The City of Long Beach published their Economic Development Blueprint - a 10-year plan for economic success. Learn how the city is using their Economic Insights Dashboard to make sure city staff and leadership can focus on implementation and keeping the momentum going.
There has been a lot of talk about walkability recently. Research links walkability with safer, healthier communities, but obviously, not all cities currently enjoy highly walkable neighborhoods. The good news is that more and more cities are beginning to think seriously about investing in more walkable infrastructure. This trend is leading many planners and community leaders to consider questions like: How does one evaluate walkability in the first place? And what kinds of improvements can we make NOW? Both are great questions! To get started, below we’ve listed some simple ways to increase walkability in your city.
What happened in Flint was a tragedy — but what many people don’t realize is that most lead exposure occurs not from contaminated water, but from peeling lead paint in older homes. Before his death, Freddie Gray was found to have 35 micrograms of lead in his blood, which is seven times the amount that can impair brain development. Children who are poisoned by lead — often in older homes with peeling lead paint, as in Freddie Gray’s case — are six times more likely to end up in the juvenile justice system or display criminal behavior, and seven times more likely to drop out of school.
Building permit data can reveal a lot about a city or community. Places with fast-growing economies tend to have a higher demand for construction. Overall, building permits—particularly those that are residential—are extremely useful in estimating (and even projecting) city growth and change, including student growth rates, job counts, population growth, and overall economic well being. For these reasons, mySidewalk recently added building permit data to the tool. Now you can gather this data for your own city—and use it to find places of high growth as well as places that could use an economic boost.
Alex Hutchinson, economic development specialist for Smart Growth America, has been working to tackle the lack of internet connectivity in Appalachian communities. Places that struggle with access to high-speed internet often face economic roadblocks as a result. A lack of internet connection can severely stunt a community’s growth. Read how he's using data to learn more about these places and help get them connected.