With the use of a pop-up event that pulled in local stakeholders and a well thought-out engagement strategy, a small city with a history of successful quick-build Complete Streets projects gained a better understanding of community goals and created a strong case for funding a project to improve safety and health outcomes.
In a small but suburbanizing city on the extreme northern edge of metro Seattle, a temporary pedestrian crossing and median refuge helped improve safety, reduce speeds, educate residents and drivers about the importance of slower speeds and better walking access, and spark important conversations about the future of the community in Arlington, WA.
Airway Heights, WA deployed their safety demonstration project on a key north-south connector in the city that abuts the town’s only school and a public park, generating excitement in the community and creating new safe spaces for people to gather during the pandemic.
Amazon dropped a bombshell earlier this week when they announced that they’re going to expand from Seattle by building a brand new second headquarters in another city. Based on their RFP, regardless of where they land, it’s another example of how companies are increasingly seeking out vibrant, walkable, connected urban places as they try to attract and retain talent.
The Angle Lake light rail station under construction in SeaTac, WA. A Smart Growth America workshop looked at the potential for new development around the station. Photo by SounderBruce via Flickr.
In early October, Smart Growth America traveled to SeaTac, WA to help the city figure out how to make the most of three light rail stations with an Implementing transit-oriented development 101 workshop.
The City of SeaTac has already adopted area plans for each of its SeaTac Airport, Tukwila International Boulevard, and soon-to-open Angle Lake light rail stations. “In 2016, with the opening of the Angle Lake Station, the City will have three light rail station areas, each with its own distinct attributes, opportunities and challenges,” said Todd Cutts, SeaTac City Manager. “The expert assistance from Smart Growth America will help guide the transformation of these areas and support the community in shaping them into active, interesting, and healthy places.”
A portion of East Sprague Avenue in Spokane, WA. Photo via the City of Spokane.
On September 15 and 16, Smart Growth America traveled to the City of Spokane, WA for a two-day technical assistance workshop on Planning for Fiscal and Economic Health. The workshop helped inform and focus efforts for sustainable economic growth in the East Sprague Corridor, in coordination with the Sprague Targeted Investment Pilot (Sprague TIP) project.
On the first day of the workshop, Spokane-area residents joined an open public forum on the fundamentals of planning for economic and fiscal health. Roger Millar, former Smart Growth America Vice President for Technical Assistance, and Christopher Zimmerman, Smart Growth America’s Vice President for Economic Development, described the changing economic and demographic dynamics that are driving change throughout the United States, and gave an introductory level discussion of planning for economic health in Spokane.
Kansas City, MO is one of the communities that will receive a 2016 free technical assistance workshop.
Smart Growth America is pleased to announce seven communities that have been selected to receive our free technical assistance workshops in 2016.
Each year, Smart Growth America makes a limited number of technical assistance workshops available to interested communities at zero cost. This competitive award gives communities a chance to understand the technical aspects of smart growth development and build a strategy to achieve their goals through a one- or two-day workshop on a subject of their choosing.
Seattle’s chief road engineer Dongho Chang, next to Broadway’s new protected bike lane. Photo via the Green Lane Project on Facebook.
When activists painted a guerrilla bike lane in Seattle, they didn’t expect a traffic engineer to thank them. But that’s what Seattle traffic engineer Dongho Chang did, commending for bringing attention to the safety issue — and then installing a more permanent treatment soon after. Chang spoke with the National Complete Streets Coalition about a few of the Seattle Department of Transportation’s signature projects, the inspiration for his work, and what he’s learned in 25 years of traffic engineering.
The former Heidelberg brewery in Tacoma’s Brewery District neighborhood. Smart Growth America’s 2012 workshop looked at ways to revitalize the neighborhood. Photo by Corey Knafelz via Flickr.
Tacoma, WA is growing fast. The area is projected to be one of the top 10 U.S. metro areas for job growth through 2020, and City leaders are working to support and sustain that economic growth with a smart growth approach to development.
Tacoma’s leaders were already thinking about these strategies back in April 2012, when Smart Growth America conducted a technical assistance workshop with the City. Staff from Smart Growth America and our partner Criterion Planners worked with Tacoma officials and local residents to understand how a smart growth approach could support revitalization in the Hilltop/ Martin Luther King Jr. neighborhood and Dome/Brewery District. The workshop focused on using the Leadership for Energy and Environmental Design for Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND) tool to help city officials establish a framework to set goals, measurements, and eventually brand these neighborhoods as center for green development.
City of Spokane, WA. Photo via City of Spokane on Facebook.
At the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Spokane, WA, is using smart growth to manage growth and improve quality of life for residents.
Spokane is a scenic city centered on the Spokane River with a population of 210,000. According to Amber Waldref, District One Councilmember and member of Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council, the city is an “urban area with a small town feel.” Several smart growth projects—including updating design standards, a new form based code, improved transit, and building incentives downtown—will help Spokane be the vibrant, walkable city that residents desire.