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.
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
View of downtown Portsmouth. Photo by nhlinux via Flickr
Portsmouth officials, regional transportation officials, and members of the public met with representatives from Smart Growth America on June 12 and 13, 2014 as part of a free, grant-funded technical assistance program. The technical assistance provided City decision makers and transportation officials with the tools to help develop an action plan for implementing the City’s Complete Streets policy, which was adopted by City Council last fall. Complete Streets are planned, designed, operated and maintained to be safe, comfortable and convenient for people of all ages and abilities, whether they are walking, bicycling, driving, or riding on public transportation.
The National Complete Streets Coalition reports on the national epidemic of pedestrian fatalities, offering county-, metro-, and state-level data on traffic fatalities and an interactive map of each loss in the decade 2003 through 2012. This resource specific profiles the state of New Hampshiire
The Concord, New Hampshire City Council recently voted to accept a set of plans for their downtown area that could be used to redevelop and revitalize their city. Part of that plan involved $4.71 million in federal TIGER grant funds for the revitalization of their main street, which will include shared bicycle lanes in both directions.
Nine of New Hampshire’s planning commissions coordinated together to apply for a Regional Planning grant from the U.S. Office of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). They won a $3.37 million grant to coordinate their planning efforts for the state’s future, forming Granite State Future.
One of the first truly state-wide planning efforts, Granite State represents the desire for people across the state to work together to solve regional issues and ensure economic vitality and a better quality of life for all. Part of the effort involves a robust online community engagement effort.
“The foundation of this plan is what people want in their communities,” says project manager Jeff Belanger, “We want all views represented.”
The next step for the project is to put together their online data and proceed to public meetings to present ideas before communities across the state. They hope to be finished before the grant ends in 2015.
The Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program, provides a unique opportunity for the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to invest in road, rail, transit, and port projects that promise to achieve national objectives. Now in its fourth round, the program remains critically underfunded. DOT received 703 applications, totaling $10.2 billion in requests. Out of those, 47 projects were selected to receive a total of close to $500 million.
Boasting the Millyard and an accessible downtown, Manchester has a beautiful built environment that most cities would love to have. The city’s challenge now and in coming years, said Smart Growth America Vice President for Policy and Programs William Fulton, is how to best take advantage of our built environment and other assets.
In his keynote talk, “Pursuing Prosperity: Smart Growth in Manchester,” delivered Wednesday, June 6, as part of the 2012 Intown Manchester Annual Luncheon, the former Ventura, Calif., mayor said New Hampshire’s Queen City is positioned better than most cities to capitalize on our assets, but that we must focus on creating a quality of place where people want to live if we want to attract the high end talent and capital necessary to thrive new economy.
“Money and talent can and do go anywhere. The key is to create a desirable quality of place that can’t be moved and can’t be easily replicated,” he said.
Boomers and Millennials — the two groups driving both the housing and the jobs markets — are trending away from suburban living, he said. Cities that want to attract them must create environments in which it is possible to live in close proximity to all aspects of their lives — work, recreation, shopping, etc.
With more and more emphasis being placed on personal health in relation to healthy, vibrant communities, western New Hampshire has joined the numerous places around the county working to improve access to healthy food choices for all sectors of the population. Through funding provided by a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Community Challenge Grant, the Upper Valley Lake Sunapee Regional Planning Commission (UVLSRPC) is spearheading an effort to not only assess the geographic availability of healthy food options in relation to housing, but to then work with municipalities who hope to turn that analysis into a concrete set of policy changes that ensure accessibility, lower obesity rates, and improve public health.