Aligning Economic Incentives to Create REAL Smart Growth

Past and Future Road Signs

By Rick Rybeck, Director, Just Economics

If smart growth is so smart, how come there’s so much dumb growth? 

Economic incentives for sprawl are partly to blame. If we understand the economic incentives for sprawl, the remedies become clear. Properly applied, these remedies can create jobs, enhance housing affordability and reduce tax burdens.


Tackling Low Wages and Gentrification in a Livable City


By Jay Walljasper

Asheville traveled pretty far down the same path as most American cities in the 1970s and 80s with a dwindling downtown and booming suburbs. All the boarded up buildings gave rise to a proposal to tear down eleven square blocks downtown and construct a state-of-the-art shopping mall. Plans fell through and the mall was build elsewhere, hurting downtown even more in the short run but setting the state for a remarkable revival.


The CEO As Urban Statesman: Harnessing the Power of CEOs to Make Cities Thrive

Metro cities are the drivers of our nation’s economy and will contain 80% of the population by 2020.  They are complex geographic, social, political and economic regions.  With a multitude of local governments, issues such as infrastructure, healthcare and economic development frequently bog down in political standoffs. 


Tame Your Data With Metrics and Dashboards

From big data to open data, the discussion of digital data is a hot topic for cities right now. And for good reason, digital data promises to improve decision making by understanding the health of our cities while increasing transparency to citizens and stakeholders. While the use of data has long played a critical role in cities, new technology continues to enable previously unimagined sources and uses of data.


How to Leverage Design to Build the Digital City

Digital city

HD MADE works with clients to reimagine how they integrate digital into every part of their organization, programs and neighborhoods. Michael Martin, place-based innovation lead at HD MADE, discusses how a community gets there, what that looks like and what to do next.


To Make Your Community Healthier, Make It Denser


In the wake of 9/11, author Stephen Johnson wrote in Wired that "density kills" and advocated turning to the decentralized vision of Frank Lloyd Wright’s 1939 Broadacre City as a way of protecting Americans in the future. As it turns out, he got it backwards: Density saves lives. The contemporary affinity for higher-density, mixed-use, walkable places in cities and suburbs alike arguably represents the single most significant contribution to public health — for those who can afford them — since World War II.


What States Should Do to Keep Their Cities Out of Bankruptcy

To head off problems before they become crises, do states need to monitor their local governments' finances and borrowing practices? Susan K. Urahn, Executive Vice President of the Pew Charitable Trusts, weighs in on the topic with a guest post.


A Cycle of Positive Development

Colleges and universities have recognized their potential to be the heart of their respective cities and to serve a greater purpose than mere education.


Zimpher’s Work Earns Presidential Praise

Nancy Zimpher, Chancellor of the State University of New York and immediate past Board Chair for CEOs for Cities, was called “Obama’s favorite college leader” in an article published last week.


Repurposing Urban Roadways for More Than Just Cars in the Midwest

Photo from flickr user citymaus

Cities throughout the United States are redesigning their roadways to accommodate multiple means of transportation.