HOT SPRINGS, AR -- Smart Growth America recently selected Hot Springs as one of 18 communities to receive the organization’s 2014 free smart growth technical assistance program. Hot Springs will receive a one- or two-day training session with an expert from Smart Growth America on the Complete Streets tool. This technical assistance is made possible through a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities program.
“Our residents tell us how important it is to them to be able to get around town in a variety of ways,” said City Manager David Watkins. “Lots of people here -- especially kids and seniors --aren't able, or choose not, to drive. Top tier cities across the country are addressing this through something called ‘Complete Streets.’ The Smart Growth America technical assistance grant offers the city a unique, no-cost opportunity to examine current street design and policies with residents, staff and elected officials with guidance from consultants experienced in addressing the challenges communities face in meeting their transportation and livability needs.”
“Smart Growth America is committed to providing the tools and training to help community leaders keep their cities and towns livable, sustainable and vital places,” said Roger Millar, Vice President of Smart Growth America’s Leadership Institute. “We are excited about working with each of these communities to develop local solutions that support thriving places now and for generations to come.”
Smart Growth America received nearly 100 applications for technical assistance from 40 states. While all of the applications were worthy, the 18 communities selected to receive technical assistance exhibited the strongest interest in, and need for, smart growth tools, while clearly demonstrating a commitment from local business, community and political leaders to implement local smart growth solutions.
Past technical assistance workshops focused on issues including transit-oriented development, Complete Streets, smart growth zoning, parking management, economic development and fiscal health and transportation performance measurement, among others.
The other winning communities are: City of Emmett, ID; City of Green River, WY; City of Huntington, WV; City of Indianapolis, IN: City of Memphis, TN; City of Portsmouth, NH; City of Salisbury, MD; City of San Diego, CA; County of Kauai, HI; Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, IA; East Central Florida Regional Planning Council, FL; Fort Peck Assiniboine & Sioux Tribes of Poplar, MT; Kenosha County, WI; Person County, NC; North Central Texas Council of Governments, TX; Pasco County, FL; and Town of Queensbury, NY.
About Smart Growth America’s free technical assistance
Smart Growth America offers 12 “ready-to-go” technical assistance tools that help communities build stronger local economies, protect the environment, preserve sense of place, and improve overall quality of life. The technical assistance is funded through a grant to Smart Growth America from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Sustainable Communities under their Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities program. The Building Blocks program funds quick, targeted assistance to communities that face common development problems.
Smart Growth America is the only national organization dedicated to researching, advocating for and leading coalitions to bring smart growth practices to more communities nationwide. From providing more sidewalks to ensuring more homes are built near public transportation or that productive farms remain a part of their communities, smart growth helps make sure people across the nation can live in great neighborhoods. For information, visit www.smartgrowthamerica.org .