Kids play outside at a public water park in New Mexico.

LOCUS Developers

A coalition of developers and investors working for an inclusive, sustainable, and equitable future.


LOCUS (Latin for “place”): Responsible Real Estate Developers and Investors is the only national coalition of developers and investors working for an inclusive, sustainable, and equitable future in America’s cities and towns. At its core, LOCUS believes that walkable urbanism promotes economic development, decreases greenhouse gas emissions, provides greater access to jobs, and improves the quality of life for lower-income households. LOCUS is a program of Smart Growth America (SGA).

LOCUS and Smart Growth America work at the federal, state, and local levels to maintain and strengthen programs and regulations that better support equitable, environmentally-friendly growth.

Grant Description:

Barr supports LOCUS’ work at both the national and state level. With its “Rebuild America’s Neighborhood’s Campaign,” LOCUS works to protect federal community development and affordable housing programs that are under threat of elimination, and advance new proposals that encourage equitable, community-based development and infrastructure investments. LOCUS members in Massachusetts advocate for increased funding for more sustainable, walkable communities throughout the state.

LOCUS works frequently to convene partners at events on smart growth in local communities. In addition to network-building and educational outreach, LOCUS offers technical assistance to equip communities with the skills and knowledge to develop more walkable, transit-connected places that are attainable and accessible to all.

Outputs and Outcomes:

  • Host four to five education and outreach briefings for federal and state policymakers on:

    • the economic, social and environmental benefits of maintaining community development funding,
    • Increasing public transportation infrastructure,
    • inclusive development strategies to create sustainable, equitable, walkable communities, and a better future for its residents.
  • Be a thought leader by bringing objective smart growth research and private sector perspectives into policy debates on:

    • the importance of fostering mixed-income, mixed-use walkable development,
    • creating diverse affordable housing and transportation options,
    • high-quality infill development within existing neighborhoods,
    • community engagement tools for meaningful dialogue
  • Provide technical assistance to at least two Massachusetts communities to develop sustainable, place-based, and market-driven strategies aimed at encouraging economic growth while ensuring accessibility and social equity.

  • Increase the number of walkable development projects by connecting developers and investors with the local leaders that have smart growth development opportunities.

  • Increase awareness among local, state and federal policy-makers about the benefits of maintaining and creating incentives for transit and affordable housing in walkable communities. LOCUS convenes local, state, and federal policymakers and real estate developers at the national and regional leadership summits to share best practices in smart growth development and advocacy.

Learn more about LOCUS Developers

Smart Growth America

To inform transportation and smart growth policy at national, state, and local levels in order to build neighborhoods that are more economically, socially and environmentally sustainable.

  • Award Date: 9/27/2017
  • Amount: $1,100,000
  • Term: 24 months
  • Program: Climate

A previous Barr grant to Smart Growth America supported research that identified potential walkable urban neighborhoods and ideas to make them more appealing to developers. Learn more about the resulting report, "The WalkUP Wake-Up Call: Boston."


Smart Growth America, the only national organization dedicated to researching, advocating for and leading coalitions to bring smart growth practices to more communities nationwide. LOCUS, Latin for “place,” is a national Smart Growth America coalition made up of real estate developers and investors who know that transportation drives development and who advocate for sustainable, walkable urban development in our metropolitan areas.