Smart, Efficient Infrastructure
Building smart, efficient infrastructure starts by examining the full costs, return on investment, and sustainability of our growth patterns. From large metro areas to small towns, creating mixed-use city centers and neighborhoods maximizes existing infrastructure, a clear economic benefit for taxpayers. This strategy of infilling existing spaces with diverse retail and housing opportunities reduces long-term costs for city government, benefits tourism and business and fosters the kinds of creative spaces, arts and culture that attract people of all ages. Supporting efforts include:
- Understanding that edge development is increasingly expensive over time as new water towers, sewage systems, streetlights, sidewalks, snow plows, garbage collection, etc. add significant costs, without a commensurate tax base
- Maximize existing infrastructure with "an ‘infill’" approach: build new mixed-use structures on empty lots or under-utilized surface parking lots. Even alleys can become attractive, unique gathering places
- Major determinant of cost for a city is linear feet
- Smart Power Grids
- High speed gigabit bandwidth is a must for 21st century communities
Small, efficient footprints benefit all community members by keeping tax rates low.
Main Street ND means smart, efficient community infrastructure. Check out how these North Dakota communities are rethinking existing infrastructure with in-fill, historic revitalization, and more.
Odyssey Theatre in downtown Dickinson is converting a parking lot to a movie theater.
Community members from Wahpeton helped turn their old city hall into opportunities for a new restaurant and event center.
Hankinson recognized that main street improvements require investment. A widely-supported one percent increase in the city sales tax provided revenue for the community center project. Hankinson defined a Renaissance Zone and used the tax exemption program for new construction and to renovate existing buildings within the Zone. They have also utilized a new and expanding business tax credit and the payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) programs.