ISG announces Grow Smart Awards recipients

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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


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