Introduction Brownfields—or properties with environmental contamination or potentially contaminated land—are disproportionately located in or near communities of color and low-income communities. Residents near these properties may face heightened health hazards and economic disinvestment until the site undergoes assessment and cleanup, which can be a costly and lengthy process. Safely reusing a brownfield site is an … Continued
The new Opportunity Zone tax incentive was conceived as a tool to promote economic development, job creation, poverty reduction, and support for new businesses in areas of concentrated poverty. A couple years in, is it having the desired effects for small business stability and growth, especially for minority-owned legacy businesses?
With investments from the Opportunity Zone tax incentive flowing into these newly designated zones for a few years now, our new report sought to find out: Are these investments supporting small business stability and growth, achieving the stated goal of place-based economic development and job creation in distressed communities? If not, why not? And what are the risks and rewards specifically for minority-owned legacy businesses within Opportunity Zones?
Last week, we hosted “Lessons learned in small-scale manufacturing,” a webinar that revisited communities we’ve helped with small-scale manufacturing and place-based economic development over the past three years. Speakers shared lessons and ongoing successes in Knoxville, TN; Columbia, MO; and Lafayette, LA. A recording of the webinar is now available and you can read a short recap below.
As we prepare for site visits in six new communities to develop strategies for local small-scale manufacturing this month, we’re taking a look back at the places we helped in 2016. Two communities—Lowell, MA and Twin Falls, ID—have made some impressive progress to support their budding maker businesses; their work shows how promising this emerging sector can be for building livable communities and healthy economies.
Each of the six communities selected to receive assistance on supporting local small-scale manufacturing are very different. Ahead of the assistance that will happen over the next year, get to know each of the communities we’ll be working with a little better.
The Southern Gateway’s iconic view of downtown Raleigh.
Raleigh, NC is well on its way to becoming one of the South’s next major population hubs. To accommodate that rapid population growth and to help more people participate in the economic growth it will likely entail, Raleigh leaders are planning to create a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line. In October, Smart Growth America traveled to Raleigh to convene a Successful and Equitable Revitalization workshop to help the community ensure that project is both economically successful and socially equitable.
Philadelphia’s Girard Avenue, by Flickr user KGradinger.
Philadelphia has given us some of the world’s best cheese steaks, but the city also offers a great example of how smart growth strategies can help rebuild America’s cities.
Philadelphia’s smart growth efforts date back to 1991, when, beginning in his first term, Mayor Ed Rendell focused on revitalizing downtown. In 2001, Mayor John Street unveiled his Neighborhood Transformation Initiative that invested millions of dollars into neighborhood revitalization. And the City’s current mayor, Michael Nutter, is continuing this legacy by targeting the commercial corridors that provide goods, services and jobs to the City’s residents through the ReStore program.
These are great smart growth strategies that are revitalizing Philadelphia’s urban core and creating opportunities in underserved communities, and the efforts are beginning to pay off. For the first time in six decades, the City of Philadelphia has stopped losing population – and may be even growing. The 2010 U.S Census showed that Philadelphia’s population, which has decreased every decade since 1950, has stabilized.