Smart Growth News- March 2, 2012

National

2012 TED Prize Given To The City 2.0
The Huffington Post- March 1, 2012

Since 2005, the TED conference has awarded $100,000 prizes each year to individuals with an idea to change the world. This year, the award was distributed in a different way: to an idea, the City 2.0.

How the 2012 TED Prize, The City 2.0, Aims to Crowdsource the Future
The Atlantic Cities- March 1, 2012

LONG BEACH – It’s never long at the annual TED conference before attendees feel awash in mind-bending, technology-enabled ideas. This year, it was the theory that there are multiple universes, a robotic drone that is an exact replica of a hummingbird, and a demonstration of the wisdom of the crowd (a request for online guesses from the 5,000-plus attendees of the weight of an ox brought onstage, the average of which was 1,793 pounds. The beast’s weight: 1,795 lbs.).

Fed’s Raskin Says Economic Growth Likely to Remain ‘Modest’
Bloomberg- March 1, 2012

Federal Reserve Governor Sarah Bloom Raskin said the economic expansion has been strengthening, while predicting its pace will remain “modest” in part due to weakness in the housing market and fiscal tightening.

How Debt-Ridden Housing Holds Back U.S. Recovery: Mian and Sufi
Bloomberg- February 29, 2012

There is an emerging consensus that housing is weighing down the U.S. economy. The Federal Reserve’s housing white paper in January declared that “ongoing problems in the U.S. market continue to impede the economic recovery.” The 2012 Economic Report of the President argued that “declines in housing wealth can have a far greater effect on the economy than equivalent losses in other financial assets.”

California Cities Hit the Wall
Wall Street Journal- February 29, 2012

Confronted by declining tax revenue and rising employee costs, Stockton, Calif., is considering bankruptcy—while several other struggling California cities warn they could eventually face the same predicament.

Let’s link the working rural landscape to the sustainability agenda (with Lee Epstein)
Natural Resources Defense Council- March 1, 2012

There has finally been some overdue attention paid recently to the strengthening of rural communities to make them more economically and environmentally resilient. Ranson, West Virginia, for example, was the recipient of planning assistance last fall; Belfast and Lincolnville, Maine undertook a citizen-driven planning exercise, and the federal Environmental Protection Agency included a rural learning center in Howard, South Dakota (population 850) as one of its annual national award winners for smart growth excellence.

Is Urbanism Slowing the Rise of Car Travel?
The Atlantic Cities- March 1, 2012

Early last week the State Smart Transportation Initiative, a sustainable transport program funded by the Department of Transportation, released some charts on the continued decline of vehicle-miles traveled in the United States. Overall VMT dropped 1.2 percent in 2011 from the previous year, reaching its lowest total since 2003, and per capita VMT fell 2.1 percent to levels not seen since 1998.

Local

Hubs of Transportation
Boston Herald- March 2, 2012

As the Bay State makes its way out of the housing slump, developments are starting to take shape everywhere. Gone are the days of sprawling “McMansions” — now developers are focusing on transit-oriented developments.

The City That Works (Even Better!): Emanuel’s Strategy for Chicago Growth
The Atlantic Cities- March 1, 2012

Rahm Emanuel was sitting with David Axelrod at a Chicago Bulls game Tuesday night, with Axelrod frequently checking his smart phone for Republican primary results while taking in a sport ruled by a 24-second shot clock. Pro hoops places a premium on quick, short-term tactics and execution — the sort that most in the political sphere reflexively mirror.

Philadelphia mayor Nutter named urban design leader
Smart Planet- February 28, 2012

Philadelphia mayor Michael A. Nutter has been named as the 2012 recipient of the Joseph P. Riley Jr. Award for Leadership in Urban Design. The American Architectural Foundation and the United States Conference of Mayors have recognized Nutter for his support of and role in incorporating design ideas and vision into public, civic spaces.

Conflicting Views Over State’s Strategic Growth Plan
NJ Spotlight- March 2, 2012

Hearing sharply divergent views, the state last night concluded a series of six public hearings on its draft strategic investment plan, a blueprint for targeting where growth should occur in the future in New Jersey and where development should be discouraged.

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