Using Smart Growth Strategies to Foster Economic Development
A Kelso, Washington, Case Study
The Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Council of Governments, in partnership with the city of Kelso, Washington, requested technical assistance from EPA's Smart Growth Implementation Assistance Program to develop a smart growth economic development strategy focusing on the South Kelso neighborhood, specifically downtown Kelso, the South Kelso residential community, and the Talley Way industrial area.
Decades ago, the historic downtown in South Kelso was a strong, vibrant retail center. The South Kelso residential community was composed of families who owned their homes and, for the most part, worked in local industries. Today, the South Kelso area is the city’s lowest income residential community, and the downtown has struggled with decades of decline.