Monthly Archives: July 2016

Smart Growth America welcomes Rick Chellman as new director of design

chellman-headshotSmart Growth America is pleased to announce today the hiring of Rick Chellman, P.E., L.L.S., as director of design.

Chellman has over 30 years experience in civil engineering, engineering consulting, traffic engineering and land surveying, land use regulations, and development planning. As an independent consultant he has also worked extensively on the engineering and traffic engineering aspects of neighborhood development and street design. Chellman has written several land use regulations and zoning ordinances, authored and co-authored numerous works related to transportation and neighborhood design, and helped lead neighborhood design charettes across the country.

“Engineering at its best is about solving problems and making people’s lives easier,” said Geoff Anderson, President and CEO of Smart Growth America. “Rick absolutely understands that. He has helped communities across the country and the world get a clear picture of their goals, and then figure out how to achieve them in cost-effective ways. We are thrilled to have him bring that expertise to the communities we work with.”

In his new role, Chellman will work on Smart Growth America’s technical assistance workshops, particularly for departments of transportation. Learn more about his new work in our short Q+A below.


Revitalization without Displacement in Washington, DC and Detroit, MI at Policy Forum 2016

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Courtney Snowden, Deputy Mayor of Economic Opportunity for Washington, DC speaks as part of a panel at the third annual Local Leaders Council Policy Forum in Washington, DC. Photo by Ted Eytan on Flickr.

Development can do great things for a city—as long as neighborhoods can keep their communities and their culture intact. That’s the philosophy guiding the work of Courtney Snowden, Washington DC Deputy Mayor of Greater Economic Opportunity, and Conan Smith, Commissioner of Washtenaw County, MI, who spoke about “Revitalization without Displacement” at the 2016 Local Leaders Council Policy Forum on July 19, 2016 in Washington, DC.



Complete Streets News — July 2016

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Register for Street Lights — Join the National Complete Streets Coalition at Street Lights: Illuminating Implementation and Equity in Complete Streets, our first-ever Complete Streets conference, taking place on November 15, 2016 in Sacramento, CA. This day-long conference will be a chance for transportation planners and engineers, community, equity, and health advocates, local officials, and Complete Streets practitioners to share ideas, brainstorm solutions, and celebrate the success of the Complete Streets movement nationwide together. Conference registration is $150 for National Complete Streets Coalition Partners and $195 for non-Partners. Become a Partner today and one complimentary registration is included!

A proposed rule at USDOT could support safer streets. Will it? — This April, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) proposed new requirements for how states and metro areas will have to measure traffic congestion—the first time the agency has ever proposed such a requirement. Measuring what America’s transportation dollars actually buy us is a great move. But the rule as it’s currently written would measure success in outdated ways, prioritizing fast driving speeds over all other modes of transportation and their associated benefits. Not every street should be designed for fast-moving cars. Sign the petition to tell USDOT to change their proposed rule.


A full list of the walkable neighborhoods included in “Foot Traffic Ahead”

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Last month we released Foot Traffic Ahead 2016, new research from our LOCUS program in conjunction with the Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis at The George Washington University’s School of Business that looks at walkable urban development in the nation’s largest metro areas.

The report examined 619 regionally significant walkable urban places—or WalkUPs—in the country’s 30 largest metro areas, and ranked which metros are making the most of their current development, which are positioned to be most walkable in the future, and which rank best for social equity.

Since the release we’ve received many requests for the full list of WalkUP neighborhoods. Today, we’re pleased to release the full list of WalkUPs analyzed in the report.


In wake of Senate action, Representatives Pallone and Tonko introduce House version of Brownfields authorization bill

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EPA Brownfields funds helped transform the site of a former tin manufacturing and can factory into a mixed-use office and retail hub in Canton, Baltimore, MD. Photo via EPA.

Earlier this month, the Senate passed a bill to authorize and improve the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Brownfields program. Now the House of Representatives is moving to do the same.

Last week Representatives Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-6) and Paul D. Tonko (NY-20) introduced the Brownfields Authorization Increase Act of 2016 (H.R. 5782). The legislation would amend the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act to enhance EPA’s Brownfields program and include it as a formal part of the federal budget.


A new program to help rural places use smart growth strategies

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by The Hon. John Robert Smith

Many rural communities have seen farmland eroded by encroaching development, or are losing young residents to places with more amenities and greater opportunities. Whether drained by sprawl or struggling to compete, how can rural communities address these challenges while remaining true to their unique character?

Smart Growth America’s new Rural Development program, launching today, is designed to help local leaders strengthen rural economies through a smart growth approach to development. The new program will give rural residents and leaders better information about the financial and economic impacts of development choices.



Introducing the new TODresources.org

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In December, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced a new initiative to help communities across the country advance transit-oriented development (TOD) projects to grow their economies, achieve their social equity goals, and improve quality of life for everyone.


Senate passes bill to help communities redevelop brownfield sites, urges House of Representatives to do the same

quik-trip-greenvilleEPA Brownfields funds helped transform the site of a former auto body repair shop into a neighborhood market in an underserved community in Greenville, SC. Photo via.

With sweeping bipartisan support, last week the U.S. Senate unanimously passed legislation to help communities across the country clean up and redevelop contaminated land. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK), one of the champions of the bill, urged his Republican colleagues in the House of Representatives to do the same.