Category: Smart Growth 101

Helping a North Little Rock neighborhood find a prosperous path forward

The Baring Cross neighborhood of North Little Rock, Arkansas grew in tandem with an enormous rail yard to its east, with many of the yard’s employees finding homes in the adjacent neighborhood. Today, some residents and local leaders in North Little Rock …

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Macon-Bibb County, GA is making its revitalization vision a reality with help from Smart Growth America

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Downtown Macon, GA. Photo via NewTown Macon.

Macon-Bibb County, GA has big plans and a grand vision for how they want to revitalize their downtown. A workshop with Smart Growth America will help turn those plans into reality.

Smart Growth America traveled to Macon-Bibb on April 15 and 16, 2015 to conduct a workshop on Implementing Smart Growth 101. The workshop will help local leaders translate the plans for downtown revitalization into actionable next steps.

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Franklin, TN hosts workshop to consider development strategies for economic growth

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Downtown Franklin, TN. Photo by Wayne Hsieh via Flickr.

Smart Growth America staff met with officials from the City of Franklin, TN, on March 3 and 4, 2015, to discuss a range of strategies to position Franklin for long-term economic growth in the context of new development pressures and rapid population growth. Franklin was awarded the two-day workshop as part of Smart Growth America’s annual free technical assistance competition.

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Fort Peck Assiniboine & Sioux Tribes of Poplar, MT host workshop on planning for sustainable growth

oil refinery2 The site of an oil refinery in Poplar, MT. Photo by Elizabeth Schilling

Fort Peck Assiniboine & Sioux Tribes officials and local residents met with representatives from Smart Growth America on May 6 and 7, 2014 as part of a free, grant-funded technical assistance program. The workshop sought to provide tribal leaders with the necessary strategies to achieve long-term sustainable growth within the reservation, especially given the development pressures created by the Bakken oil boom.

“The Fort Peck Assiniboine & Sioux Tribes Tribal Executive Board is excited about the opportunity for the tribal staff and community leaders to gain more knowledge and expertise in the area of community planning,” said Fort Peck Tribal Executive Board Chairman A.T. Stafne.

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Dauphin County, PA hosts workshop on smart growth implementation

Hummelstown PA

Dauphin County officials and local residents met with representatives from Smart Growth America on September 18 and 19, 2013 as part of a free, grant-funded technical assistance program. The workshop helped the community envision smart growth strategies in the context of Dauphin County, an area with varying levels of development density. It also helped to inform the county’s comprehensive planning process.

“We are excited about the opportunity to host this free, grant-funded technical assistance program in Dauphin County,” said Dauphin County Board of Commissioners’ Chairman Jeff Haste. “The goal is to develop local solutions to help our community grow in ways that will provide benefits now and for generations to come.”

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City of Port Isabel, TX to host workshop next week on implementing smart growth strategies

Port Isabel, TXCity of Port Isabel officials and local residents will meet with representatives from Smart Growth America on May 21 and 22, 2013 as part of a free, grant-funded technical assistance program. The workshop will aim to give Port Isabel the tools it needs to leverage community assets and create a sustainable growth plan for the city.

“Port Isabel’s history and character set us apart, and the City works hard to maintain those assets,” said Mayor Joe E. Vega. “We want to make sure Port Isabel stays a great place to live and visit for generations to come and we want to do that in the best way possible. That’s what next week’s workshop is about.”

City of Port Isabel residents are invited to join the workshop’s first day for an introductory presentation that will feature a broad overview of strategies for implementing smart growth strategies. The event will be held Tuesday, May 21, 2013 from 6:30–8:00 PM at the Port Isabel City Hall, 305 East Maxan Street, Port Isabel 78578.

“Smart Growth America is committed to providing training to help community leaders keep cities and towns livable, sustainable and vital places,” said Roger Millar, Director of Smart Growth America’s Leadership Institute. “Port Isabel has the potential to create and implement great sustainable plans for the future of their city. This workshop will give city officials the tools needed to start a conversation about smart growth strategies and the value it can bring to their community.”

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Smart growth in the Smoky Mountains – Graham County, NC to host strategy workshops


Photo via Graham County Chamber of Information.

Tucked in a corner of the Smoky Mountains, Graham County, North Carolina is a rural community known for it’s abundant natural beauty, windy mountain roads, local produce and artisans. As county residents look toward the future of their community, Smart Growth America will assist Graham County in how to utilize their existing assets to ensure a healthy, economically productive place in which to live, work and play.

On April 2 and 3, 2013, Graham County officials and local residents will meet with representatives from Smart Growth America as part of a free, grant-funded technical assistance program. The workshops aim to find innovative strategies for improving the county’s safety, health and economy through the development of a resident led action plan for future growth.

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Smart Growth America’s Leadership Institute hosts infill policy workshop in Billings, Montana

Last week, Smart Growth America’s Leadership Institute convened a two-day-long “Introduction to Infill” workshop in Billings, Montana. Infill is a development strategy that uses land within an already built-up area for further construction, focusing on reusing and repositioning obsolete or underutilized buildings and sites.

Together with the City of Billings, the Billings Association of Realtors, the Billings Home Builders Association, Healthy By Design, the Montana Association of Planners, Cole Law Firm, the Western Central Chapter of the American Planning Association and the Billings Chamber of Commerce, the workshop offered expert perspectives on infill development to the community in preparation for the City’s goal of developing an Infill Policy. This type of development is essential to renewing blighted neighborhoods and knitting them back together with more prosperous communities.

More than 80 participants from Montana and North Dakota attended the two-day workshop on April 26 and 27 in Billings. The workshop provided an overview of the state-of-the-practice, as well as the application of infill policies to specific issues – economic development, transportation, private sector involvement, and examples of infill development in Billings and around the country. Local perspectives were also provided through several sessions comprised of local developers, consultants, City staff and other organizations.

The workshop was designed to start the process of developing an infill policy for the City of Billings. A portion of the workshop was devoted to discussing the basic elements of an infill policy and beginning to define infill for Billings. A working group will be formed from the workshop attendees and others in the community in the coming months to develop a draft infill policy to present to the City Council for consideration in late 2011 or early 2012.

More information about the workshop, including the days’ agenda, workshop session descriptions and presentations are available at the City of Billings’ website. If you would like to know more about Smart Growth America’s Leadership Institute’s workshops and seminars, visit http://www.smartgrowthamerica.org/leadership-institute or email leadershipinstitute [at] smartgrowthamerica [dot] org.

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