Creatives and makerspaces collaborate in Knoxville, TN

With the recent release of Made in Place: Small-Scale Manufacturing & Neighborhood Revitalization, we’re spotlighting a few standout examples of cities that have fostered a small-scale manufacturing sector to revitalize their local economy. Knoxville, Tennessee benefits from a strong community of makers, real estate developers, and residents with longstanding roots and connections to the city. In 2016, Etsy officially named Knoxville as the first “Etsy Maker City” and the Mayor’s Maker Council voted to adopt the motto “The Maker City” in 2017.

Economic development

Connecting innovation with initiative in Twin Falls, ID

With the recent release of Made in Place: Small-Scale Manufacturing & Neighborhood Revitalization, we’re spotlighting a few standout examples of cities that have fostered a small-scale manufacturing sector to revitalize their local economy. Twin Falls, Idaho has seen a steady increase in small businesses locating in and around its downtown.

Economic development

Introducing Made in Place: Small-Scale Manufacturing and Neighborhood Revitalization

A new report from Smart Growth America and Recast City illustrates how encouraging more small-scale manufacturing in downtowns and neighborhood centers can help create a more resilient and inclusive small business environment, increase the accessibility of the local job market, and create a foothold for future growth.

Economic development

Made in Place: Small-Scale Manufacturing & Neighborhood Revitalization

Technological and economic changes have created new opportunities in small-scale manufacturing and the “maker” economy, which present a chance for communities to make progress on several important economic development issues. Small-scale manufacturing can grow local entrepreneurship and small business, develop or enhance new and existing economic sectors, and revitalize downtowns and business districts. Using tools … Continued

Economic development

How communities are using small-scale manufacturing to build great places: Lowell, MA

With the upcoming release of our new white paper on this topic on November 7, we are spotlighting a few of the standout examples of cities that have fostered a small-scale manufacturing sector through strategic land use decisions. This series will highlight the merits of small-scale manufacturing and how it’s contributing to the character, appeal, and success of smart downtowns in Lowell, MA; Twin Falls, ID; and Knoxville, TN.

Economic development

Coming soon: a new report on small-scale manufacturing and neighborhood revitalization


Distilleries, jewelry makers, and 3D printers — what do they all have in common? Each is part of the emerging, national movement of small-scale manufacturing, and can contribute meaningfully to a community’s downtown economy. Made in Place: Small-Scale Manufacturing & Neighborhood Revitalization, a forthcoming report from Smart Growth America in partnership with Recast City, will explore this innovative industry and showcase best practices for downtown revitalization.

Economic development

Acres of innovative manufacturing potential in Lowell, MA

If you think manufacturing still needs to be exiled to large, polluting, isolated factories, think again. Many of today’s manufacturing spaces are small, clean, shared among multiple firms, and integrated with other land uses. And communities across the country are creating space for these businesses in downtown neighborhoods, and making them part of a place-based approach to economic development.

Small-scale producers and manufacturers can boost local economies by creating new jobs for workers with a wide range of skill sets. When these companies are located in a downtown, however, their economic impact multiplies. These businesses can bring life to vacant industrial properties or storefronts and catalyze broader neighborhood investment. They can also help attract visitors by fostering a community of creative producers.

Technical assistance

Announcing the recipients of our Small-Scale Manufacturing And Place-Based Economic Development technical assistance


The Gates Art Gallery building in Lowell, MA’s Acre neighborhood. Lowell is hoping to support small-scale manufacturing in the neighborhood. Photo by Richard Howe via Flickr.

Four communities are using small-scale manufacturing for downtown revitalization to create economic opportunity, and will receive free technical assistance from Smart Growth America, made possible by the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA).

Small-scale manufacturing has emerged as an innovative strategy in today’s urban economic development toolbox. For many cities, this new industry can connect residents to good paying jobs and economic opportunity in the neighborhoods they call home. Smart Growth America’s newest technical assistance program helps cities integrate small-scale manufacturing spaces into their economic development work.

Economic development Technical assistance

Learn more about our free small-scale manufacturing technical assistance

Photo credit: Recast City

Last month we announced a new, free technical assistance workshop designed to help communities incorporate small-scale manufacturing into neighborhood revitalization efforts.

To learn more about this opportunity and small-scale manufacturing, join us for an informational webinar Monday, December 19, 2016 at 2:00 pm EST. This online event is free, but registration is required.

Technical assistance

Small-scale manufacturers: creating good jobs, great products, and vibrant neighborhoods

rickshaw

Rickshaw Bagworks makes and sells cycling-inspired bags in San Francisco’s Dogpatch neighborhood. Photo by Richard Masoner via Flickr.

Small-scale manufacturers like woodworkers, steel fabricators, hardware prototypers, microbrewers, and coffee roasters with regional distribution have emerged as a significant force in today’s urban economy. For many cities and neighborhoods suffering the loss of skilled-labor employers, this emerging, city-oriented industrial sector offers a powerful revitalization tool that can connect residents to good paying jobs and economic opportunity in the neighborhoods they call home.

Technical assistance