“We have a wonderful downtown, but it is still underutilized”


As we travel the country, there are few things better than witnessing an elected official have an “a-ha” moment and realize that the conventional wisdom they’ve been handed down about growth and development perhaps wasn’t actually the best wisdom after all.

Economic development Rural Development Technical assistance

Passenger rail a lynchpin of smart, walkable development


Passenger rail along the Gulf Coast has been absent since 2005 when Hurricane Katrina wiped out much of the infrastructure. But Smart Growth America, through our Transportation for America (T4America) program, has been coordinating a monumental effort to restore service along the Gulf Coast and that work is paying off.

Advocacy Technical assistance

Building Resilient States: Profiles in Action Webinar

Communities shouldn’t wait for a flood or a hurricane to see how land use choices will affect their ability to remain resilient in the face of disaster. Many states and municipalities are already thinking strategically about how land use, transportation, and infrastructure decisions can help them prepare for and mitigate the impact of disasters. Building … Continued

Economic development Resilience

“Building Resilient States: Profiles in Action” webinar recording now available

Communities shouldn’t wait for a flood or a hurricane to see how land use choices will affect their ability to remain resilient in the face of disaster.

Many states and municipalities are already thinking strategically about how land use, transportation, and infrastructure decisions can help them prepare for and mitigate the impact of disasters. Building Resilient States: Profiles in Action, published by the Governors’ Institute on Community Design earlier this month, highlights local, regional, and statewide efforts to build more resilient communities from the ground up.

Resilience

Building Resilient States: Profiles in Action

In October 2015, the Governors’ Institute on Community Design, a program run in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Smart Growth America, released Building Resilient States: A Framework for Agencies, a report intended to introduce and integrate land use and transportation issues into states’ conversations about resilience. The Framework was designed to help … Continued

Economic development Resilience

Case Studies in Smart Growth Implementation: Baton Rouge, Louisiana

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

Advocacy

Chief Administrative Officer Buddy Boe connects and revitalizes corridors in suburban Louisiana

Commercial_Phase 2
Renderings from the Paul Maillard Road Corridor Revitalization Plan. Photo courtesy of St. Charles Parish, LA.

In St. Charles Parish, LA, local officials are betting that two ambitious new projects will spur economic development and noticeably improve connectivity—to a level seldom found in the suburbs.

St. Charles Parish, located 20 miles west of New Orleans, LA on the Mississippi River, boasts a population of 54,000 spread out among several communities. The parish has no concentrated population center, which allows for funding to be spread evenly but creates a unique landscape for smart growth. Buddy Boe, Chief Administrative Officer for the Parish and a member of Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council, is working with residents to revitalize existing roads and create central corridors designed to bring the community together and diversify the local economy—currently reliant on industrial and maritime sectors—ensuring a prosperous future for the area.

Like many main thoroughfares in St. Charles Parish, Paul Maillard Road was once a thriving commercial corridor. Despite being home to a local hospital and connecting to one ferry landing and two state highways, the corridor has suffered from several decades of sustained disinvestment and population loss. The street was identified in St. Charles Parish’s Comprehensive Plan as an area ripe for investment and growth. Now, thanks to a 2011 Sustainable Cities Grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), that vision for revitalization is coming to fruition. Just this week, the Paul Maillard Corridor Revitalization Plan was released to the public.

Local Leaders Council

LOCUS Applauds Inclusion of TOD Financing in Draft Senate Transportation Bill

Yesterday, Senate EPW Chairman Barbara Boxer (CA) and Ranking Member David Vitter (LA) released a draft bipartisan six-year, transportation reauthorization.

For the first time, the bill includes a transit-oriented development (TOD) financing provision that LOCUS has strongly supported. As proposed, the TOD financing provisions provide local communities the tools needed to leverage greater private sector investment and economic development around public transportation through the highly successful TIFIA program.

LOCUS