Getting Started


Online Interactive Tools || Organizations || Online Resources || Publications


  • The Active Living Resource Center's Get Started Studio is an interactive process that gets you and your local organization directly involved with our staff as you begin making your neighborhood or community more amenable for walking and bicycling.
  • “Big Box” Evaluator This on-line tool, by the Orton Family Foundation,  is designed to be an unbiased information resource for citizens and government officials who want to know more about “big box” retail stores and their potential positive and negative impacts on the local community.



  • Urban Land Institute Advisory Services provides strategic advice on land use and real estate development issues. Panels link developers, public agencies, and other sponsors to the knowledge and experience of ULI and its membership. Established in 1947, this fee-based program has completed over 500 panels, in 47 states, 12 countries, and 4 continents.
  • *The National Association of Realtors® provides a variety of technical assistance to enable state and local REALTOR® associations to start building better communities - from providing expert analysis of the legal, planning, economic, and environmental issues surrounding legislative and regulatory land use proposals to drafting state legislation on Smart Growth issues.
  • EPA Smart Growth Implementation Assistance Program is an annual, competitive solicitation open to state, local, regional, and tribal governments (and non-profits that have partnered with a governmental entity) that want to incorporate smart growth techniques into their future development.  Once selected, communities receive direct technical assistance from a team of national experts in one of two areas: policy analysis (e.g., reviewing state and local codes, school site guidelines, transportation policies, etc.) or public participatory processes (e.g., visioning, design workshops, alternative analysis, build-out analysis, etc). 


  • Community Tool Box: From the Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance (RTCA) program of the National Park Service. This site outlines a process for a broad community inventory, with links to related resources and tools.
  • County Health Rankings The 50 state reports, ranking each county within the 50 states according to its health outcomes and the multiple health factors that determine a county’s health. Each county receives a summary rank for its health outcomes and health factors and also for the four different types of health factors: health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic factors, and the physical environment. Each county can also drill down to see specific county-level data (as well as state benchmarks) for the measures upon which the rankings are based.
  • Active Neighborhood Checklist: The checklist rates communities on land use, presence of public recreational  facilities, availability of public transportation and quality of the environment.
  • This Is Smart Growth Many people want to know what smart growth looks like. This Is Smart Growth, a publication from the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) and the Smart Growth Network, illustrates and explains smart growth concepts and outcomes. This full-color booklet describes how, when done well, development can help create more economic opportunities, build great places where people want to live and visit, preserve the qualities people love about their communities, and protect environmental resources.


  • Join the Smart Growth Network and get a subscription to Getting Smart!, the bimonthly electronic newsletter for SGN members, containing in‐depth articles and case studies, tools and resources you can use, and the latest news about the people and places shaping smart growth.
  • Sign up for Active Living Research News, by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, designed to help grantees, partners, policy makers, advocates, and the media keep track of the research and news in the active living field.
  • Sign up for the Active Neighborhood Gazette Newsletter, a quarterly newsletter which contains an up‐to‐date overview of the Active Living Resource Center News. The newsletter is delivered by e‐mail, and is sent out quarterly.