Building from conversations with business, civic and elected leaders in communities throughout the country, Transportation for America has developed a platform of seven broad policies to reboot the nation’s federal transportation program and put it, and the nation, on a sound footing.
This paper focuses on one of the most promising strategies water utilities can use to develop broad public support: Embracing triple-bottom-line outcomes that deliver community benefits like jobs, business opportunities, green space, safer and more beautiful streets, and other local amenities. Selected policies and programs designed to catalyze community and economic development allow water utilities to show the public that they provide efficient and environmentally beneficial infrastructure that fosters local economic and social improvements.
Published By: Green for All
Download Related Document(s): Clean Water, Strong Communities
America has a serious problem with combined sewer overflows. In responding to this environmental and public health menace, many regions are using innovative “green infrastructure” or “blue economy” approaches in addition to traditional “gray infrastructure” such as pipes and reservoirs. According to PUSH Buffalo’s new report, funded in part by the Surdna Foundation, these new methods offer many environmental benefits and cost efficiencies and can be a potent source of jobs – including entry level jobs. This report outlines ways for community-based organizations to seize these opportunities, both by advocating for green infrastructure and by developing social enterprises that do stormwater management work at a neighborhood level. It is designed for non-profit groups, policy makers, and funders interested in the intersection of sustainability, neighborhood redevelopment, and job creation and the possibility of a triple win in all three areas.
Published By: PUSH Buffalo
Download Related Document(s): Building the Blue Economy
As Americans contend with soaring healthcare costs and the enormous gap between what we pay for treatment and its quality and effectiveness, a new report highlights the impact of the arts on patient care and community well-being.
Creative Minds in Medicine published by Community Partnership for Arts and Culture (CPAC), and supported through a grant from Surdna Foundation, uses a series of case studies in Cleveland, Ohio to detail the critically important ways in which the area’s arts and culture sector intersects with the region’s world-class healthcare and human services sector to benefit patients. The new report identifies best practices in the intersection of arts and health, and offers a set of policy and practice recommendations for increasing the incorporation of the arts into healthcare services.
Published By: Community Partnership for Arts and Culture
Download Related Document(s): Creative Minds in Medicine
Some places in the United States are sprawling out, some places are building in compact and connected ways, and the difference between these two strategies affects the lives of millions of Americans.
In 2002, Smart Growth America, A Surdna grantee, released Measuring Sprawl and Its Impact, a landmark study that has been widely used by researchers to examine the costs and benefits of sprawling development. In peer-reviewed research, sprawl has been linked to physical inactivity, obesity, traffic fatalities, poor air quality, residential energy use, emergency response times, teenage driving, lack of social capital and private-vehicle commute distances and times.
Measuring Sprawl 2014 updates that research and analyzes development patterns in 221 metropolitan areas and 994 counties in the United States as of 2010, looking to see which communities are more compact and connected and which are more sprawling. Researchers used four primary factors—residential and employment density; neighborhood mix of homes, jobs and services; strength of activity centers and downtowns; and accessibility of the street network—to evaluate development in these areas and assign a Sprawl Index score to each. This report includes a list of the most compact and most sprawling metro areas in the country.
This report also examines how index scores relate to life in that community. The researchers found that several quality of life factors improve as Sprawl Index scores rise. Individuals in compact, connected metro areas have greater economic mobility. Individuals in these areas spend less on the combined cost of housing and transportation, and have greater options for the type of transportation to take. In addition, individuals in compact, connected metro areas tend to live longer, safer, healthier lives than their peers in metro areas with sprawl. Obesity is less prevalent in compact counties, and fatal car crashes are less common.
Finally, this report includes specific examples of how communities are building to be more connected and walkable, and how policymakers at all levels of government can support their efforts.
Published By: Smart Growth America
Download Related Document(s): Measuring Sprawl 2014
New sources of mission-driven private capital could step up to support community development where traditional sources of financing are withdrawing.
All but four states now post at least partial information online showing which companies are receiving economic development subsidies. But the quality and depth of that disclosure varies widely, both among and within states. Three-fourths of major state development programs still fail to disclose actual jobs created or workers trained, and only one in eleven discloses wages actually paid. The best disclosure practices are found in Illinois and Michigan, but even their scores would be near-failing as report card grades. These are the key findings of Show Us the Subsidized Jobs, a report issued today by Good Jobs First, a non-profit, non-partisan research center based in Washington, DC.
State departments of transportation (DOTs) are spending more money building new roads than maintaining the ones they have—despite the fact that roads are crumbling, financial liabilities are mounting and conditions are not improving for America’s drivers.
In a majority minority state, California banks obtained less than eight percent of the goods and services they procured in 2012 from businesses owned by African Americans, Latinos, Asians or Native Americans.
In Solving Local, the Wallace Center presents five examples of established regional food hubs. Each is a leader in this emerging industry sector.
Fostering sustainable communities in the United States — communities guided by principles of social justice and distinguished by healthy environments, strong local economies, and thriving cultures.