Author Archives: Smart Growth America

Now hiring: Economic Analyst

Smart Growth America seeks a skilled, experienced Economic Analyst with two to six years experience to conduct technical and quantitative analyses regarding a wide variety of issues associated with the built environment and transportation, including economics, real estate, social equity, …

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Recorded webinar: Everything you want to know about applying for our 2017 free technical assistance workshops

If you are interested in applying for Smart Growth America’s 2017 free technical assistance workshops — but weren’t able to join us for this week’s informational webinar — you’re in luck. An archived version of the presentation is now available. Watch …

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Applications are now open for our 2017 free technical assistance

Is your city interested in smart growth, but not sure how to make it happen? Bring in the development experts with one of Smart Growth America’s 2017 free technical assistance workshops. Each year Smart Growth America offers a limited number …

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USDOT wants to make it easier to find funding for innovative transportation projects

build-america-bureauTransportation Secretary Anthony Foxx at the launch of the Build America Bureau last month. Photo via USDOT.

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) offers a number of different grant and loan programs for innovative transportation projects. But navigating the application process for these programs—or even knowing exactly what types of projects are eligible under each one—can be complicated.

To help cities and state navigate and better utilize all these programs, last month USDOT launched the the Build America Bureau, a one-stop shop for information about how to apply for federal transportation grants and loans. As Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx explained at the launch, the Bureau will “streamline credit opportunities and grants more quickly and transparently, while providing technical assistance and encouraging innovative best practices in project planning, financing, delivery, and monitoring.”

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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.

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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.

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Join Smart Growth America at Smart Cities Week in Washington DC this fall

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There’s lots of talk these days about how new technology can help cities meet their pressing transportation challenges. Where should cities start on this? And how can city leaders ever get up to speed on this quickly changing industry?

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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.

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Recorded webinar: “Amazing Place” kickoff discussion

amazing-place-webinar-iconBoise, Denver, Greenville, Minneapolis, Nashville, and Pittsburgh are six of the many cities using a new strategy for economic development. Rather than offering tax breaks to lure companies, these cities are creating walkable, vibrant, inclusive neighborhoods that are attracting residents and employers, supporting existing businesses, and fostering entrepreneurs.

We talk about this new approach in our most recent report, Amazing Place: Six Cities Using the New Recipe for Economic Development. The report takes an in-depth look at the development strategies at work in these six cities, and is designed to show communities everywhere how to create diverse and durable local economies that last beyond the lifecycle of any one employer.

As part of Tuesday’s kickoff for the new report, we hosted an online conversation about creating these amazing places. Participants heard an overview of the guide as well as a detailed discussion about development in Denver, Greenville, and Pittsburgh. A recorded version of the webinar is now available.

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Introducing “Amazing Place”

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For decades, local economic development has revolved around enticing companies to relocate with tax breaks and subsidies. There are a lot of problems with this approach, but perhaps the biggest is that today, it’s a strategy that often simply doesn’t work.

A new trend in local economic development is emerging. Talented workers—and the companies who want to employ them—are increasingly moving to walkable neighborhoods served by transit, with a vibrant mix of restaurants, cafes, shops, cultural attractions, and affordable housing options.

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