Workshops and Technical Assistance

Smart Growth America’s Technical Assistance programs work alongside and within communities of all sizes and organizations to build support for policies and practices that will lead to healthy, prosperous, and resilient places. Across the land use and transportation sectors, our work includes community engagement and education, culture building, and using analysis to demonstrate the benefits of smart growth development.

“With diverse and substantive experience, expertise, and backgrounds, the folks who lead Smart Growth America’s workshops and technical assistance program will learn about your community and its needs to provide tailored solutions or strategies to help your community thrive,” said John Robert Smith, Policy Advisor at Smart Growth America and Chair of Transportation for America. “And while we are teaching, we’re also learning, so that we leverage the experience of communities who have worked to address similar issues in their jurisdictions.”

Learn more about the types of technical assistance we offer:

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SGA’s Arts & Culture team provides technical assistance to help communities of all sizes better integrate artsculture, and creative placemaking into neighborhood revitalization, equitable development, and transportation planning and design efforts. This technical assistance typically takes the form of interactive workshops involving local arts agencies and departments of transportation and are led by SGA’s arts & culture staff with support from SGA’s other teams as well as outside experts.

Hands-on training in Complete Streets for communities of all kinds, including the development of advocates, professionals and practitioners, and elected leaders.

  • Cohort-based learning modules to advance complete streets policies through peer-learning and practical demonstration of key CS elements
  • Place-based workshops offer an in-depth evaluation of a specific intersection or corridor
  • E-learning modules on e-learning assistance (Introduction to Designing for Active Transportation and Integrating Land Use into Complete Streets)
A community’s priorities to create a healthy, equitable, and active place and invest in its people and businesses can be reflected in its budget and development decisions. Similarly, the economic impacts of smart growth strategies can be measured with a variety of analytical tools.
Solid information about the impact of development choices on a community’s bottom line can support wise investment decisions and inclusive growth. To support those decisions, economic analysis workshops facilitate data-driven policy choices about things like how and where to build housing, where to focus investments, and how to grow overall through economic and other statistical analyses tailored to the specific locality. Typical focus areas include:

  • Fiscal Impact analysis
  • Rural Development
  • Real Estate Demand Analysis & Housing Displacement Forecasting
  • Benefit-Cost Analysis
Smart Growth means ensuring that vibrant, mixed-use communities provide a variety of mobility options as well as a variety of housing types. However, these types of places are in very short supply due to the zoning decisions of communities. Housing in the very locations where it is most needed—such as transit-served and infill locations—remains challenging to deliver on account of restrictive zoning. Support on land use and zoning is available to achieve a variety of goals and activities in pursuit of a regulatory framework for mixed-use, walkable urbanism, and support equitable, smart growth development.

  • Review of existing codes
  • Updates to zoning ordinances and draft provisions
  • Training on zoning reform and updating processes
  • Support to community-based organizations advocating for zoning reform and equitable development
  • Support for communities and organizations advocating for housing, zoning and planning policies, and infrastructure that is more prepared for the impacts of climate change such as flooding, extreme heat, drought, and wildfires

Our passenger rail team brings project management experience, subject matter expertise, and a wealth of diverse relationships with local communities, state DOTs, federal administration officials, Amtrak, as well as members of Congress to support clients and actively promote the advancement, development, and operations of intercity passenger rail in the United States.

  • Review strategic plans and studies for passenger rail service
  • Advise and support the Client in incorporating passenger rail plans into relevant and mandatory transportation planning documents.
  • Advise and Support Client relationship building with Capitol Hill and Administration officials
  • Draft correspondence, including testimony, position papers, and principles
  • Advise and support the Client in pursuing federal and state grants and other funding opportunities
  • Track information and craft reports and regular updates on the status of passenger rail service expansion as well as relevant legislative, funding, and administrative news
Support is available for city and state transportation agencies looking to evaluate, refine, develop, and implement policies to improve connectivity, accessibility, and performance of their transportation networks. Specific topics for technical assistance include:

  • Performance measures
  • Funding priorities
  • Accessibility analysis
  • Curbside and mobility management
  • Reconnecting communities and addressing infrastructure that creates barriers to access
Have a question about our technical assistance and workshop program? Fill out this form.


Smart Growth America’s technical assistance and workshop offerings are built out based on a community’s needs. Workshop types may be paired with one another. For example, you can have a workshop that focuses on both Complete Streets and Zoning. Costs vary based on the scale and scope of the workshop project.