Call for Nominations! 2017 Grow Smart Awards

We’re announcing the 2017 Grow Smart Awards Call for Nominations!

Every year since 2005 we have presented the Grow Smart Awards to celebrate planning and development efforts around Idaho that exhibit outstanding implementation of smart growth

We are now seeking nominations for the 2017 awards. Nominations can be for buildings, plans, open spaces, studies and any other example of smart growth in action.We encourage nominations from anyone, for projects and plans of all types and sizes, and from throughout the state.

You can download the nomination instructions here and the required cover sheet here. For more information contact us at or call 208-333-8066.

And mark your calendars now for the 2017 Grow Smart Awards event on Thursday, November 16 at the Owyhee in downtown Boise!

Idaho Gives!

Idaho Gives, the annual online giving event to support nonprofits throughout Idaho, is here!  Your generous donations help us bring people together to create great places to live.  Visit our Idaho Gives page here.  Thank you for your support!

Idaho Smart Growth Elects New Board Members

The Idaho Smart Growth Board of Directors announces the election of three new board members at its January meeting!  To learn more about our new board members click here


John Franden is a consultant living in Eagle.  He is a retired ACHD commissioner and Boise State University executive.

R Magee (2)

Renée Magee retired as planning director for the city of Idaho Falls.  She was the 2016 recipient of the Idaho Smart Growth Charles Hummel Award.


Sarah Martz lives in Boise.  She is the project coordinator for the Harris Ranch mixed-use development.

2017 Citizens Planning Academy Series

We invite you to the first session of our 2017 Citizens Planning Academy series!

Planning is more than balancing property rights and regulation: Successful Communities Plan for Their Future

Professor Jaap Vos, PhD. will lead a discussion on the purpose and value of planning.

When: Wednesday, February 1st
6:00 PM – 7:30 PM

Where:  University of Idaho College of Law in the Idaho Law Learning Center (514 W. Jefferson Street, Room 136).  Please use the eastern entrance.  Parking is available behind the building on the eastern side in the spots marks “visitor.”

For more information and a listing of this year’s sessions please click here

2016 Grow Smart Awards a big success!

Friends and advocates of smart growth gathered in the hundreds at the Owyhee on November 17 to celebrate the 2016 Grow Smart Awards. More information on this year’s awards is available in the brochure here: 2016 Grow Smart Awards Brochure

Attendees from Idaho Falls pictured below are Renee Magee (right), the 2016 recipient of the Charles Hummel award, and Virginia Willard (left), of the Idaho Falls Arts Council, who collected the Redevelopment Award for the Willard Arts Center and Colonial Theater.


Charles Hummel

Charles H.We were saddened to learn of the passing of Charles Hummel at home on Oct. 22. Charles was a co-founder, president and longtime board member of Idaho Smart Growth, whose storied career as an architect, historic preservationist and citizen included a steadfast commitment to smart growth principles. (More about Charles’ life and work is in his obituary.) We are deeply grateful for the leadership Charles gave to this organization and will miss his stewardship for years to come.

The board of Idaho Smart Growth each year pays tribute to Charles through the Charles Hummel Award, honoring an individual who demonstrates the same dedication to smart growth, and who exemplifies Charles’ personal integrity and contributions to Idaho’s quality of life. The award is given at the annual Grow Smart Awards celebration; the first recipient in 2010 was Charles himself. (This year’s Grow Smart Awards is on Nov. 17; more info here.)

Anyone wishing to make a donation in memory of Charles Hummel may do so directly through the office, or online through our secure donations page here. You can leave comments which will be shared with his family.

Thank you for helping carry on Charles’ work.

ISG announces Grow Smart Awards recipients

For Immediate Release: Idaho Smart Growth Announces 2016 Grow Smart Awards
Date: October 19, 2016
Contact: Scot Oliver or Deanna Smith – 208-333-8066

Idaho Smart Growth announces the recipients of the 2016 Grow Smart Awards, to be presented at its annual awards celebration on Thursday, November 17, at the Owyhee in Boise. The public is invited; tickets and more information are available from Idaho Smart Growth (333-8066 or online at

Smart growth strategies build communities that return positive social, environmental and economic benefits to residents, business and visitors alike. For the past twelve years Idaho Smart Growth has celebrated projects from around the state that are excellent examples of smart growth. Nominations are reviewed and selected by a jury of experts for their strong application of smart growth principles.

This year’s awards include roads that have been reimagined as places for people, plans created with regional stakeholder input and developments that bring vitality back to downtowns around the state.

2016 Award Recipients:

Martin Luther King, Jr. Way Livability & Storm Water Project; Pocatello – Transportation Award
This main road through Idaho State University was redesigned to serve pedestrians and transit better as well as to improve safety for all users. Landscape and green storm water treatments complete the improvements.

Blaine County Community Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan; Blaine County – Citizen Advocacy Award
This plan has implementation strategies in place and some elements have already been implemented. Kudos for tackling bike/ped planning at the regional level and conducting a health impact assessment as part of the process.

Willard Arts Center and Colonial Theater; Idaho Falls – Redevelopment Award
The project is a great example of infill redevelopment that includes historic preservation. More than a decade in the making, it clearly has succeeded in bringing more people downtown, stimulating cultural activity and economic vibrancy.

Teton View Regional Plan for Sustainable Development; Teton County – Planning & Policy Award
A high level of involvement and commitment is shown by the many players brought together to make this happen. The plan provides clear direction for the region’s growth and addresses regional resources beyond land use with an eye toward sustainability.

Idaho Avenue Placemaking; Meridian – Redevelopment Award
This is an example of the catalytic nature of the lighter, quicker, cheaper placemaking approach that helps trigger community development quickly. The first project to be implemented from Meridian’s Placemaking Downtown Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper action plan is an excellent example of repurposing underutilized road right-of-way to another use.

36 Oak; Garden City – Infill Award
NeighborWorks Boise is using infill as an approach to providing affordable housing and live/work options. This is a good example of cottage-style single-family infill that increases density somewhat without overwhelming the surrounding neighborhood and does a good job of fulfilling Garden City’s comprehensive plan.

Vista Avenue Healthy Corridor; Boise – Citizen Advocacy Award
Grow Smart Awards have never previously recognized a study, however this one by the Urban Land Institute showed very good community engagement and collaboration with the city’s LIV program and the neighborhood. As a result the study has stimulated conversation and excitement which gave the jury confidence it will be utilized and implemented.

Nampa Library Square; Nampa – Commercial Award
This development did a great job of recognizing community needs as reflected in the variety of services provided. Keeping the library downtown and using it as an economic catalyst, including a mixed use development with structured and bike parking, are strong smart growth elements of the project.

Highway 55 Payette River “Lardo” Bridge; McCall – Small Community Award
More than just an aging bridge replacement, in this project the city worked with ITD to accomplish community development goals that emerged from previous planning efforts with good public engagement. The project completes a gap in the walking and biking network and provides space for public art; it’s as much a placemaking project as it is a transportation project.

Charles Hummel Award: Renée Magee. This award is given by the Idaho Smart Growth board of directors in honor of architect, civic leader and Idaho Smart Growth co-founder Charles Hummel. The 2016 award is given to Renée Magee of Idaho Falls, longtime city planner and smart growth redevelopment champion.

Idaho Smart Growth is a statewide nonprofit organization that brings people together to create great places to live. For more information about the Grow Smart Awards and Idaho Smart Growth contact 333-8066 or go to


Save the Date: 2016 Grow Smart Awards Nov 17th

One of the best ways to learn what smart growth is is to see it in action. Idaho Smart Growth’s Grow Smart Awards recognize the innovative work of Idaho communities, builders, planners, architects, organizations, and developers whose work exemplifies smart growth principles.

Held in the fall of each year, the Grow Smart Awards highlight the leading projects that keep our communities vibrant, offering the general public as well as professional peers the opportunity to celebrate and inspire one another. Come be inspired!

Purchase 2016 Grow Smart Awards Tickets Here

To sponsor a tables please go to

What: 2016 Grow Smart Awards
Where: Owyhee in downtown Boise
When: Thursday, November 17, 2016 from 5PM to 7:30PM.
The evening begins at 5 pm with hors d’oeuvres and a no-host bar; program is at 6 pm. More networking and a chance to meet the winners will follow.

Citizens Planning Academy, Oct. 5: Stephen Miller on wildfire planning

Subject: Planning for Wildfire in the Wildland-Urban Interface
When: Wed. Oct. 5 from 6 – 7:30pm
Where: Idaho Law & Justice Learning Center, 514 W. Jefferson Street, Room 325

UI law professor Stephen R. Miller will discuss the new publication Planning for Wildfire in the Wildland-Urban Interface: A Resource Guide for Idaho Communities, which was researched and compiled along with colleagues at the University of Idaho’s Bioregional Planning Program, Boise State University’s Public Policy Research Center, the Idaho Department of Lands and nationally recognized wildfire consultants.

The guide presents the process of planning for wildfire as a four-step process that empowers local communities. It highlights a variety of solutions already in place throughout Idaho, as well as techniques used throughout the West that may be appropriate here, too. This session should be of particular interest to neighborhoods and residents with properties in the foothills and areas that interface with grasslands.

Where: UI College of Law’s Boise location in the Idaho Law Learning Center (514 W. Jefferson Street, Room 325). Please use the eastern entrance. Parking is available behind the building on the eastern side in the spots marked “visitor.”

The C.P.A. is a collaboration of Idaho Smart Growth and the University of Idaho College of Law in Boise. Monthly sessions are designed to help citizens become effective advocates on a wide range of planning topics. Programs are free and open to all.

Rod Stevens to Speak on Next-Generation Work Districts – Sept. 15th

When: Thursday, September 15th from 5:30-7 PM
Where: Trailhead (500 S 8th St, Boise)

Rod Stevens will speak about Next-Generation Work Districts: Planning Places For New Patterns of Business and Industry, In A Way That Authentically Builds On Local Skills and Character. A Q&A with local professionals about how it relates to business in Boise will follow.

Rod Stevens is an urban development consultant and revitalization strategist who brings a business view to making cities work. He specializes in jobs-oriented development, especially industrial revitalization and projects that serve as a home for the next generation of business. This last year he has been working very closely with the Town of Chapel Hill, home to prestigious UNC, to create more of a start-up scene downtown so that the community can hold onto talented young people after they graduate.

In the Bay Area he worked with the City of San Leandro, near Oakland Airport, to create a strategy for 2000 acres of old factories and warehouses near Oakland Airport that has drawn a constellation of 3D printing companies and one of the country’s largest craft breweries. At UC Davis, the world’s premier university in research on food and nutrition, he developed the strategy for industry/academic collaboration that has become the World Food Center. And in Vancouver, BC, he worked with an investment arm of the provincial government to turn an old mall into a transit-oriented tech center, one now anchored by IBM’s regional headquarters and a branch campus of Simon Fraser University.

Most recently, Rod has been working on modern urban manufacturing, and how to use the power of place to both attract young talent and leverage this to create partnerships between start-ups and original equipment manufacturers. In all of his work, Rod tries to combine the power of place with this focus on business, so that communities can realize practical change today, not just ten years from now. In this talk, he will look at some of the country’s most innovative work places and the businesses and industries driving the change, and how the lessons learned from these might be adapted to meet Boise’s needs.

This event is presented by Trailhead and Idaho Smart Growth and sponsored by CCDC.

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