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Guest on The Infra Blog: Geoffrey Anderson, President and CEO, Smart Growth America

Posted by Content Coordinator on Wednesday, July 29th, 2015

Geoffrey Anderson - Photo by Aimee Custis, www.aimeecustis.comGeoffrey Anderson is the President and CEO of Smart Growth America. Named by Partners for Livable Communities as “One of the 100 Most Influential Leaders in Sustainable Community Planning and Development,” Geoff came to his current position after eight years heading the Smart Growth Program at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Geoff helped to found the smart growth movement as one of the authors of the foundational 10 smart growth principles.

Smart Growth America advocates for people who want to live and work in great neighborhoods. They recently published the report Core Values: Why American Companies Are Moving Downtownexamining the characteristics, motives, and preferences of companies that have either relocated, opened new offices, or expanded in walkable downtowns between 2010 and 2015.

Infrastructure Needs More than a Band-Aid
Infrastructure is an issue where you have to have long-term solutions so that you can do long-term planning and build for competitiveness over the course of decades, not a course of months…the American people know it; it just isn’t being reflected in the leadership.

Congress Needs to Realize What States Already Know
It is amazing to see what local governments and states have done, and how much they have responded. Some of that is amazing in terms of their pro-activeness, and then some is less amazing because it’s become so desperate that they really had to do something, and unlike Congress, they didn’t have the luxury of kicking the issue off another two years without thinking about the longer term.

We’re Idly Watching Our Infrastructure Crumble
Our transportation systems, our water and sewer systems, our power and electric grid: all of those really suffer from delays in maintenance, from basically resting on the laurels of investments made by previous generations…You can save nine dollars for every dollar of maintenance you put in if you can do just the basic maintenance on a road or a bridge or on your water and sewer rather than having to replace the whole thing later.

Smart Growth America: Making Communities Better
…the economic development model is changing away from a kind of smoke-stack chasing economy to one where you’re chasing knowledge and talent, and that knowledge and talent is able to make choices about where they live, and they’re increasingly choosing on the basis of quality of life, quality of place, quality of housing and transportation choices.

Download full transcript (PDF): Geoffrey Anderson on The Infra Blog

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