategies.
Ben Bakkenta is a Program Manager for the Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) in the Seattle Metropolitan Region. PSRC is spearheading the innovative Growing Transit Communities project to bridge the gap between the broad transit visions for the region and the implementation of projects at the local level. The project focuses on existing and future … Continued