Smart Growth News- March 28, 2012

National

Highway vote punt complicates Hill timing
Politico- March 27, 2012
The House is once again at a standstill on the highway bill, just days before federal funding would be shut off and Congress skips town for its two-week recess.

Denser, More Efficient Cities Key To Coping With Population Explosion: Experts
International Business Times- March 27, 2012
Cities are expected to expand the combined size of Texas, California and Montana in the next 20 years, adding environmental and cultural strains from population growth and shifts away from rural living, experts said Tuesday at a conference in London called “Planet Under Pressure.”

Why Community-Based Planning Works Better Than Anything Else
The Atlantic Cities- March 26, 2012
About a decade ago, three NRDC colleagues – Jutka Terris, Nancy Vorsanger and myself – published a book of early examples of smart growth that had sprung up across the country and were beginning to serve as models for how America could simultaneously become more beautiful, more livable, and more environmentally sound. We called our book Solving Sprawl, and it detailed projects and initiatives in cities, suburbs, and in rural conservation.

When a Parking Lot Is So Much More
The New York Times- March 25, 2012
NO ONE loves a parking lot. In her song “Big Yellow Taxi,” Joni Mitchell laments, “They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.” The parking lot is the antithesis of nature’s fields and forests, an ugly reminder of the costs of our automobile-oriented society. But as long as we prefer to get around by car (whether powered by fossil fuel, solar energy or hydrogen), the parking lot is here to stay. It’s hard to imagine an alternative.

U.S. Inches Toward Goal of Energy Independence
The New York Times- March 22, 2012
MIDLAND, Tex. — The desolate stretch of West Texas desert known as the Permian Basin is still the lonely domain of scurrying roadrunners by day and howling coyotes by night. But the roar of scores of new oil rigs and the distinctive acrid fumes of drilling equipment are unmistakable signs that crude is gushing again.

Local

Utah officials plan how to handle 67% growth by 2040
The Salt Lake Tribune- March 27, 2012
The Wasatch Front is expected to grow by 1.4 million people over the next 30 years. So hundreds of officials from governments, businesses, universities and nonprofit groups gathered Tuesday to further implement plans on how to handle that growth while maintaining a high quality of life.

Austin City Council approves $8.6M Apple incentive agreement
Impact News- March 22, 2012
Austin City Council approved an $8.6 million incentive and economic development agreement with Apple Inc. on March 22 that paves the way for more state incentives and moves the company one step further to building a new campus in Northwest Austin.

Architects describe Amazon’s proposed Seattle campus as an ‘urban room’ with ‘sun pockets’
GeekWire- March 27, 2012
Amazon.com’s ambitious plans to erect three massive 37-story office towers in the Denny Triangle area of downtown Seattle isn’t about building a corporate campus, it’s about building a neighborhood. At least that’s the view of NBBJ’s John Savo, the architect for Amazon.com.

Developers: Next housing bubble may be in apartment complexes
Orlando Sentinel- March 27, 2012
The comment that drew the most attention at a recent meeting of developers at Leu Gardens in Orlando was: “We always overbuild something. This time will probably be multifamily.”

Redevelopment spawns 17 offshoots
UT San Diego- March 27, 2012
The end to redevelopment agencies statewide is resulting in a new layer of government that will rule on spending of leftover redevelopment funds and land sales, starting next month.

Washington area’s urban growth tops Northeast
Washington Examiner- March 26, 2012
The Washington region’s urban population grew faster than any other major metropolitan area in the Northeast, Census data released Monday show.

Public would have MBTA costs shifted to other agencies
Boston.com- March 27, 2012
In more than 30 public meetings, T officials have heard the personal pleas of residents perturbed at proposed service cuts and fare hikes on the MBTA.

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