Looking back at what we’ve accomplished


Thanks to support from the Economic Development Administration, Smart Growth America and Recast City are pleased to provide a second round of small-scale manufacturing technical assistance. Homegrown maker economies are emerging in all corners of the nation and show no signs of slowing. Cities are supporting various businesses that fall under the umbrella of small-scale manufacturing—metalworking, woodworking, screen printing, and brewing to name a few—by crafting supportive policies, reworking their zoning, and initiating workforce training programs.

Economic development Technical assistance

Six communities to receive assistance on small-scale manufacturing and neighborhood revitalization


Today, Smart Growth America announced the selection of six communities that will receive technical assistance in using small-scale manufacturing as a strategy to create economic opportunity, boost the prospects of Main Street, and build great places. This assistance is made possible through funding from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA).

Economic development Technical assistance

Free technical assistance for small-scale manufacturing and neighborhood revitalization, coming soon


Small-scale manufacturing can be a powerful tool to revitalize downtowns of all sizes. Starting next week, Smart Growth America will again be offering another round of free technical assistance for communities interested in using this strategy to create economic opportunity and build great places. Applications open on June 5.

Economic development

Amazing Place series: “A change is gonna come” in Macon, Georgia

From native American history to the birthplace of great American music, Macon, Georgia, has a rich heritage. City leaders have witnessed the positive returns of a place-based approach to economic development, but those efforts have largely originated outside of government. Macon’s Amazing Place leadership team of mostly elected officials wants to learn more about bringing those same strategies in-house.

Economic development

Amazing Place series: Akron, OH rediscovers its full potential

Over the last few years, Akron has adopted several initiatives to improve public spaces, encourage private investment, and attract new talent to the area. With help from the Knight Foundation, Akron is activating its canal trails, creating a long-range strategy for development, and finding dynamic and creative ways to engage its diverse community members.

Economic development

Smart Growth America and Transportation for America welcome a new director of arts & culture

Smart Growth America — along with our signature transportation program Transportation for America — is pleased to announce today the hiring of Ben Stone as director of arts and culture, a new position designed to lead the organization’s broad efforts to help communities across the country better integrate arts, culture, and creative placemaking into neighborhood revitalization, equitable development, and transportation planning efforts.

stoneFor the past four-and-a-half years, Ben has served as the executive director of the Station North Arts and Entertainment District, a dynamic cultural district in Baltimore, MD. In that role, he helped make Station North a place that supports artists and attracts visitors and residents alike to the lively, creative community surrounding Baltimore’s Penn Station. (Station North was profiled briefly in Transportation for America’s recent online guidebook to creative placemaking, The Scenic Route.)

“Including the arts in neighborhood development can create well-rounded places that are powerful catalysts for smart, new, inclusive growth,” said Geoff Anderson, president and CEO of Smart Growth America. “Ben has an incredible wealth of experience in this field, and we look forward to helping him share it with the local elected leaders, real estate developers, and advocates making neighborhoods great across the country.”

“We’re thrilled to bring someone of Ben’s caliber on board to help lead this emerging area of integrating local arts and culture to produce better projects and places through a better process,” said James Corless, director of Transportation for America. “He’s a respected expert and leader who has on-the-ground experience with creative placemaking, an emerging approach to planning and building transportation projects that taps local culture to produce better projects through a better process.”

Transportation

Council Member Cindy Pool helps Ellisville, MO reimagine a suburban highway

ellisville-mdAn architect’s rendering of proposed changes to Manchester Road, which runs through Ballwin, Ellisville, and Wildwood, MO. Photo via MODOT.

Ellisville, MO has a chance to turn a busy and dangerous roadway into a community asset for economic investment, and Council Member Cindy Pool, a member of Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council, is helping the city do just that.

Located 18 miles directly west of St. Louis, Ellisville is a suburban community of about 9,100 residents. “The people are what makes this town so special,” says Council Member Pool. “Our residents are educated, involved, and have developed a real sense of community because we are so small.”

Local Leaders Council

Join Smart Growth America at Pro Walk/Pro Bike/Pro Place 2014

pwpbpp-2014

The 2014 Pro Walk/Pro Bike/Pro Place conference is coming to Pittsburgh, PA September 8-11. Smart Growth America staff will be there, and we want to see you!

Join us first on Wednesday at 3:00 PM for Complete Streets: The Return on Investment of Safe Street Design. The session will discuss new research by Smart Growth America’s National Complete Streets Coalition that examines the cost-effectiveness of Complete Streets, and how well the approach achieves transportation objectives while also supporting local economies. In this session, we will review both our challenges and findings.

Complete Streets