Smart Growth Award

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Erin Wortman receives Smart Growth Award

Ms. Erin Wortman, Director of Planning & Community Development, was named a National Complete Street Champion for 2017 by Smart Growth America. Smart Growth America is the only national organization dedicated to researching, advocating for and leading coalitions to bring smart growth practices to create healthy communities with strong local businesses, schools, shops, transportation options, affordability and beauty. Working with every level of elected official, state agencies and local stakeholders they have improved thousands of communities since 2000.

As part of their yearly recognition, only 2 people nationally were acknowledged for being Complete Streets Champions. There was no shortage of reasons to select Ms. Wortman but Smart Growth America felt “Under Ms. Wortman’s leadership, Stoneham focuses on improving safety, mobility, and accessibility for one of the most vulnerable and least represented groups of people who use the street: older adults. In Massachusetts, people over the age of 65 are almost three times as likely to be struck and killed by cars while walking compared to younger people”. Other 2017 highlights include working with the Stoneham Transportation Advocacy Committee which earned her 2 American Planning Association Awards in December, extending the hours of service for the 132 bus and securing funding for a senior medical van. When asked about planning for an age-friendly future she stated “An ongoing local conversation is how the community can address the ever growing need for seniors to maintain their quality of life and retain their independence… By purposefully including the most underrepresented, we are not only providing more information and platforms to the public but also encouraging people to participate and work together on finding solutions for all rather than the few.” The Planning Department can be reached by phone 781-507-2445 or at their office located on the garden level of town hall. The complete publication of awards is available on the town website.

Best Complete Street Initiatives of 2017