Tag: Nashville

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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Join us for the launch of “Amazing Place”

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For decades, if a community wanted to increase jobs, the go-to approach was to offer companies tax breaks and subsidies to relocate there.

This approach has lots of downsides. But perhaps the biggest problem for economic development officials now is that too often, this strategy simply doesn’t work.

Companies today are less interested in tax breaks and more interested in vibrant neighborhoods with affordable housing options, restaurants, nightlife, and other amenities in walking distance, and a range of transportation options for their employees.

If tax breaks were the old way to do economic development, creating great places is the new way.

On Tuesday, June 28, we’ll release Amazing Place, which details how six cities are using a place-based approach to economic development.

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Department of Planning Executive Director Rick Bernhardt on community engagement for a better Nashville, TN

rbernhardtRick Bernhardt, right, discusses different development strategies with Nashville residents. Photo by NashvilleNext via Twitter.

Nashville, TN, is a creative city with a rich history in the arts that has recently seen new growth in both its population and economy. Rick Bernhardt, the Executive Director of the Metropolitan Nashville-Davidson County Planning Department and member of Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council, is working to make sure the city’s development supports that growth.

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Top 10 of 2013: Over 550 communities are making streets safer and more convenient with Complete Streets policies

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This month, we’re looking back at some of Smart Growth America’s brightest moments and greatest accomplishments from 2013. First on the list? We’re celebrating the over 550 Complete Streets policies that have been enacted in the United States.

Complete Streets policies help create streets that are safe and convenient for everyone who uses them, and today over 550 communities across the country have enacted such policies. That’s a milestone worth celebrating.

In August the National Complete Streets Coalition, a program of Smart Growth America, brought together transportation officials and national smart growth experts in Washington, DC, to celebrate the accomplishment.

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Completing Our Streets: It takes more than facts to achieve the Complete Streets conversion

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Nashville, TN Mayor Karl Dean signed a Complete Streets Executive Order in 2010, joined by former Councilmember Erik Cole and former city staffers Toks Omishakin and Chris Bowles. Photo by Gary Layda, City of Nashville.

This post is the second in a twice-monthly series of excerpts from Completing Our Streets: The Transition to Safe and Inclusive Transportation Networks, the forthcoming book from Island Press by Barbara McCann, founder of the National Complete Streets Coalition. The book discusses the keys to the movement’s success, and how places and practitioners in the United States are tackling the challenges of putting a new transportation paradigm into daily practice. Look for the book out on October 14, 2013.

All National Complete Streets Coalition Platinum Partners and those who upgrade to the next Partnership level will receive a signed copy of Completing Our Streets. Become a Coalition Partner today!

From Chapter 6: Practitioners as Champions

After we started the National Complete Streets Coalition, I spent a lot of time developing a series of focused fact sheets that brought together the best and most specific answers we could find on every topic related to Complete Streets. The website was soon overflowing with reports and resources on every aspect of the benefits of Complete Streets. But somehow they were never enough. They never slaked the hunger from people around the country for very specific information about how to answer a challenging question with an indisputable fact. Over time, I realized I was learning how to overcome barriers not by regurgitating facts but by hearing stories about how others had made change happen.

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The short- and long-term benefits of better development strategies

Last week Smart Growth America Vice President of Policy Development and Implementation traveled to Nashville to unveil new research about development trends there.

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Video: Bill Fulton on development strategies and taxpayer savings in Nashville, TN

Earlier this week, Smart Growth America’s Vice President of Policy Development and Implementation Bill Fulton spoke in Nashville, TN as part of the NashvilleNext speakers series. Watch the full video of his presentation above.

During the talk Fulton detailed Smart Growth America’s analysis of three development scenarios in Nashville-Davidson County. See our earlier posts with the research’s full findings and our Storify recap of the event.

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Bill Fulton speaks about smart growth strategies and unveils new research at Nashville Next

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Bill Fulton speaking last night in Nashville. Photo via Nashville Next.

Smart Growth America’s Vice President of Policy Development and Implementation Bill Fulton spoke in Nashville last night as part of the Nashville Next speaker series.

During the discussion Fulton unveiled new research about development strategies in Nashville, including ways the city could reduce costs and improve its bottom line. Here’s what attendees had to say about the talk.

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New analysis of Nashville area development reveals opportunity for public savings

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The Watermark restaurant in The Gulch district in Nashville. The Gulch generated far more revenue per unit than the two other development scenarios. Photo by The Gulch.

Tennessee taxpayers could save money by using smarter development strategies, according to new research published by Smart Growth America.

Fiscal impact analyses of three development scenarios in Nashville-Davidson County, TN (PDF) examines the public costs and benefits of three development scenarios in Nashville-Davidson County: The Gulch, a smart growth oriented development project; Lennox Village, a New Urbanist-style development in a ‘greenfield’ location; and Bradford Hills, a conventional suburban residential subdivision outside of the city.

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A view from the river: How the city of Nashville brought a neglected natural asset back to life


Cumberland Park, on Nashville, Tennessee’s Cumberland River waterfront. Photo courtesy of the Nashville Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency.

Nashville, Tennessee’s Cumberland River has long been viewed as an industrial thoroughfare for barges to transport cargo. But as the city looked to improve its downtown in the 1980s, it came to realize that the riverfront could be an incredible asset to its revitalization efforts.

“Riverfront revitalization got started about 25 years ago when we began to realize that the city had turned its back on the river,” said Rick Bernhardt, a Planning Executive at the City of Nashville.

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