The topography of Carlisle, Iowa presents a unique challenge for dealing with stormwater management. Mayor Ruth Randleman talks about dealing with these issues in a cost effective way and creating a plan to mitigate future problems. See more video interviews with Local Leaders here >>
Hannah McKinney, Vice Mayor of Kalamazoo, Michigan, on engaging residents in the development of a Comprehensive Plan for future sustainable development. See more interviews with local leaders here >>
Ryan Coonerty, former Mayor of Santa Cruz, CA and Co-founder of NextSpace, discusses what Santa Cruz is doing to attract the new creative class of residents and businesses. See more video interviews with Local Leaders here >>
Hannah McKinney believes that to create strong metropolitan areas in this country we have to focus on creating strong neighborhoods. As Vice Mayor of Kalamazoo, Michigan; she’s working to make that happen in her region.
“That sense of being tied to a physical location is something that, for many people doesn’t exist anymore,” says McKinney, “We need to create neighborhoods that are unique, that are livable.”
An Advisory Board member of Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council, Hannah McKinney has served on the City Commission for 16 years. She has a long history of working to make Kalamazoo a great place to live, work, and visit. In 2003, McKinney co-chaired the Convening our Community project; a community-building initiative focused on creating a smart growth report to guide land use decisions. McKinney worked on the city’s Comprehensive Plan update, Downtown Plan, and the creation of a 2010 Master Plan to guide future growth and development, all while protecting Kalamazoo’s unique character – – and that’s only part of it.
Kristin Palmer had long been interested in smart growth strategies, but smart growth really became a focal point of her first term on City Council in 2010, as New Orleans still struggled to rebuild five years after Hurricane Katrina.
“When you’re trying to rebuild from nothing, from ground zero, what are the things that make sense when you come back and rebuild? Access to public transportation and economic corridors was really part of that success,” says Palmer. “If you had access to grocery stores and you had a walkable community, and you could get to the resources you needed, those are the communities that rebuilt faster and better.”
Warwick, RI is the state’s second largest city, and with 39 miles of coastline and a “small town village feel,” Warwick could rest on its laurels. But Mayor Scott Avedisian, a member of Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council, has an ambitious vision for his city, and is working to create a more vibrant public waterfront and a more diverse local economy.
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“When I first got on [the City] Council there was just a mindset of, ‘Annex, annex, anything you can just grab it.’ One night we annexed 1,600 acres at one time. And since that time, in our 2030 plan, it is actually written that that is not a good idea. That now we should see … Continued
“Arlington has long been known as a community of neighborhoods. It’s one of the things that for many, many decades has been most appealing about Arlington. People like living in a place where they know their neighbors, where they can walk to things nearby, so their kids’ schools are close, where parks are nearby. Really … Continued
Ed Gonzalez served as a Houston police officer for over 18 years. On the beat, he developed a keen sense of the connection between an active community and a safe one. Now he’s working to create a Houston where more residents can enjoy tight-knit, walkable neighborhoods.
Ed Gonzalez currently serves both as a City Council member and Mayor Pro Tem of Houston, and is a member of Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council Advisory Board. Gonzalez notes that many people may not realize that Houston is the fourth largest and most diverse city in America. Gonzalez’s own District H contains a thriving entertainment district, neighborhoods known for historic architecture and landmarks in Texas’ African American and Latino history.