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Useful Community Development: What's New

Here are the most recent important changes to our website, including new articles, visitor questions, and editors' answers. You'll also find links to significantly revised pages and time-sensitive or short items we want to bring to your attention. Sometimes we also add short items of interest, especially time-sensitive notes about conferences, webinars, or seasons.

Green Communities: Municipal Steps To Sustainability

Green communities improve quality of life by addressing climate change, energy savings, water pollution, transportation, and development patterns..

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Waterfront Redevelopment Rewards Are Worth the Hard Work

Waterfront redevelopment requires careful planning, but making your waterway a focal point instead of a grungy back door creates a new amenity and new wealth.

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Higher Education and Economic Development Agencies Can Partner

A community can rev up the links between higher education and economic development. Here are some ideas about how.

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Neighborhood Advocacy Captures City or State Attention for Your Issues

Position your organization for effective neighborhood advocacy for new legislation and programs that you need from your city or state government.

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Mixed-Income Housing Promotes Exciting Neighborhoods and Social Equity

A mixed-income housing stock increases equity and makes a neighborhood accessible to young and marginalized people, renews street life and energizes civic life.

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Redevelopment Re-Uses Land Creatively

Redevelopment of vacant, abandoned, or underutilized land can bring new vitality to a neighborhood or city. Downtown and mixed-use projects are good examples.

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The Environmental Justice Issue for Communities and Neighborhoods

This page promotes some methods of achieving environmental justice, in which sources of pollution are reduced or distributed evenly across communities.

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Wind Turbine Zoning and Your Municipal Ordinance

Wind turbine zoning, including commercial and rooftop generation, will be common topics of discussion in the next few years. Learn more here.

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Code Enforcement Is Vital in Enhancing Property Values and Standards

Quality code enforcement programs are critical to neighborhoods that want to maintain property values and preserve or improve existing buildings.

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Vacant Building Registration Motivates Owners to Take Faster Action

Vacant building registration ordinances lead to better data, revenue to address related issues, and importantly, a big incentive to reuse buildings promptly.

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Inclusionary Zoning May Produce Below Market Rate Housing

Inclusionary zoning means assuring that the local zoning ordinance is flexible enough to allow production of new below-market-rate housing.

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Local Design Guidelines in Planning and Zoning

Local design guidelines are the most legally defensible way for local governments to regulate materials, colors, and other design choices for buildings.

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Brownfields Can Be Reclaimed through Environmental Clean-Up

Brownfields are sites lacking redevelopment because of the real or perceived need for an environmental clean-up. This page explains available programs.

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Numerous Small Town Ordinance Violations

Visitor Question: The neighbors got together and revoked the CC&R's during a law suit to clean up the properties. We are now under the local County's

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Artificial Floating Islands Clean Water, Attract Beneficial Wildlife

We interview Autumn Boos of Midwest Floating Islands about the environmental benefits of deploying artificial islands, and explain a bit about how they work.

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