In a unique partnership focused on bringing vital connections to rural America, Smart Growth America is helping T-Mobile give one small community a prize package worth $3 million as well as millions in smaller grants for hundreds of other rural and small town communities to reinvest in their downtowns, improve their quality of life, become … Continued
Smart Growth America (SGA), the leading advocate for people who want to live and work in great neighborhoods, is pleased to announce the Nuclear Closure Communities Technical Assistance program.
Absent major changes, the majority of the nuclear power plants in the U.S. may close in the next few decades. This presents an enormous economic development challenge in what are mostly fairly small or rural communities where these plants are located.
Many rural communities in America have been struggling as the economy has changed dramatically over the last few decades, but some of these communities are evolving and finding new ways to adapt. This is a story of how one small mountain town in northeast Tennessee has found new economic opportunity by investing in reliable, high-speed broadband internet to catalyze new growth and development focused in their walkable, historic downtown.
(Image courtesy of Alta Planning + Design)
Successful implementation of Complete Streets requires much more than a one-size-fits-all approach. Rural and small towns often face distinct challenges from urban areas when it comes to improving the conditions for people walking and bicycling. The National Complete Streets Coalition recently spoke with Andrea Clinkscales, Senior Planner at Alta, to learn about some of the obstacles smaller communities may face, along with potential solutions to implementing Complete Streets.
Thursday, August 9, 1:00-2:30pm ET. Advancing Livability with Geographic Information Systems. Register here.
Tuesday, August 14, 2:00-3:30pm ET. Avoiding the Housing and Transportation Squeeze in Rural and Small Town America. Register here.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently published Federal Resources for Sustainable Rural Communities; a guide to programs available to help rural areas promote economic development and enhance quality of life.
The publication, a joint effort of the federal Partnership for Sustainable Communities,
Compiles all of the federal resources that can support rural communities in their efforts to promote economic competitiveness, protect healthy environments, modernize infrastructure, and provide services to residents. The guide has key information on funding and technical assistance opportunities available from the four agencies, as well as examples of how rural communities across the country have benefitted from federal resources.
Four federal agencies are offering $15 million in funding to spur economic growth in rural areas. The approximately 20 regions to receive funding will also be eligible for technical assistance resources from an additional nine agencies. From the U.S. Department of Agriculture announcement:
Funds awarded to the winning applicants can be used to support and accelerate a range of projects including improving rural communities’ capacity and ability to undertake projects related to housing, community facilities, or economic and community development along with creation of regional linkages that connect communities with innovation clusters and regional opportunities leading to job creation, expanded markets, and economic growth.
A new series of free workshops on smart growth development are catching the attention of policy makers and community leaders across the country.
The set of 12 workshops, run by Smart Growth America and several partner organizations, are designed to show local leaders how smart growth strategies can support a local economy and protect the environment while preserving the character of a town and making it more attractive to visitors or new residents.
The one or two-day workshops address a number of smart growth topics, including how to create pedestrian-friendly streets, the benefits of regional planning, innovative parking policies, and zoning changes that benefit small cities. “Transportation Performance Measurement,” for instance, empowers citizens and elected leaders to look at the roads, transit systems, walkways and bike lanes in their area as tools for achieving their objectives for economic vitality, public health, environmental protection and neighborhood character – in addition to the classic transportation objectives of access, circulation and travel.
Nadine Lemmon, of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, writes how transportation professionals are applying the Complete Streets approach to the unique challenges of rural roads and recommending new design guidance to promote safer rural roads for all users.