Smart Growth in the Midwest: An Overview of Policies and Practice

Is “Smart Growth” a relevant term in the Midwest? How has the concept influenced planning and development in the America’s heartland, and how do current practices compare to notions of smart growth as established by the American Planning Association and the experience of planners in other parts of the country? This Smart Growth Network webinar explores these questions through the lens of consultant planners working in rural and urban communities across Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Watch on YouTube... Read more

Using Form-Based Codes to Create Vibrant, Walkable Communities

This Smart Growth Network webinar explains how communities are using form-based codes to create vibrant, walkable places. Chris Zimmerman of the Form-Based Codes Institute and Smart Growth America draws upon his experience in Arlington, Virginia to explain what form-based codes are, how they work and, most importantly, why they matter to planners and public officials who want to create walkable communities. Arlington County used FBC as part of an effort to transform Columbia Pike from an auto-oriented corridor into a lively Main Street... Read more

Planning for Profitable Agriculture and Sustainable Food Systems

How can local and state governments take stock of their rural resource-based industries, assess where these industries are headed, and determine how to support local farm-to-table commerce? Two recent studies in Maryland examine these questions and explain why planners throughout the country should care about these issues. In this webinar, Joe Tassone (of the Maryland Department of Planning) and Greg Bowen (of Land Stewardship Solutions) discuss “The Future of Sustainable Farming and Forestry in Maryland” (also the name of one... Read more

Fostering Smart Growth in Rural Communities

The vitality of rural communities has become a focus of national debate as policymakers and stakeholders pursue strategies to create more jobs in rural areas. The success of these efforts will depend upon political will, capacity building and workforce development. In this Smart Growth Network webinar, Kendra Briechle of the Conservation Fund looks at how rural communities are carrying out smart growth principles by investing in their downtowns, expanding transportation choices, creating economic opportunities and protecting the cultural and natural... Read more

Placemaking is Economic Development

After years of economic decline, Michigan’s cities needed rebuilding, but officials knew they had to take a new approach if they wanted their communities to be economically sustainable. Recognizing the potential of placemaking to attract and retain talented workers and businesses, Michigan is using strategic placemaking (combining the tools of smart growth and new urbanism) to target places and accelerate revitalization. In this webinar, experts Jim Tischler and Mark Wyckoff explained how strategic placemaking and broad stakeholder participation is improving... Read more

Economic Health Means Business: The Fort Collins Story

What do brews, beauty and bikes have to do with the Fort Collins, Colorado, economy? Everything. Fort Collins is at the forefront of a paradigm shift in economic development. In fact, this city of 160,000 residents in North Central Colorado intentionally uses the term “economic health” instead of “economic development” to better reflect its objective of long-term community vitality. The city’s 2015 Economic Health Strategic Plan outlines basic tenets of an economically healthy, sustainable economy: residents can find employment and... Read more

Webinar: The Economic and Fiscal Benefits of Walkable, Bikeable City and Town Centers

This webinar features the experiences of six U.S. cities in creating or increasing the walkability and bicycle-friendliness of their downtown areas. The cities profiled include small towns (Grandview, MO and West Jefferson, NC); medium-sized cities (Orlando, FL, Redmond, WA and Lancaster, CA) and large cities (the Bronx in NYC, Cleveland, OH, and Charlotte, NC). The webinar focuses on the implemented strategies, the resulting increases in walkability and bikeability, and the economic and fiscal benefits of each project. View slides View sources... Read more

Webinar: Why Do Old Places Matter?

Thank you to everyone who joined the Smart Growth Information Clearinghouse as we hosted our first webinar. Below, you will find the full presentations from our webinar speakers. Inspired by the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s series of essays exploring the role that historic places play in everyday life, this webinar examines the fundamental and pragmatic reasons that old places are good for people. Join three international historic preservation experts as they discuss how old places give people a sense of continuity... Read more