Types of Assistance
Greenbelt Alliance is offering the following seven types of technical assistance:
- Fiscal health and Infill Housing Guide – New homes can strain a city’s resources, yet building homes within already urbanized areas can be beneficial to a city’s fiscal health. Greenbelt Alliance will facilitate the development of a policy plan, tailored to a specific city, on how to build more housing in a way that is fiscally sustainable for that community and not a drain on resources. We will hold a workshop with city staff, provide a written assessment of funding mechanisms, and train staff on how to implement the recommended policies.
- Policy in Practice Forum – Contentious issues or common goals without a path forward can stall city leadership. Our Policy in Practice forum begins a dialogue among city staff and leaders, community organizations and residents on the issue facing a city. Greenbelt Alliance will work with the diverse groups to identify policy solutions, gather information, and listen. Greenbelt Alliance will then present key findings and facilitate a discussion. Where appropriate, we will bring in experts to help provide details and guidance. This type of forum is particularly useful when a city is interested in exploring a new tool such as a parking benefits district to promote smart growth and community benefits. Read about Walk the Talk forums as an example.
- Engaging the Next Generation in Planning – Often the residents who attend city meetings are more established members of a community. Using video and social media, Greenbelt Alliance will convey the benefits of smart, equitable growth and explain complex planning topics to a broad range of community members. Greenbelt Alliance staff will work with city staff to produce one or more videos, develop an outreach plan for a project or plan of the city’s choice, and train staff on how to implement the communications strategy. Watch a video example.
- Transit-Oriented Development Tours – Often the best way to help people envision a proposed development, especially one facing opposition, is to visit successful transit-oriented developments. Greenbelt Alliance will organize a day-long tour for residents, city staff, and community leaders. The tour can highlight reduced parking needs or affordable housing, or be more generally focused on the benefits of transit-oriented development. The Greenbelt Alliance tour will feature expert speakers, insider access to several developments, and opportunities to hear from people who call those places home. Read about a past tour.
- Open Space Policy Protection Audit – Cities that are updating general plans or making important decisions about where to allow development need to know the value of their land. Working with landowners, local governments, and developers, Greenbelt Alliance can apply our At Risk Mapper, which maps where natural resources are and potential development sites. Greenbelt Alliance will identify priority natural areas and working farms and forests. We will recommend approaches for protection such as urban growth boundaries, zoning changes, conservation easements and funding mechanisms.
- Great Neighborhoods Audit– What makes a place an attractive place to live? In conjunction with city staff, city leaders, and neighborhood leaders, Greenbelt Alliance will evaluate a neighborhood on criteria such as walk scores, housing affordability, access to services, parks proximity, and ease of commute. We will present the evaluation to city staff and others in a visioning session to help develop a smart growth plan, and provide next steps for the city to enhance the neighborhood in a sustainable, equitable manner for new and existing residents alike.
- Smart Growth Ambassador training series – Residents, particularly in areas traditionally underserved, may lack the skills needed to speak up for their needs and community. Greenbelt Alliance will provide a training series educating residents on how development, when done right, can benefit them. Those leaders can then serve as ambassadors for good planning and smart growth in their neighborhoods. The training can include: how to read an Environmental Impact Report, evaluate guidelines for development proposals, speak in public, talk with officials, and use Internet communication tools. Watch a training video.