Smart Growth News- April 6, 2012

National

The Month In US Housing: A Disappointing March, But Spring Offers Redemption
International Business Times- April 2, 2012
Most of March’s housing numbers were disappointing, with sales unexpectedly falling across all categories and prices hitting new lows, reversing February’s optimism. But the winter market is usually the year’s quietest, and spring could bring redemption.

As Older Adults Retire, Housing Affordability Poses A Challenge
Realtor.com- April 4, 2012
As the first wave of baby boomers turns 65, they find themselves facing the daunting obstacle course of retirement. Complicated by reduced medical care benefits and diminishing wealth as a result of the late recession, those Americans born between 1946 and 1964 now face a new hurdle on the road to retiring: a lack of affordable housing choices.

Why Does U.S. Build Roads If It Can’t Pay to Fix Them?
Bloomberg- April 5, 2012
A number of years ago in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a young friend from Germany turned to me and commented on the potholed and patched streets that surrounded us, as well as the uneven sidewalks and assorted other rough edges.

How the Internet (Yes, the Internet) Can Solve the Housing Crisis
The Atlantic- April 2, 2012
Home is where the heart is, as the saying goes, but the heart of public policy is in anything but housing. We obsess over health care. We go back and forth on the budget. We debate taxes endlessly. But surprisingly little attention is paid to making smarter policies about the places we live and sleep.

Urban Population Growth Creates New Demand for Parks
City Parks Blog- April 5, 2012
The Brookings Institution recently released a comprehensive report on metropolitan demographic changes over the past thirty years, which highlighted the increasing concentration of the U.S. population in major metropolitan areas. Overall, metropolitan areas have grown consistently since 1980, and now over 80% of Americans live in metropolitan areas, i.e. cities and their suburbs. Though suburban growth outpaced city growth between 2000 and 2010, all of the five fastest-growing metropolitan areas saw higher percentage growth in their urban cores.

Local

Should Los Angeles New Yorkify?
The New York Times- April 5, 2012
New York is an intensely compelling urban place, and historically Los Angeles has been the Big Apple’s opposite number — the kind of place you come to for a really different life experience. Expatriate New Yorkers (and Brits too) have always loved the sunshine-and-convertible lifestyle because it is so different from life back home. You could live the warm-weather-suburban lifestyle without sacrificing the restaurants, the theater and the other things New Yorkers love about urban life. Meanwhile, you could also complain that nothing — the delis, the theater, the restaurants — was quite as good as it was in New York. In other words, you could have it both ways in L.A.

Twitter Opens Downtown Detroit Office in Rock Ventures’ M@dison Building
Market Watch- April 4, 2012
DETROIT, April 4, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — There’s a new trending topic in #Detroit, as tech giant Twitter announced today it is opening an office in the city’s growing downtown technology district. The company’s first Michigan location will be based in the M@dison Building, owned by Rock Ventures LLC, the umbrella entity formed to provide operational coordination, guidance and integration of Dan Gilbert’s portfolio of companies, investments and real estate.

County Council Adopts Incentive Program To Encourage Use Of Public Transportation
The Seattle Medium- April 4, 2012
The King County Council recently approved a two-year incentive program to encourage drivers to get from behind the wheel and leave the driving to Metro Transit.

MBTA board OK’s fare hikes, service cuts in stormy session
The Boston Globe- April 4, 2012
Facing emotional testimony and shouts that they were turning their backs on the poor and disabled, the MBTA board of directors cast what members called a reluctant vote Wednesday to raise fares, starting July 1.

L.A.: Regional planners shift focus off freeways
SF Gate- April 5, 2012
The government group that oversees transportation for Southern California voted Wednesday to approve a $524 billion agreement that aims to make train tracks, bike lanes and clear skies as much a part of the region’s image as boulevards and freeways.

Urban Planning Experts Debate NYU 2031
New York Press- April 5, 2012
Ever since NYU unveiled its behemoth 2031 expansion plan in 2010, it has drawn heated reaction from Downtown residents, community groups, activists and politicians alike. Hosted by the Municipal Art Society of New York (MAS), last Tuesday’s panel of urban planning experts broke little in the way of new ground as the merits and failings of NYU 2031 were once again debated.

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