Smart growth news – May 9, 2012

Why city mayors are a sustainability director’s new best friends
Greenbiz- May 7, 2012
As a temporary London resident in the run-up to the just-completed mayoral election, I was intrigued by the platforms (and I must admit, the mudslinging) of each of the vying candidates, seeing the obvious parallels to hotly contested races in the U.S.

Is Your Commute Killing You?
US News- May 8, 2012
People with long commutes are likely to experience a myriad of health problems, according to a new study

Highway conference gets off to slow start
The Hill- May 8, 2012
The committee of lawmakers appointed to negotiate a new federal highway bill met for the first time Tuesday, with members of the panel pledging bipartisanship but not straying far from their party’s starting lines.

Buy America’s Shocking Pricetag
Streetsblog- May 8, 2012
Within the big pro-transit tent, positions on Buy America policies — which compel agencies to purchase domestically-made materials — vary wildly. But from the perspective of providing more rail service to more people, these restrictions are unequivocally bad news. How bad?

U.S. manufacturing’s next phase
Los Angeles Times- May 9, 2012
Our cities are poised to be the incubators for new American factories.

Small Cities Are Becoming New Engine Of Economic Growth
Forbes- May 8, 2012
The conventional wisdom is that the world’s largest cities are going to be the primary drivers of economic growth and innovation. Even slums, according to a fawning article in National Geographic, represent “examples of urban vitality, not blight.” In America, it is commonly maintained by pundits that “megaregions” anchored by dense urban cores will dominate the future.

IDOT unveils new multi-modal transportation program
Progressive Railroading- May 8, 2012
Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider recently unveiled the state’s first multi-modal transportation improvement program, which combines the state’s multi-year, $9.2 billion highway program with multi-year programs for rail, public transportation and aeronautics.

Local

Amazon adds details to planned 3-tower complex
Seattle Times- May 8, 2012
Amazon architects gave more details on the company’s proposed 3.3 million-square-foot office complex to the city’s advisory Downtown Review Board Tuesday night.

Where Needed Most, Public Transit Faces Cuts
Next American City- May 8, 2012
The board of the Port Authority of Allegheny County, Pa., serving the Pittsburgh metropolitan region, announced last week that it would have to cut services by 35 percent by September 2 — the largest cut ever for the agency — if it is not provided an increase in state aid. The agency expects that it will have to increase fares and lay off 500 workers. This comes a year after the agency reduced services by 15 percent.

Group claims climate change will impact public transit
Metro- May 7, 2012
Members of the Metro Boston Climate Defense team, a mashup coalition conjured up by 350.org and MassUniting, claim an intense nor’easter or destructive hurricane as a result of extreme climate changes could put parts of the Hub’s public transit system underwater by 2040.

Survey: Oklahoma City Tops for Small Business
Wall Street Journal- May 7, 2012
Small businesses in Oklahoma City may be less frustrated with local regulations than small businesses elsewhere.

Urban farms, gardens, reforestation all part of Detroit Works vision for remaking city
Detroit Free Press- May 8, 2012
Faced with growing vacancy in the city, Mayor Dave Bing’s Detroit Works long-term planning team is moving closer to recommending a set of diverse options for remaking Detroit’s neighborhoods.

Fighting over the future in two suburbs
Washington Post- May 8, 2012
NIMBYISM IS AT LEAST as old as the suburbs, but it’s a shape-shifting impulse. Over the years the objects of its wrath have evolved, particularly in affluent areas, to include not just undesirable neighbors (landfills, prisons) but also what many people would consider desirable ones, such as chic stores and modern transit hubs. The idea is the same and deeply conservative: Don’t change our neighborhood! Don’t build it here!

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