A building in New Port Richey, Florida. Photo via Wikipedia Commons.
On July 30 and 31, 2014, officials and local residents of Pasco County, FL met with representatives from Smart Growth America as part of a free, grant-funded technical assistance program. The workshop aimed to provide Pasco County with tools and techniques to implement plans to revitalize the Harbors, a portion of the U.S. Route 19 corridor that follows the county’s coastline.
Planning for Economic and Fiscal Health
The City of Indianapolis is embarking on Plan 2020: The Bicentennial Plan for Indianapolis, an unprecedented initiative to update and integrate the City’s core planning documents. To complement this effort, Indianapolis officials and local residents met with representatives from Smart Growth America on June 11 and 12, 2014 as part of a free, grant-funded technical assistance program. The workshop focused on how shifting development patterns towards more compact, transit-oriented development could benefit the local economy and local government finances, both of which are important components of Plan 2020.
Aerial view of Des Moines. Photo by Ron Reiring via Flickr
Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) officials and local residents met with representatives from Smart Growth America on May 13 and 14, 2014 as part of a free, grant-funded technical assistance program. The workshop aimed to provide the region with tools and techniques to help implement The Tomorrow Plan, the region’s plan for sustainable development. The MPO hopes to build on broad community support for The Tomorrow Plan through a better understanding of the plan’s economic and fiscal benefits.
“With the recent approval of The Tomorrow Plan and the work on the Metropolitan Planning Organization’s next long-range transportation plan, the time is now to work with our member communities to invest in infrastructure as wisely and as efficiently as possible,” said Todd Ashby, Executive Director of the Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization.
The Town of Queensbury has big plans for revitalizing its Main Street corridor. As part of making those plans reality, Queensbury officials and local residents met with representatives from Smart Growth America on April 16 and 17, 2014 as part of a free, grant-funded technical assistance program. The assistance came at a time when Queensbury leaders were discussing how best to capitalize on a $22 million investment in road, sidewalk, streetscape, water and sewer improvements completed in 2011 and related planning studies and zoning regulations. The workshop aimed to help the town realize the potential economic benefits of a compact, denser development pattern for the corridor.
“As the third of four planned workshops related to the future development of Main Street, the Town Board expects to gain some vital information from the Smart Growth America staff that will help guide us in any changes we may wish to make to this neighborhood’s zoning,” said Supervisor John Strough.
On the workshop’s first day, April 16, a group of Queensbury residents gathered for a presentation that featured a broad overview of the fiscal and economic implications of new development along Main Street. A wide range of state and elected officials, real estate executives, local residents, non-profit organizations, and representatives from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency were present for the workshop’s second day, April 17. In addition to a presentation on the economic and fiscal impacts of different development patterns, the workshop included a facilitated brainstorming session with participants.
Downtown Reno and the Truckee Meadows. Photo by Tonya Poole via Flickr.
In October Smart Growth America visited Reno, NV, to meet with residents and local officials there as part of a “Planning for Economic and Fiscal Health” technical assistance workshop.
The workshop aimed to lay the groundwork for the Truckee Meadows Regional Planning Agency (TMRPA) to examine different development models for the region, with the ultimate goal of creating a regional plan for sustainable development.
Northwest Colorado Council of Governments (NWCCOG) officials and local residents met with representatives from Smart Growth America on August 8 and 9, 2013 as part of a free, grant-funded technical assistance program. The two-day workshop provided tools and training to assist NWCCOG leaders as they develop strategies for the organization’s new role as a U.S. Economic Development Administration Economic Development District. These strategies will help NWCCOG communities to strengthen their economies while also maintaining the natural environment for which the region is known.
“NWCCOG is very excited about our upcoming Smart Growth America workshop,” said Rachel Lunney, Economic Development and Communications Manager for NWCCOG. “We are a newly-designated Economic Development District, and as such we have asked for assistance with planning for the economic and fiscal health of our member communities. Smart Growth America’s experts will help us advance toward our vision of a robust, diverse regional economy, made up of strong local businesses and jobs that pay well in communities with housing and transportation choices near jobs, shops and schools.”
Fairfax, VA’s City Hall, where next week’s meeting will take place. Photo by TJ Hanton via Flickr.
Smart Growth America is headed to Fairfax, VA next week to meet with local officials and residents about the city’s development policies and regulations, as well as its approach toward the continued investment in high-quality public infrastructure.
Downtown Charlotte, NC. Photo by James Willamor via Flickr.
Smart Growth America will be in Charlotte, NC next to speak with city officials there about how development strategies can benefit the city’s finances and its economy.
Charlotte residents are invited to join the discussion at an introductory presentation on Tuesday, May 14, 2013 from 6:00–8:00 PM at the UNC Charlotte Auditorium, Uptown Campus, 320 East 9th Street, Charlotte, NC 28202.
A rendering of streetscape plans for Buena Vista Township. Image via MLive.com.
Smart Growth America will meet with residents and leaders of Buena Vista, MI next week to help identify new strategies that could attract business investments and stabilize neighborhoods in the township.
Buena Vista Township residents are invited to join the workshop’s first day for a public presentation on March 5, 2013 from 6-8 PM at the Buena Vista Community Center, 1940 South Outer Drive, Saginaw, Michigan.
Main Street/Downtown Winchester. Photo by the Town of Winchester.
Next week Smart Growth America is headed to Winchester, Connecticut to talk with residents and town officials about how the city can revitalize its downtown and attract economic growth.
“The redevelopment of Winsted has been a historic struggle,” says Winchester Town Manager Dale Martin. “Although several efforts have been taken to envision a revitalized downtown, those well-intentioned attempts failed to revitalize the commercial center as hoped. With the economic upheaval of the past several years, many of the foundations upon which those earlier studies were based have been undermined. The interest and experience of Smart Growth America presents an exciting opportunity to re-shape the future of Winsted, using principles and techniques that have been proven successful elsewhere.”