Anchorage Wins Competitive Award to Plan for Economic and Fiscal Health

12/2/2015
Mayor's Corner

ANCHORAGE – Community efforts to make downtown Anchorage a more walkable, attractive destination have helped Anchorage win a national competitive award.

Smart Growth America—a national nonprofit that advocates for better cities, towns, and neighborhoods—announced today that the Municipality of Anchorage is among 7 winning communities that will receive a free technical assistance workshop in 2016. Through the program, Anchorage will receive hands-on assistance from national experts to plan for the economic and fiscal health of our community.

“We face fiscal challenges from declining oil prices, and it is imperative that our community become resilient through economic diversification, strategic development, and redevelopment efforts, that supports entrepreneurial activity,” said Mayor Ethan Berkowitz. “Technical assistance from Smart Growth America will be a valuable tool for our community to achieve that resiliency.”

The workshops offered by Smart Growth America focus on a range of issues, including transit-oriented development, Complete Streets, smart growth zoning, economic development and fiscal health, parking management and regional planning for small communities, among other topics.

“This award is a testament to the hard work Anchorage has already done,” said John Robert Smith, Smart Growth America’s Senior Policy Advisor. “Our program was more competitive this year than ever before, and the Municipality of Anchorage stood out as a community doing great work. We’re excited to be able to help you continue on to the next stage of this work.”

"Downtown Anchorage has languished, missing residential and commercial development goals in the Anchorage Downtown Comprehensive Plan," said Jamie Boring, Board President of Anchorage Downtown Partnership, Ltd. "This is in spite of—and contrary to—high demand for mixed-use development in walkable and vibrant neighborhoods like downtown."

Smart Growth America received over 68 applications for technical assistance from 34 states for its 2016 workshops. The full list of winning communities includes: the Municipality of Anchorage, AK; City of Seattle, WA; City of Huntsville, AL; City of Kansas City, MO; City of Longwood, FL; City of Royal Oak, MI; and the City of North Little Rock, AR.

For more information, contact Christopher Schutte at (907) 343-7133.

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