Spotlight on Sustainability: Equitable transit-oriented development in Seattle, WA


Images from the Community Cornerstones Project Brochure.

Southeast Seattle is home to the most diverse and immigrant-populated neighborhoods in Seattle, Washington. Now, as a result of the Community Cornerstones project, it could become the City’s next equitable transit-oriented development (TOD) success story.

Part of the strategy is to attract dense mixed-use development to several of Southeast Seattle’s neighborhoods that are in close proximity to the light-rail system opened in 2009, while also preserving the area’s affordability for existing residents through partnerships with community development and financial institutions. The area is already home to one of the most transit-utilized areas of Seattle, and through the project the area is likely to grow with more people, businesses, and jobs.

Local leaders, regional teams gather in Salt Lake City to talk smart growth implementation

LLC in Salt Lake CityFrom left: Mayor Tom Beehan, Councilmember Edmund Ford Jr., Councilmember Charles Landreth, Mayor Ruth Randleman, Council President Lewis Reed, and County Board Member Chris Zimmerman.

Elected officials, urban planners and municipal staff from ten regions across the country met in Salt Lake City, UT this week to learn and strategize about the implementation of major regional planning and sustainability projects funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Sustainable Communities program.

Ralph Becker, Mayor of Salt Lake City and member of Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council, opened the three-day event by speaking about how regional planning has benefited his city. “If you look at what’s happening in our downtown or with our transit system; if you look at the University of Utah and how it catalyzes economic growth; or if you look at our growing diversity, it is clear that in this community there is a common sense of purpose for who we are, what we want to be, and how we’re going to get there.”

Upcoming webinars: January 2014

Want to learn about new, innovative strategies for creating great places? Several upcoming webinars provide ideas and inspiration for local leaders.

Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership
January 15, 2014 — 2:00 PM EST
Join NALGEP, EPA’s Mathy Stanislaus, and several local leaders for a webinar on the Administration’s new “Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership” (IMCP). The IMCP encourages communities to devise comprehensive economic development strategies that strengthen their competitive edge in attracting global manufacturers and their supply chains. Phase 2 of the IMCP was recently announced. In this competition, up to 12 communities that come up with winning strategies will receive a designation of “Manufacturing Community” that gives them elevated consideration for $1.3 billion in federal dollars and assistance from 10 cabinet departments/agencies. Register >>

Directions in Federal, State, and Local Transportation Funding
January 22, 2014 — 2:00 PM EST
Community Builders, a project of the Sonoran Institute, aims to help local leaders build successful communities in the American West–communities with strong and diverse economies, quality growth, vibrant downtowns, and complete neighborhoods. The Community Builders Webinar Series showcases the stories of people in the business of building stronger communities. During this hour-long webinar, consultant Jim Charlier will share insight into existing and upcoming sources for transportation funding for federal, state, and local agencies Register >>

Upcoming Webinars: November 2013

Want to learn about new, innovative strategies for creating great places? Several upcoming webinars provide ideas and inspiration.

Applying for Smart Growth America’s free technical assistance workshops
November 6, 2013 — 2:00 PM EST
Smart Growth America is now accepting applications for our 2014 series of free technical assistance workshops. Join us on Wednesday to hear all about the 12 types of workshops offered, who is eligible to apply and details of the selection process. Learn more and register >>

Partnership in the News: Cincinnati makes strides toward transit oriented development

Cincinnati-Streetcar-Announcement

Cincinnati, OH is a regional leader in pursuing ways to make the city more livable and attractive to residents and business. To help advance the city’s smart growth goals even further, Cincinnati will receive technical assistance from Smart Growth America’s Leadership Institute to inform residents and community leaders about the benefits of transit oriented development (TOD).

Roger Millar, Vice President of Smart Growth America, says, “This workshop will provide the community with an opportunity to learn more about transit options and transit oriented development in the context of Cincinnati. Now is a great time to assess how Cincinnati can most effectively align its development with transit investments.”

Partnership in the news: Rochester, NY awarded TIGER grant for Amtrak station upgrades

Rochester Amtrak station
Amtrak station in Rochester, NY. Photo via New York Railroads.

Rochester, NY is building a transportation gateway to the city that will serve the region and become a landmark for generations—thanks in part to a grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT).

In August, USDOT dedicated $15 million in TIGER grant funding to replace the city’s current Amtrak station, which first opened its doors in 1978, with a new intermodal transit center. The new 12,000 square foot, $26.5 million facility will include high passenger platforms, an underground concourse and two new passenger sidings.

Upcoming Webinars: September 2013

Want to learn about new, innovative strategies for creating great places? Several upcoming webinars provide ideas and inspiration for local leaders. Building Vibrant Local Economies: Diversifying local economies to strengthen county resilience Thursday, September 12, 2013 2:00 PM Eastern Click here to register Many rural places grew around a single industry, such as agriculture or manufacturing. … Continued

Partnership for Sustainable Communities celebrates 4 years of work in Asheville, NC

Speakers in Ashveille, NC
From left: Land-Of-Sky Regional Council Executive Director Joe McKinney, Congressman Heath Shuler and HUD Regional Field Director Christian Stearns. Photo via City of Asheville

The City of Asheville, the Land-of-Sky Regional Council and federal partners gathered in North Carolina last week to celebrate the 4th anniversary of the Partnership for Sustainable Communities – a collaboration between the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency that helps communities across the country develop in more economically sustainable ways through the exchange of ideas, planning tools and public engagement.

Partnership in the News: City of Birmingham, AL breaks ground on new multi-use trail thanks to TIGER grant

TIGER-groundbreaking-5_9_13
The City of Birmingham, Alabama received a $10 million U.S Department of Transportation,Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant to partially finance a bicycle-pedestrian trail through the city.

This trail system is part of a larger planned system, the Red Rock Ridge and Valley Trail System, created with the input of over 3,000 residents of Jefferson County.

Thanks to the TIGER grant, the trail will connect residents to some of the city’s Civil Rights Heritage Sites, as well as provide options for physical activity and access to jobs, schools, and public transportation.When completed in 2014, the trail will span 29-miles and link 21 communities.