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Smart Growth America believes that everyone in America—no matter their age, ability, income, or race—deserves the option to live somewhere affordable, convenient, beautiful, and safe. And America’s towns and cities deserve investment, stewardship, and supportive, thriving communities.
We believe that art and culture play a crucial role in supporting this vision by providing an organizing force for residents, business owners, and other stakeholders to work towards strengthening neighborhoods, by revealing the authentic character of communities, and by connecting citizens with decision makers to collectively pursue smart, equitable policies and projects.
While there are countless examples of transportation projects that incorporate arts and culture that have succeeded independently of SGA, many of which we highlight across this guide, SGA also leads and supports projects and programs that train artists and transportation professionals to collaborate, bring together practitioners to share best practices on succeeding in this interdisciplinary space, and support on the ground transportation improvements with a focus on creativity and equity.
Recognized as a tool for pioneering innovative and creative solutions, some artist-in-residence programs have been piloted at the city level. SGA helped create the first two statewide artists-in-residence in Washington and Minnesota. Learn more.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, SGA created the Arts & Transportation Rapid Response initiative to pair transportation agencies with artists to develop creative solutions to pandemic-related transportation challenges. Learn more.
T4America partnered with six communities over a number of years to incorporate artistic and cultural practice into the planning and design of transportation projects, with a focus on expanding transportation opportunities and local control for low-income people, recent immigrants, and people of color living in disinvested communities. Learn more.
Transportation for America partnered with Americans for the Arts to create a do-it-yourself toolkit for helping communities integrate artistic and cultural practices into transportation projects and equip local arts and transportation agencies to better collaborate with each other. Learn more.
As an extension of the SOTA training above, T4America created this fellowship to help professionals increase their knowledge of transportation planning and design, and develop creative placemaking skills to better integrate artistic and cultural practices in transportation projects—and equipping them to help others do the same. Learn more.
This rigorous national examination of creative placemaking in the transportation planning process, released in partnership with ArtPlace America, identifies ways that transportation professionals can integrate artists to deliver transportation projects more smoothly, improve safety, and build community support. Read the full field scan.
In 2018, Smart Growth America’s Arts & Culture program partnered with the National Complete Streets Coalition and the Urban Land Institute to host the first-ever conference focused on creative placemaking and Complete Streets. Learn more.