Best Practices

American Planning Association

The American Planning Association provides leadership in the development of vital communities by advocating excellence in community planning, promoting education and citizen empowerment, and providing the tools and support necessary to meet the challenges of growth and change.

Planning and Economic Development Toolkit

A standard planning process starts with goals (values, principles, a vision) and then looks at actions (strategies, policies, investments, initiatives) that seem to increase the odds of achieving that vision and do so in an affordable and cost-effective way.

GIS Planning, Inc.

GIS Planning, Inc. is the trusted leader and inventor of web-based geographic information systems (GIS) which foster enhanced economic development. As the International Economic Development Council’s (IEDC) official and exclusive partner for online property listings, demographics and online mapping products and services, GIS Planning services clients from government, business and community organizations.

List of a few Partners:

Chicago Community Ventures
Greater Oklahoma City, The Urban Horizon
Metro Denver GIS Economic Development Corporation
Pearland Prospector, Pearland, TX
Greater Waco Chamber

Dallas, Texas

City of Dallas Housing Department

Current Efforts:
Urban Land Bank Demonstration Program – The Plan
The 2003 Texas Urban Land Bank Demonstration act provides and opportunity for Dallas to address the dual needs of insufficient affordable housing and older neighborhoods at risk. The Act allows the governing body of a municipality to adopt an urban land bank demonstration program in which the officer charged with selling real property ordered sold pursuant to a foreclosure of tax lien may sell certain eligible real property by private sale for purposes of affordable housing development.
Mapping Application

University of Texas at Dallas

Social and Economic Impacts– A presentation by Jim Murdoch and Judy Mays, September 20, 2008

City of Houston

Housing and Community Development

Current Efforts:
Land Assemblage Redevelopment Authority
The Land Assemblage Redevelopment Authority (LARA) is a 13-member board appointed by the Mayor, City Council, Harris County and the Housing Independent School District. The LARA Authority is organized for the purposes of aiding, assisting and acting on behalf of the City in the performance of its governmental functions to promote the common good and general welfare of the City and in undertaking and completing one or more projects, as may be defined or determined by the City Council of the City.

Houston HOPE Home

City of Austin

Neighborhood Housing and Community Development

The Mission of the City of Austin’s Neighborhood Housing and Community Development is to provide housing, community development, and small business development services to benefit eligibile residents so they can have access to livable neighborhoods and increase their opporunities for self-sufficiency.

Current Efforts:
S.M.A.R.T. Housing™
The S.M.A.R.T. Housing™ (Safe, Mixed-income, Accessible, Reasonably-priced, Transit-oriented) policy initiative is designed to stimulate the production of affordable housing for low and moderate income residents of Austin. S.M.A.R.T. Housing™ meets the City’s Green Building standards and is located in neighborhoods throughout Austin.

Austin Revitalization Authority
The Austin Revitalization Authority (ARA) is the Central East Austin community working to restore the cultural and economic viability of our neighborhoods. We are a private, non-profity community development corporation whose board of directors mirrors our community. The mission of the Austin Revitalization Authority is to respect the people, institutions, cultures and history of East Austin; restore a sense of hope and pride in the East End community; and revitalize the area’s commercial, residential and social components in a manner that promotes diversity, stability and prosperity.

City of Akron, OH

Planning and Urban Development

The Department of Planning and Urban Development is dedicated to the continuous renewal and maintenance of the Akron Community. We promote high standards for residential, commercial, recreational and community development so that the quality of the built environment enriches all of our lives. The Department looks forward to involving and serving our citizens to make the neighborhoods where we live, work and play true places of the heart.

Land Marketing
The City of Akron has numerous VACANT LOTS FOR SALE (under certain restrictions) to adjacent property owners or to private developers. These lots, located throughout city neighborhoods, allows adjacent owners to increase the size of their home lot (often sub-standard under today’s restrictions) or may be sold to developers for new home construction. The sale of these lots releases the property from City maintenance, while returning the property ot a tax generating status. The vacant lots available for sale may have been acquired under the Community Development Program or the Land Reutilization Program (property acquired by the City of Akron that was foreclosed because of non-payment of taxes). The City of Akron evaluates each lot to determine the best use of the lot with preference given to residential and economic development activities.

City of Minnetonka, MN

Community Commission

In March 2005, a dedicated group of volunteers began to plan the city of Minnetonka’s 50th anniversary activities for 2006. Over the following 18 months, this committee had great success in creating mutually beneficial partnerships among the city, school districts, community and faith organizations, and businessess. Once the 50th anniversary activities were complete, there was a desire to continue these partnerships and to engage the community in meaningful activities. Click here for more information.


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