Smart Growth America releases report on best practices for rural mobility

Smart Growth America has just released a new report An Active Roadmap: Best Practices in Rural Mobility that discusses rural transportation needs and challenges along with success stories from rural and small town communities across the country. It explores the different ways that rural communities can adapt to thrive in a changing America, with a primary focus on active and multimodal modes of transportation as a tool.

The press release announcing the publication lists some interesting statistics:

  • More than 1 million rural American households are without cars.
  • Older adults who no longer drive make 15% fewer trips to the doctor, 59% fewer trips to shop or eat out, and 65% fewer trips to visit friends and family, than drivers of the same age.
  • While close to 19% of the US population lives in rural areas, they account for 49% of all traffic deaths.

The report itself is organized into four sections (1) defining rural typologies, (2) identifying the unique needs and challenges of rural communities, (3) strategies for successful multimodal transportation in rural communities, and (4) recommendations for success.

IGFI Annual Fiscal Condition Reports for 2016 Released

The Iowa Government Finance Initiative (IGFI) Annual Fiscal Conditions report, for the Fiscal Year Ending 2016 for all 945 cities and 99 counties in Iowa have just been released. The reports provide an alternate perspective on local government finances and trends. The information in these reports will help local elected and appointed officials during their budgetary and planning processes.

These reports can be a valuable resource to communities in Iowa to keep tabs on economic, demographic, and fiscal changes taking place and to plan for the future. This is the fifth year of publication for these reports. While there have been some changes to the way data is presented, the information remains the same. These reports can be accessed on the Iowa Government Finance Initiative website.

IGFI is the public finance outreach wing of ISU Extension and Outreach. It provides resources and works with Iowa governments on a host of issues including finance and community economic development. The team working on county reports this year consists of Biswa Das, Cindy Kendall, Bailey Hanson, Liesl Eathington, May Beth Sprouse, Sandra Oberbroeckling, and Sandra Burke.

Questions on the report can be sent to Biswa Das at

Brookings publishes study on the economics of walkable places

Christopher Leinberger (keynote at last year’s Upper Midwest APA conference) and Mariela Alfonso have published Walk this Way:The Economic Promise of Walkable Places in Metropolitan Washington, D.C. Using a set of measures to assess the walkability of a sample of Washington, D.C. neighborhoods, the authors conducted an analysis of the economic health of these neighborhoods.  Among their findings: (a) walkable places perform better economically; (b) walkable places near other walkable places perform better economically; (c) residents of  walkable places have lower transportation costs and higher transit access; (d) residents of walkable places generally have higher housing costs; and (e) residents of places with poor walkability are generally less affluent and have lower educational attainment than places with good walkability.  The authors also make several recommendations that they argue will increase the incentives for developers to build walkable neighborhoods in urban areas.





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