“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

The WalkUP Wake-Up Call: New York

Despite the demand for walkable urban places in New York, most real estate investment has been in the region’s core rather than in creating new walkable urban places or growing the region’s rail-served town centers. This represents a lost economic opportunity, and presents a real danger of a substantial affordable housing crisis if efforts to balance the region are not taken.

Advocacy LOCUS

Companies want walkable downtowns, so Governor Andrew Cuomo is making revitalization a key part of his economic development plan

ithacaDowntown Ithaca, NY, is one potential model for walkable development upstate. Photo by Photo by Shannon Williamson, Downtown Ithaca Alliance.

In his State of the State address last week, Governor Andrew Cuomo outlined ambitious plans to spur economic growth in upstate New York, and called for a push to revitalize the region’s struggling downtowns. One of his reasons for focusing on downtown revitalization specifically? Companies across the country want to be located in walkable neighborhoods—as Smart Growth America outlined last year in our report Core Values: Why American Companies are Moving Downtown.

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Town Supervisor David Tennent on connecting communities in rural Campbell, NY


Town of Campbell, NY. Photo via Town of Campbell website.

Residents of Campbell, NY, want a vibrant main street while maintaining their rural atmosphere. David Tennent, Town Supervisor and member of Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council, is using smart growth strategies to improve walkability, foster local business, and enhance natural resources to provide the Campbell that the residents desire.

Local Leaders Council Technical assistance

New York tours offer look at urban manufacturing’s revival


Urban small-scale manufacturers at work. Photo by Nicolas Lemery Nantel for OHNY.

In today’s American economy, where so much is imported from other countries, American cities are rediscovering their manufacturing roots. Industry shakeups and the economic downturn demonstrate the vulnerability of cities that rely on single-industry manufacturing sectors like steel and automobiles. But while large-scale industries suffer from lack of resilience, small-scale manufacturing is creeping back into our cities and strengthening our local economies.

Today, though the manufacturing sector makes up just 12% of US GDP, the sector has grown at roughly twice the pace of the country’s overall economic growth since the end of the recession. Manufacturing provides high-wage, low-barrier to entry jobs with the average manufacturing salary roughly $10,000 more than the average U.S. job. Between 2010 and 2012, manufacturing jobs grew by over 400,000—many of them in small businesses. The opportunity for local job growth is great.

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