What Local Leaders Say About Smart Growth

What Local Leaders Say About Smart Growth

At a recent New Partners for Smart Growth conference the Local Leaders Council of Smart Growth America (Geoffrey Anderson’s group, who recently came to Silver Spring at an event hosted by Coalition for Smarter Growth) gave their take on smart growth and what it meant for their community. Here are some highlights:

As a former police officer and homicide detective, I know first hand the public safety implications of the built environment. We need more complete neighborhoods and eyes on the street for safety. – Mayor Pro-Tem Gonzalez (Houston, TX)

People said there was no point in putting sidewalks around their properties – they don’t link up anywhere. Well, they are starting to link up now. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. – Mayor Danner (Greer, SC)

Building political base for smart growth is also about engaging elected officials at state and federal levels and people on editorial boards. – Mayor Strickland (Tacoma, WA)

Bus has to be part of your strategy if you’re trying to create a walkable community that does all the things we aim for in smart growth. – County Board Member Zimmerman (Arlington, County)

Politicians who do not travel to other places, miss out on possibilities for their own community. – County Councilmember Eckman (Auburn, AL)

Naysayers make you sharpen your knives. – Mayor Mallory (Cincinnati, OH)

Creating more choices – that’s what smart growth is about; it’s no more complicated than that. – Councilmember Richins (Mesa, AZ)

One of the things that concerns me is we are not prepared to support people with transit options. Going forward we have to have a multi-modal approach to solve problems such as gridlock. – Mayor Moore (Franklin, TN)

Turning a smart growth vision into reality is not always easy, but it is important work. Public demand is stronger than ever for vibrant main streets, walkable downtowns and neighborhoods with more transportation and housing choices. – Mayor Avedisian (Warwick, RI)

When you have groups opposing each other, get them face to face, get coffee. Walls will start to come down. – Mayor McKinney (Kalamazoo, MI)

Once you get away from the politics and get down to the basic goals communities have, there is more agreement than not of what makes for a strong and sustainable community. – Mayor Engen (Missoula, MT)

For a few more quotes read the full post from Smart Growth America here.

Amy Donin

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