Smart Growth America will meet with representatives of Macon-Bibb County, the Urban Development Authority, New Town Macon, Chamber of Commerce, Planning & Zoning, the Middle Georgia Regional Commission, Industrial Authority, Development Authority of Bibb County, and College Hill Alliance on April 15 and 16, 2015 as part of a free, grant-funded technical assistance program.

 

Residents and business owners are invited to learn more smart growth strategies at a public forum with Smart Growth America on April 15 at 5:30 p.m. in Commission Chambers at Government Center (700 Poplar Street). The workshop on April 16 will be held from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. in the fourth floor conference room in the Terminal Station at 200 Cherry Street.

Smart Growth America – a national nonprofit that advocates for better cities, towns, and neighborhoods — announced in December 2014 that Macon-Bibb was selected to receive this free technical assistance workshop. Through the support and guidance of our Strong Cities, Strong Communities Initiative team, Macon-Bibb developed an application that was one of 14 selected from more than 120 applications submitted from 35 states.

“Smart Growth America is committed to providing the tools and training to help community leaders keep their cities and towns livable, vibrant places,” said Roger Millar, Director of Smart Growth America’s Leadership Institute. “Macon-Bibb County is facing some important opportunities and challenges, so the time is ripe for a discussion of smart growth tools the community can employ to plan for future growth in the most strategic way.”

Macon-Bibb was the only city in Georgia selected for the program and was chosen because of a demonstrated need for education and assistance with sustainable growth strategies and best practices. With a renewed effort to revitalize its urban core through projects such as ongoing loft developments, the Second Street Corridor, and the Macon Action Plan, and successful efforts like the College Hill Corridor and NewTown Macon, Macon-Bibb expressed a need for assistance with ensuring efforts are linked, sustainable, and have an impact on the entire community. Macon-Bibb wants to help local businesses, the community, and government administrators clearly define parameters of smart growth strategies and polices.

About Smart Growth America’s Free Technical Assistance
Smart Growth America received more than 120 applications for technical assistance from 35 states for its 2015 workshops. The full list of winning communities includes: Cheyenne Metropolitan Planning Organization, WY; City of Bentonville, AR; City of Charlottesville, VA; City of Columbia, MO; City of Fort Pierre, SD; City of Franklin, TN; City of Indianapolis, IN; City of Knoxville, TN; City of Sanford, FL; City of SeaTac, WA; City of Spokane, WA; Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization, TN; Macon-Bibb County, GA; and Tucker County Planning Commission, WV.

The program, made possible through a five-year Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities grant from the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Sustainable Communities, seeks to develop local planning solutions that help communities grow in ways that benefit families and businesses, while protecting the environment and preserving a sense of place. One other nonprofit organization—the Project for Public Spaces—also currently has an active grant under this program to help communities get the kinds of development they want.

As a national leader in the field, Smart Growth America has accumulated extensive experience working with communities to help them use land strategically, make the most of existing resources and invest strategically to catalyze private development.

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 our communities, smart growth helps make sure people across the nation can live in great neighborhoods. For additional information visit www.smartgrowthamerica.org.

About the White House’s Strong Cities, Strong Communities Initiative
in Macon-Bibb County

On Thursday, January 16, 2014, the White House and the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced the expansion of the Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2) Initiative to seven additional cities, including Macon-Bibb County.

As a participant, a federal inter-agency expert team is working with Macon-Bibb County, community organizations, local businesses, and philanthropic foundations to advance our vision for economic growth and development. The primary goal is to help Macon-Bibb more effectively invest existing resources, provide advice, and expertise in support of local priorities, better align federal programs and investments, and facilitate new partnerships and peer learning opportunities wherever possible.

President Obama established SC2 in 2011as an innovative and flexible program designed to strengthen local capacity, coordinate federal investments, and spark growth in economically distressed communities. Federal inter-agency expert teams have been deployed to work alongside city leadership, community organizations, local businesses and philanthropic foundations to support the cities’ visions for economic growth and development. The primary goal is to help cities more effectively invest existing resources, provide advice and expertise in support of local priorities, better align federal programs and investments, and facilitate new partnerships and peer learning opportunities wherever possible.

The SC2 Initiative was developed through engagement with mayors, Members of Congress, foundations, nonprofits and other community partners who are committed to addressing the challenges facing local governments as they work to create economic opportunity for all residents. For more information about the SC2 Teams involvement and goals for the new locations, click here.  For more information about accomplishments of the initiative in the original pilot locations and policy insights that have surfaced as a result, please review the first SC2 Annual Report.