Smart Growth Stories: A Mayor’s Perspective

Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory is on a mission to support economic development in his city, and he’s using smart growth and downtown development strategies to accomplish that goal.

“People were slow to embrace some of the changes we were proposing because they didn’t necessarily see how, say, the development of a street car would lead to more jobs,” Mallory says in Smart Growth America’s first “Smart Growth Stories” video interview. “They didn’t necessarily see how investing so much money in downtown allowed for improvements in neighborhoods. So I’ve had to explain to people that downtown is the engine, the economic engine, for everything that happens in our entire region.”

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Smart growth news – September 1

Obama pushes transport bills, says jobs at stake
Reuters, August 31, 2011
U.S. President Barack Obama urged Congress on Wednesday to quickly pass multibillion-dollar temporary funding bills for aviation and highway projects, saying inaction would needlessly cost jobs.

Indianapolis ‘Smart Growth’ paying off for blighted neighborhood
WTHR (Ind.), August 31, 2011
Residents in an area of the city that has been overlooked for years are starting to see encouraging changes. Houses are being renovated and apartments are going up just north of downtown between College Ave. and Andrew J. Brown and 16th and 25th streets.

Downtown seen on verge of new golden era
Crain’s New York Business, August 31, 2011
After a decade of turmoil triggered by the 9/11 terrorist attacks, lower Manhattan stands on the verge of a prosperous new era. Today it is primed for a dramatic resurgence as it adds new, modern office space, draws highly-educated workers, improves its transportation infrastructure and diversifies its tenant base, according to a new report by Jones Lang LaSalle.

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A Citizen's Guide to LEED for Neighborhood Development

You may know LEED as a program that evaluates and certifies green buildings across the country. Now, a new guide from the Natural Resources Defense Council takes the green certification concept beyond individual buildings and applies it to the neighborhood context.

A Citizen’s Guide to LEED for Neighborhood Development is a hands-on introduction for local environmental groups, smart growth organizations, neighborhood residents and just about anyone interested in making our communities better and greener. The guide is user-friendly and accessible, to help anyone learn about environmental standards for green land development and become an advocate for implementing these standards in their own communities.

Following two short introductory sections (“How to Use This Guide” and “What is a Sustainable Neighborhood?”), the Guide identifies key concepts for neighborhood sustainability, referencing the LEED-ND credits and prerequisites that inform each. The Guide includes creative suggestions to help users get started using LEED-ND’s diverse standards in their own communities, as well as a “Sustainable Neighborhood Development Checklist.” The checklist is a sort of crib sheet for every LEED-ND credit and prerequisite, presenting them in an easy-to-use format for evaluating development proposals, assessing existing neighborhoods, and informing community planning and policy.

The Citizen’s Guide empowers you, the citizen, to provide innovative ways to improve your own community and promote greater widespread adoption of sustainable practices in more inclusive, healthy, and environmentally sound places for everyone.

Download A Citizen’s Guide to LEED for Neighborhood Development at NRDC.org.

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